Danes shine on ESL Pro League S9 Europe day one; Ghost, Cloud9 pick up wins in Americas group
The first day of ESL Pro League Season 9 Round 2 group B has concluded, witnessing four teams ascend to a 1-0 record.
The first series of the day in Europe saw the newly-adjusted North take on Natus Vincere. The two teams kicked off on Overpass, where Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and company secured a very confident 11-4 CT side. Unwilling to concede their own map pick, the Danes subsequently mounted a comeback on the defence, taking the CIS squad down to the very last round of the map to run out 16-14 victors.
Mirage followed, where an initial 7-8 T half for Natus Vincere was followed up with a stronger showing on the defence, pushing the series to map three at 16-13. On Dust2, the teams exchanged strong CT performances, with North taking the win at 16-13 despite a 30-bomb from Denis "electronic" Sharipov.
Next on the agenda was a series between BIG and Heroic. Inferno was first on the list, seeing to incredibly close affairs. Heroic kicked off on the defence, and through securing most of the early and mid-half managed to accrue a 9-6 lead. BIG retaliated come their time to push back the aggressors but in the end fell a single round short of overtime.
Overpass, the second and final map of the series was just as close. Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and his men demonstrated a dominant T start, which was answered with pushback from BIG, who brought the deficit to a single round by the end of the half. After swapping sides, the teams once more went shoulder-in-shoulder, but the slight leeway given to Heroic in the prior half proved sufficient in closing the series at 16-13.
The North American matches kicked off with a confident showing from Ghost, who bested Infinity in two consecutive maps. The first was Mirage, where as few as two rounds were conceded by Joshua "steel" Nissan's defence, allowing for a commanding 13-2 half right off the bat. After faltering in the next pistol, Santiago "Daveys" Galvis's squad re-secured footing, producing a string of five rounds to their name, but Ghost, who were sitting on map point, closed it out at 16-7.
Nuke proved to be even more lopsided, as the leaders commenced on the T side, and, despite a loss in the pistol and in the second, went on to absolutely dominate, concluding their offense with an 11-4 lead. A CT pistol victory on Ghost's part spelled disaster for Infinity, as the Colombian squad was unable to answer, conceding the series with a 5-16 deficit.
The concluding series of the day witnessed a close affair between Cloud9 and eUnited. Austin "Cooper-" Abadir and his men took off on Inferno, where a close-natured 8-7 initial half was followed-up with an incredibly dominant offensive display, leading to a 16-8 victory.
Having lost their own map pick, Maikil "Golden" Selim and his troops had to work extra hard on Nuke to keep themselves in the series. This graft manifested itself in a solid defence, where a 9-6 lead was accrued, followed by a nail-biter of a second half that came down to the wire at 16-14, with Cloud9 extending their series' life. Culminating the day was Dust2, where, contrary to the previous two showings, Cloud9 looked the clear better team. An initial T showing of 8-7 suggested the game would be a close one, but once defensive positions were assumed by Cloud9, eight consecutive rounds were accrued, resulting in a convincing 16-7 victory for the ELEAGUE Major Boston champions.
Below is the schedule for the upcoming ESL Pro League Season 9 Group B matches: