Giants beat Movistar Riders to book BLAST Pro Series Madrid spot
Movistar Riders got off to a flying start and dominated proceedings during the early stages of Nuke, the opening map of the series. The Spanish team dictated the tempo with their hyper-aggressive approach on the CT side, and won a series of clutch situations to leave their opponents frustrated.
It was only when they were down 1-10 that Giants managed to halt the momentum of the home team. They immediately won four rounds in a row to keep their comeback hopes alive as they were about to switch over to the CT side.
The Portuguese team took control of the game after the break and tied things up at 11-11 following two close extremely close defuse situations. A 1v3 clutch by Alejandro "ALEX" Masanet put Movistar Riders back in the lead, with the Spanish team riding that momentum to a 14-11 lead.
Next up was Overpass, one of Movistar Riders' best maps in recent times, with an 81% win rate in the 16 games played over the last three months. The game followed the same pattern as its predecessor: the Spanish side came out of the gate with fire in their bellies and controlled the pace for most of the half before Giants staged a late comeback, winning three rounds in a row to bring the deficit to 6-9.
Movistar Riders refused to let things get out of hand and won five rounds right off the bat, increasing their lead to 14-9. Luís "ZELIN" Lousada rescued his team with a 1v3 clutch, but Giants' comeback would be short-lived. In the 25th round, Alejandro "mopoz" Fernández-Quejo Cano pulled off a crucial triple-kill in the canal to put his team on map point before the Spaniards put the game to bed with a great A hold.
It all came down to Vertigo, a map making its debut at a BLAST Pro Series event. Movistar Riders had not yet lost a competitive match on this map, but they were caught off-guard by the electric pace of their opponents. Giants were in control for the majority of their Terrorist side, winning aim duel after aim duel, and exerting great map control. Towards the end of the half, Christopher "MUTiRiS" Fernandes and Ricardo "rmn" Oliveira gave Movistar Riders two bitter pills to swallow in the form of 1v3 clutches, but the Spanish side still managed to pick up two late rounds to make it a 3-12 half.
Giants piled more misery on their opponents with a successful defuse through a smoke with four attacking players still alive in the pistol round, leaving ALEX in shock. Movistar Riders responded immediately on a force buy and went on a dominant run with a series of A hits.
Giants then hit match point by winning back-to-back rounds, and, after a series of keenly-contested rounds on the A site - where most of the action took place - that went the way of Movistar Riders, the Portuguese side locked down the map with a B hold to book a spot in the main tournament.
|Movistar Riders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Alejandro 'mopoz' Fernández-Quejo Canomopoz||69 - 49||+20||92.2||1.34|
|Alejandro 'ALEX' MasanetALEX||68 - 52||+16||82.6||1.24|
|Aitor 'SOKER' FernándezSOKER||65 - 57||+8||75.5||1.14|
|Oscar 'mixwell' Cañellasmixwell||57 - 63||-6||82.3||1.10|
|Raúl 'DeathZz' Jordán NietoDeathZz||60 - 55||+5||74.1||1.08|