Vitality best Valiance 2-1, through to Europe Minor playoffs
The French majority roster has surpassed Valiance 2-1, ensuring a spot in the semi-finals of the Europe Minor.
The series kicked off on Mirage, where a theme of back-and-forths was seen consistently throughout. The initial pistol round was secured by Valiance's CT side off the back of a successful flank from Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas. Vitality retaliated by wreaking havoc after rifles were available, where French star Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut was able to land an incredible 4k with his signature combination of the Deagle and AWP in round 4, contributing to the team's 6-3 lead. The Serbian-majority roster did not back down, however, as they managed to close the initial half with an 8-7 lead.
The latter half commenced with a solid hold from the B site duo of Dan "apEX" Madesclaire and Alex "ALEX" McMeekin, who culled the entire Valiance roster. Vitality proceeded to secure a 9-8 lead, only to concede a post-plant 1v2 situation to Nemanja "nexa" Isaković, who managed to clutch the round at 9-9, landing a 4k in the process. Valiance were inspired by their teammate's performance, capitalising on the four following rounds (13-9), the last of which featured a monstrous 3k from Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač, who converted a 2v5 situation into a round victory. Despite outstanding play, neither team hit the 16 round mark in regulation, pushing the series into overtime.
Contrary to regulation, Vitality secured a flawless CT side in the prior half of overtime, followed by a single round victory on the offense, leading to the closure of Mirage at 19-15.
Next on the agenda was Inferno, where Vitality kicked off to a pistol round victory on the T side, following a successful B hit. Momentum was carried over from the first round, yielding the aggressors a 4-1 lead, although as soon as rifles were seen in the hands of Valiance, the round gap was closed (4-4), with nexa landing four beautiful frags at Banana in round 7. The remaining rounds were distributed relatively evenly between the two teams, with Vitality's T side slightly more even at an 8-7 surplus.
Having switched over to the defence, Vitality capitalised on a consecutive pistol round, as a solid B hit was shut down by resident defender ZywOo and rotator, Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt. Despite the lively start, the CTs struggled to ride the momentum further - economic issues were a recurring theme in the ensuing four rounds for Vitality, all of which were accrued by the Terrorists at 11-9.
Round 22 proved to be a pivotal round for the defence, as the team was able to convert an eco round into a victory (11-12), where a disjointed A hit was shut down by a three-player stack on the bombsite. Valiance brushed off the disappointing upset, going on to absolutely thrash the opposition with five consecutive round victories, concluding Vitality's 14-0 win streak on Inferno at 16-11.
The final map of the series was Dust2, where Vitality sprang into action by landing a third consecutive pistol round on their CT side. For the first time over the course of the series the French-majority roster was able to accrue a sizeable lead, as a whopping seven consecutive round victories led to an 8-0 score. Valiance proceeded to struggle against the defence, dismantled on most rounds of the initial half. Persistently denting the opponents' finances coupled with spectacular performance consistency across the board for Vitality produced a rock-solid 12-3 half for the CTs.
The French-majority roster copped their fourth pistol round in a row, as an A hit via catwalk yielded fruits. Two further rounds were accrued off the back of initial success, with momentum upset in round 17, as a desperate force buy from Valiance proved effective (4-14). Four rounds was all she wrote for the struggling roster, however, as Vitality closed the series at a confident 16-4.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu 'ZywOo' HerbautZywOo||72 - 48||+24||89.4||1.38|
|Dan 'apEX' MadesclaireapEX||58 - 51||+7||74.3||1.09|
|Cédric 'RpK' GuipouyRpK||50 - 51||-1||72.3||1.06|
|Nathan 'NBK-' SchmittNBK-||55 - 51||+4||81.7||1.05|
|Alex 'ALEX' McMeekinALEX||44 - 51||-7||57.7||0.88|