NRG and ENCE secure opening round victories in Shanghai
The main stream saw North face off against NRG, with the series kicking off on Inferno. NRG commenced on the offense, able to cop the pistol plus one. North followed up with a string of three victories, only for the North American representatives to once more steal the momentum, walking away with an 8-3 surplus. A successful forcebuy in round 14 marked NRG's last victory on the offense, concluding the initial half 9-6.
North returned the favour on the offense, as a fruitful pistol snowballed into consecutive round victories. A brawl succeeded the lopsided rounds, leading to a 14-14 stalemate between the two sides. Aforementioned equaliser was resolved by Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså, who facilitated his team's bomb plant by landing a 3k on the B bombsite. This outstanding individual play ultimately secured North's 16-14 victory, as NRG's economy was in tatters in the final round.
The heat proceeded to rise as the teams transferred onto the second map - Dust2. Nicklas "gade" Gade opened affairs with a pistol round 4k, setting his team up for an early lead on the defense. The momentum slipped away, as NRG were able to snatch the ball and run away with a solid early 6-2 lead. In spite of what seemed like a worsening situation, North recomposed, slowly grinding out rounds to produce a respectable 7-8 CT half.
NRG sustained pressure on their adversaries, converting all four intial rounds in their own favour. The Danes responded with rounds of their own, which resulted in an economic reset on part of the CTs. This birthed hope for North's players, a hope that was swiftly shattered by Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov, who destroyed an A hit via Catwalk, securing his team map point. NRG didn't wait long to hop over to map three, concluding Dust2 with a 16-13 score.
The final map of the series, Train, witnessed uncontested CT side domination from NRG. The North American defence was impenetrable, shutting down advance after advance from the Ts. The Danes struggled immensely, as individual performances tanked and executions fell through consistently, culminating in a worrisome 0-15 scoreline.
In line with his outstanding performances over the course of the entire series, CeRq proved to be the undoing of North once more. A Glock 4K from the Bulgarian AWPer saw to the conclusion of Train, 16-0 in favour of NRG.
|North||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangsåvalde||60 - 46||+14||78.9||1.14|
|Philip 'aizy' Aistrupaizy||49 - 53||-4||69.2||0.95|
|Markus 'Kjaerbye' KjærbyeKjaerbye||38 - 52||-14||63.1||0.86|
|Nicklas 'gade' Gadegade||34 - 51||-17||57.3||0.83|
|Casper 'cadiaN' MøllercadiaN||31 - 51||-20||52.0||0.73|
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||67 - 38||+29||84.7||1.44|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||51 - 39||+12||87.1||1.24|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||45 - 46||-1||73.8||1.13|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||47 - 42||+5||72.5||1.03|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||42 - 47||-5||57.3||0.86|
Over on the secondary stream, ENCE took on Spirit, starting out the series on Nuke. The initial half of the map saw the Finns develop early momentum on the offense, maintaining it through to the middle portion of the map largely thanks to several outstanding individual plays from Sami "xseveN" Laasanen. Spirit managed to soften their deficit by clawing a few rounds prior to the initial half's conclusion at 6-9.
Having switched over to the CT side, ENCE once more were able to secure a string of consecutive rounds post-pistol, which went in the way of their adversaries. A total of five rounds were accrued by Spirit's offense, meanwhile eight for Aleksi "allu" Jalli and company meant a 16-11 victory on Nuke.
Dust2 was up next, seeing to a promising start from the Finns in the form of a pistol round plus one. Spirit managed to prevent things from getting out of hand early on, as upon securing rifles the team dominated the mid and latter portions of the half, separated by a four-round string, courtesy of ENCE. These ongoings produced a 9-6 half, favoured towards Spirit.
The Russian squad's lead proved to be short-lived, as the Finnish defence consistently fended off their adversaries' advances. Early success for ENCE was interrupted by three consecutive round victories from Spirit, but this setback proved insufficient in extending the series to a third map, as ENCE concluded Dust2 with a 16-13 victory.
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksi 'Aleksib' VirolainenAleksib||48 - 39||+9||85.0||1.26|
|Sami 'xseveN' LaasanenxseveN||38 - 33||+5||78.8||1.17|
|Jani 'Aerial' JussilaAerial||39 - 43||-4||79.6||1.06|
|Aleksi 'allu' Jalliallu||34 - 33||+1||64.4||1.00|
|Jere 'sergej' Salosergej||35 - 32||+3||63.4||0.97|
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Viktor 'somedieyoung' Orudjevsomedieyoung||42 - 36||+6||89.6||1.20|
|Pavel 'COLDYY1' VeklenkoCOLDYY1||39 - 38||+1||74.7||1.02|
|Artem 'iDISBALANCE' EgoroviDISBALANCE||36 - 41||-5||62.8||0.98|
|Dmitry 'S0tF1k' ForostyankoS0tF1k||35 - 39||-4||73.8||0.91|
|Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakovchopper||28 - 41||-13||56.3||0.74|