Grayhound, ViCi advance to Asia Minor playoffs
Grayhound defeated CyberZen in three maps, 2-1 (16-12 Overpass, 14-16 Inferno, 16-12 Mirage), while ViCi edged out GOSU in a close 2-0 series (16-13 Mirage, 19-17 Train) to close out the Asia Minor group stage.
Grayhound kicked off the decider series of group A against CyberZen with a 5-0 Terrorist-side lead on Overpass, in great thanks to a 3v5 turnaround on the A site in round four. To get on the board, CyberZen had to bring out the double AWP on A, and that ended up working perfectly as they would soon equalize the score, 6-6.
A B site execute worked perfectly for Christopher "dexter" Nong's team to give them their seventh, but the Chinese side pulled themselves back into the lead at the end of the half, 8-7, after Zhen "HZ" Huang managed a perfectly timed Monster push. The Australians then lost the CT pistol, but bounced back thanks to Erdenetsogt "erkaSt" Gantulga winning a 1v3 against low-HP players on A.
That set Grayhound up perfectly to establish themselves on the defensive side, they went on a streak of six rounds won without the bomb even being planted (14-9). CyberZen replied in their style, winning three chaotic rounds to keep their opponents at bay, but Grayhound soon closed it out, with Ollie "DickStacy" Tierney capping off a great game with a hat trick of frags in the final round, 16-12.
On Inferno, CyberZen had a furious start as Terrorists, bullying their opponents to quickly bag a 6-0 lead. Euan "sterling" Moore on the AWP put a stop to that, as the 20-year-old secured an opening, a mid-round, and a closing frag in round 7. That invigorated the Australians who struck back with six consecutive round of their own, finishing the half with a minimal 8-7 lead.
After the switch, dexter and erkaSt combined for all five kills on the pistol rounds, which saw Grayhound take an 11-7 lead. CyberZen still stabilized, reaching 14 rounds soon, but didn't close it out simply, losing to a pistol-only A push. However, they managed to recover in the end, with Bin "Savage" Liu getting both kills in a 2v2 to grab map point and Lei "bottle" Mao closing it out, 16-14, with a risky banana push in a 5v5.
The action moved to Mirage, where the winner would be decided. CyberZen bagged the CT pistol, but Grayhound established a foothold quickly, after dexter found four frags—two on the A site entry and two in the 1v2 clutch—in round six. The victor wasn't clear after the first half, though, as ViCi fought back to end it with a minimal, 8-7 deficit. bottle's quad kill in round 19 stopped Grayhound from running away with the game in the second half, but after the Chinese team tied it up at 11-11, they fumbled against a pistol-armor buy. That allowed Grayhound to recover on the CT side, and with sterling impressing on the AWP, close out the map 16-12.
|Grayhound||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Liam 'malta' Schembrimalta||58 - 57||+1||84.6||1.15|
|Ollie 'DickStacy' TierneyDickStacy||59 - 56||+3||71.5||1.07|
|Euan 'sterling' Mooresterling||57 - 51||+6||67.8||1.06|
|Erdenetsogt 'erkaSt' GantulgaerkaSt||53 - 60||-7||68.4||0.94|
|Christopher 'dexter' Nongdexter||56 - 60||-4||72.6||0.92|
|CyberZen||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Lei 'bottle' Maobottle||69 - 56||+13||84.8||1.22|
|Zhen 'HZ' HuangHZ||66 - 63||+3||86.0||1.14|
|Lifan 'Viva' RanViva||56 - 53||+3||71.4||1.10|
|BingYuan 'tb' Litb||48 - 53||-5||66.7||0.95|
|Bin 'Savage' LiuSavage||45 - 58||-13||59.7||0.87|
After ViCi convincingly took down Beyond in the group B elimination match, the Chinese side advanced to the decider match where they faced GOSU for a spot in the playoffs. The series started on Mirage, where ViCi broke ahead, 5-0, off the back of a CT side pistol win. Saving GOSU's first half was Hae-Sung "HSK" Kim, who clutched out the eight round with four frags in total, while his side was in a rough spot economically (6-2).
After a slow start, the Korean side managed to reach six rounds before switching to the CT side, where Hong-Gyo "Jinx" Jung's P2000 triple kill gave GOSU a way back into the match. They ended up going on a streak of five rounds won, taking an 11-9 lead, but were stopped there by the Chinese side. WeiJie "zhokiNg" Zhong and Zhuo "advent" Liang found a couple of openings in rounds to come, getting their side in front again, 14-11. From that point onward, the rounds were tight, back-and-forth, but ViCi closed it out their opponents' map pick 16-13.
On Train, GOSU grabbed a 5-0 lead early as CT, with Gu-Taek "stax" Kim standing out for the Korean side with nine frags to his name. The domination of the CT side continued on from that point, with HSK's AWP lockdown on B advancing GOSU's lead even fruther, 8-2. However, just before the end of the half, ViCi woke up and stole away three rounds, with zhokiNg clutching the last one of the half to make it 10-5.
It seemed like the comeback attempt was all for naught, since GOSU grabbed four rounds on the beginning of the second half (14-5), getting on the brink of victory. But it wouldn't happen, as ViCi put up a wall on the defensive side as soon as they afforded a full buy. With eight consecutive rounds and an instant reset of GOSU's economy after they won one, ViCi managed an incredible comeback, 15-15. In the added rounds, WingHei "Freeman" Cheung and ZhiHong "aumaN" Liu continued their tear, finishing the match with 30+ kills each and helping their side to a 19-17 victory on Train, 2-0 for the series and, grabbing a spot in the playoffs.
|GOSU||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Gu-Taek 'stax' Kimstax||48 - 42||+6||76.8||1.12|
|Hae-Sung 'HSK' KimHSK||49 - 44||+5||70.3||1.10|
|Hong-Gyo 'Jinx' JungJinx||41 - 45||-4||84.7||1.08|
|Jong-Min 'Lakia' KimLakia||40 - 45||-5||66.3||0.99|
|Gi-Seok 'SeokE' KimSeokE||37 - 46||-9||66.4||0.87|