HellRaisers, fnatic qualify for ESL Pro League Season 9 finals
The first of the final two matches of ESL Pro League Season 9 Europe Group A witnessed HellRaisers and OpTic duke it out for a coveted finals spot, commencing their series on Inferno. Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow and his men started on the defence, demonstrating a very convincing performance, as OpTic were consistently unable to get the ball rolling on the Terrorist side, amassing just two rounds over the entire initial half.
After swapping over to the CT side, OpTic showed signs of life and kept up a consistent flow of individual victories, with occasional rounds going in the way of their opponents. While a great effort was made by the Green Wall in attempting a comeback, the deficit accrued proved to be too much to bear. Christian "loWel" Garcia Antoran added insult to injury by concluding the map with a 1v2 clutch, closing Inferno at 16-11.
Mirage followed, where in spite of a fruitful pistol round, OpTic dropped the ball in the early game, allowing HellRaisers the room needed to regain control. The opportunity was not squandered, as the Terrorists propelled themselves into an early lead, and, despite pushback from OpTic, managed to maintain it through to the conclusion of the initial half at 9-6.
There was simply no stopping HellRaisers' domination after assuming the defense. In two of the initial rounds, OpTic had secured bomb plants, suggesting a healthy economy, but were still unable to find their footing. This persisted to be the case well into the latter half, as only a single round fell the Danes' favour, concluding the map 16-7 for HellRaisers.
|OpTic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Marco 'Snappi' PfeifferSnappi||34 - 34||0||68.8||0.96|
|Mathias 'MSL' LauridsenMSL||33 - 41||-8||89.2||0.95|
|Kristian 'k0nfig' Wieneckek0nfig||34 - 40||-6||77.2||0.87|
|Nikolaj 'niko' Kristensenniko||22 - 38||-16||52.5||0.66|
|Ismail 'refrezh' Alirefrezh||24 - 37||-13||50.5||0.66|
|HellRaisers||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tomáš 'oskar' Šťastnýoskar||46 - 24||+22||90.9||1.52|
|Christian 'loWel' Garcia AntoranloWel||42 - 28||+14||78.5||1.26|
|Kirill 'ANGE1' KarasiowANGE1||39 - 34||+5||81.3||1.20|
|Issa 'ISSAA' MuradISSAA||31 - 32||-1||73.9||1.08|
|Žygimantas 'nukkye' Chmieliauskasnukkye||31 - 29||+2||77.0||1.02|
The concluding series of Group A, between fnatic and Aristocracy, commenced on Nuke. The Polish quintet got off to a solid T side start, exchanging six rounds to one, but then Richard "Xizt" Landström's side converted consecutive post-plant situations into a flourishing economy. This allowed fnatic to not only bridge the round discrepancy but emerge in the lead come conclusion of the first half at a close 8-7.
The Swedes kept the momentum in swing after switching to the offense, securing the initial three rounds. Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas and company retaliated in like, after which an absolute brawl ensued. In the long run, the defence was unable to keep up with their adversaries from a financial perspective, and despite a setback, courtesy of a 1vs2 clutch from Mikołaj "mouz" Karolewski, the map concluded at a very close 16-13 scoreline in fnatic's favour.
Mirage followed in the footsteps of Nuke, in that the initial half once more saw a desperate battle for the lead. The Swedes continued their reign in the initial two rounds as Terrorists, only for Aristocracy to shove them back, assuming the lead with three of their own. A back-and-forth period ensued, where the defence was able to sweep the opposition off financial footing on occasion, allowing a slight lead at 8-7.
Upon taking on a defensive role, fnatic were visibly more comfortable. A pistol win was followed up with a round victory, and, although the Terrorists managed to find success upon securing rifles, they were unable to sustain the performance. The Swedes strung together four rounds together, after which they experienced financial ruin off the back of Aristocracy's aggression. An incredible quad kill on the B site from Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson in round 25 inspired fnatic to tighten affairs, with the CTs securing map and series point in the following round. Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Xizt concluded the match with a double and triple kill respectively, closing Mirage with a 16-11 scoreline.
|Aristocracy||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Paweł 'dycha' Dychadycha||51 - 42||+9||100.4||1.28|
|Karol 'rallen' Rodowiczrallen||38 - 36||+2||71.2||1.06|
|Mikołaj 'mouz' Karolewskimouz||35 - 41||-6||68.7||0.86|
|Jacek 'MINISE' JeziakMINISE||29 - 43||-14||59.9||0.77|
|Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ||22 - 46||-24||50.3||0.53|
|fnatic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Richard 'Xizt' LandströmXizt||45 - 30||+15||86.0||1.32|
|Ludvig 'Brollan' BrolinBrollan||43 - 36||+7||84.2||1.25|
|Jesper 'JW' WecksellJW||46 - 43||+3||96.0||1.23|
|Freddy 'KRIMZ' JohanssonKRIMZ||41 - 31||+10||72.9||1.16|
|Simon 'twist' Eliassontwist||33 - 35||-2||66.1||0.95|
The ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals will take place from June 18-23 in Montpellier, with $750,000 on offer. The team list for the event currently looks as follows: