AVANGAR and Winstrike through to CIS Minor upper bracket final
AVANGAR got off to a successful start on the the first map, Overpass, where an A site hit from the Ts fell through, allowing the Kazakh-majority roster a solid start to the series. Off the get-go the CTs were able to assume the driver's seat, as after conceding just one round they were able to bring the heat on five separate occasions, extending AVANGAR's early lead to 6-1. In the remainder of the half, Spirit tried to diversify their approach to bomb site hits, however they were unable to catch the CTs off-guard, concluding the first half at a 5-10 deficit.
Alexey "Qikert" Golubev absolutely annihilated the defence in the second pistol round, as a B hit from his team, coupled with a lower tunnel hold from the Kazakh, yielded two frags on rotators, followed by a 3k on site. This performance allowed AVANGAR to extend their lead to a solid 13-5, just three rounds away from closing out. Spirit nabbed a round, only to be immediately reset by the Kazakhs in the follow-up. Having caused their opponents financial issues, the Ts ensured a CT half-buy in round 21, allowing AVANGAR to close out Overpass at 16-6.
Dust2 kicked off to a A Long hit from Spirit with three of AVANGAR's players stacked on B. A timely rotation from the CTs, coupled with excellent usage of their USPs allowed the Kazakh-majority roster to continue their pistol round streak, landing their third consecutive one. Early momentum propelled the defense to incredible heights, as after a single round was conceded, AVANGAR consistently shut down the advances of Spirit, all the way to an 11-1 lead. Towards the latter stages of the half Spirit managed just two additional rounds, concluding their T side performance with a disheartening 3-12 deficit.
Pavel "COLDYY1" Veklenko decided to single-handedly extend his team's life on Dust2, as a total of three kills were secured by the Ukrainian, fending off the aggressors on B - all headshots. This development gave Spirit the chance to assume control over the match dynamic, however after the team secured a couple rounds at 5-13, the moment was once again lost to AVANGAR. Round 21 proved to be the undoing of the Russian-majority roster, as a last-ditch effort to aggressively push B tunnels was shut down by Kazakh duo Timur "buster" Tulepov and Bektiyar "fitch" Bahytov. The latter player went on to cull the remaining CTs, securing his team a 16-5 victory on Dust2, as well as a spot in upper bracket final of the CIS Minor.
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|20 - 34||-14||63.9||0.89|
|28 - 32||-4||70.5||0.85|
|24 - 35||-11||60.0||0.71|
|18 - 35||-17||57.5||0.63|
|18 - 34||-16||49.6||0.62|
|AVANGAR||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|45 - 22||+23||113.0||1.74|
|37 - 17||+20||84.0||1.47|
|36 - 24||+12||86.9||1.32|
|29 - 17||+12||67.9||1.17|
|23 - 29||-6||70.1||1.03|
With the use of utility, Gambit were able to kick off Cache with a five-man A take. While not a single T was fragged in the breach, Winstrike played a flawless re-take, securing the first pistol, losing but a single member in David "n0rb3r7" Danielyan in the process. Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov demonstrated immaculate play over the course of the following rounds, sitting at 11 frags come round 7, an amount equal to that of the entire Gambit team at the time. The CIS mix struggled to get the CTs on the back foot, as a risk-averse approach from the defenders meant constant re-take situations, which worked out in Winstrike's favour. In-game leader Rustem "mou" Telepov did his best to throw curve balls, but the half ended with a lop-sided 11-4 in favour of the CTs.
Gambit were proactive in their attempt to make a comeback, as the second pistol went in their favour after a B hit fell through for the Ts. The CIS mix was able to land a few rounds at 7-11, until a spectacular Deagle performance from the duo of Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin and Aurimas "Kvik" Kvakšys yielded the players a 2k and 3k, respectively, securing their first round of the latter half. Gambit were not swayed by the upset, continuing to amass rounds in their favour, lessening the round gap to two at 11-13. Despite the strong comeback effort, the CIS mix was destined to score only a single additional round, as Winstrike asserted themselves in the remaining rounds, concluding Cache 16-12.
Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov spearheaded Gambit's T-side resurgence on Overpass, dispatching three defending CTs, opening up the A site for his team to successfully breach. The offense was able to amass a 4-1 lead until, out of the blue, WorldEdit absolutely deleted three members of Gambit in a 2v3 anti-eco situation, converting the round against all odds. Off the back of this spectacular play, Winstrike proceeded to equalise the score at 4-4, finally stabilising their economy after some struggle. An upwards trajectory was seen from here onwards for Winstrike, as the Russian-majority roster consistently managed to fend off Gambit, only slipping up in a single round of the initial half, producing a 10-5 surplus prior to switching over to the offense.
A five-man A hit from the Ts caught Gambit off-guard, where the defenders were able only to dispatch n0rb3r7, falling in the second pistol at the hand of the aggressors. Winstrike managed to extend their lead by two rounds, after which they started to struggle when breaching bomb sites, as Gambit caught a break, closing in on their opponents at 10-12. Winstrike were only able to score a single additional round in the remainder, as Gambit established themselves economically, something that couldn't be said for the Ts, leading to a 16-13 victory.
The final map of the series, Dust2, commenced with a solid start from Winstrike's CT side, who manage to convert a post-plant 5v3 into a round victory. The Ts opted for a force-buy in the follow-up, only to be shut down by WorldEdit, who single-handedly culled three members from A Long, with back-up far away. The economic reset created breathing space, allowing a 4-0 lead for the CTs. In line with the close nature of the series, Gambit managed to claw back the rounds at 4-4. This was followed by continued neck-in-neck action, concluding the initial half at 8-7 in favour of Winstrike, as Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov clutched a 1v2 post-plant situation in the final round, landing his team a useful extra.
The latter pistol went the way of Gambit, weighing the round scale in their favour at 10-8, after the CIS mix was able to capitalise on two following rounds. An early lead created a dynamic where the Russian-majority side was playing catch-up with their opponents, struggling to do so despite all efforts invested, including eco round victories and outstanding individual play across the board. Against the odds, Winstrike were able to dash past Gambit, initially equalising at 12-12, followed by three consecutive round victories, leaping to series point at 15-12. In miraculous fashion the CIS mix was able to pull back into the series, despite a hairy round 30 where Winstrike very nearly capitalised on yet another half-buy, pushing Dust2 into overtime at 15-15.
Winstrike kicked off to a flawless start on the T side of overtime, blitzing the defense in all three rounds of the initial half, once more just a single round away from closing out.
Opening frags from mou down Mid and Ax1Le on B allowed Gambit a chance at a comeback, scoring the first round of OT1. Unfortunately for the Ts, however, a failed A hit in the follower concluded the series, as they were overrun in a post-plant, conceding to a victorious Winstrike, who outgrinded their more experienced opponents with a 19-16 score on Dust2.
|Winstrike||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|68 - 62||+6||81.7||1.10|
|69 - 60||+9||73.1||1.05|
|60 - 59||+1||70.5||0.97|
|55 - 75||-20||69.4||0.87|
|51 - 69||-18||68.1||0.86|