NRG move past Vitality to secure semi-final spot in Shanghai
The first playoff series kicked off on Overpass, a map where Vitality had not yet lost on LAN. The French team got off to a solid start, winning the opening four rounds of the game, but then NRG took control of proceedings and prevented their opponents from stringing rounds together. Damian "daps" Steele's side went on to take the lead at 7-6 before the Frenchmen grabbed the final rounds of the half to secure a narrow one-round advantage before switching to the Terrorist side.
NRG came out of the break the livelier of the two sides and won six of the opening seven rounds, bringing the scoreline to 13-9. The game was starting to fall in the North Americans' favour, but then Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut came to Vitality's rescue with a quad-kill.
That was the sort of round that the French team desperately needed and that allowed them to get a footing in the game. After that, they pressed on and eventually pushed the game to overtime, showing great composure in the final round as they bounced back after losing an anti-eco round.
The first two overtimes could not determine a winner as the teams kept canceling each other out, with NRG twice fighting back from positions in which they were on the brink of defeat. In the third overtime, the North Americans had a flawless 3-0 CT half and then pulled through in the final round as Terrorists to secure a hard-fought win thanks to a monstrous display from Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte, who ended the game with 52 kills and a +22 KDD.
Carrying their momentum into Mirage, NRG hopped out to a 4-0 lead on the Terrorist side. The North Americans seemed to be in full control, but then they were put on the back foot for the rest of the half as Vitality kept a very tight defense to secure a 9-6 lead.
Now playing on the CT side, NRG simply outclassed their opponents, winning eight rounds in consecutive fashion to put one foot into the semi-finals. After calling a timeout, Vitality finally managed to break that streak, but NRG came right back to win the next round and hit match point. A triple kill by Dan "apEX" Madesclaire in the following round merely delayed the inevitable as the North Americans would lock down the map at 16-11 to seal passage to the last-four stage of the tournament.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||71 - 46||+25||97.8||1.44|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||67 - 48||+19||94.0||1.39|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||55 - 55||0||76.6||1.03|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||46 - 45||+1||63.8||1.02|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||27 - 46||-19||54.0||0.76|