Heroic outshine Natus Vincere to secure last ESL Pro League S9 Finals EU slot
The series commenced on Vertigo, where Heroic's newcomer, Niels-Christian "NaToSaphiX" Sillassen, opened up affairs with a post-plant 1v2 pistol clutch on the CT side. Natus Vincere managed an upset off the back of a second-round force buy, creating space for a 4-1 lead to be developed. After exchanging a round apiece, the Danes stabilised their finances, subsequently going on to string together eight consecutive rounds to a dominant 10-5 lead.
The Danish onslaught persisted on the offense, as a consecutive pistol round victory was followed up with four back-to-back rounds, placing Heroic on map point. Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and his men managed to keep afloat a while longer on the defence, but after accruing four rounds the discrepancy came to haunt the CIS squad, as Heroic concluded their map pick with a 16-9 score.
Mirage followed, where the Danes snowballed prior momentum into early success having once more commenced on the defence. The initial five rounds went in the way of Heroic, followed by retaliation from Natus Vincere in the form of three consecutive round victories. Post-conclusion of the mid-half brawl, the CIS squad managed to prevent their T side deficit from worsening, softening the blow at 7-8.
Having demonstrated a Terrorist performance that kept the outcome of the map suspended, Natus Vincere took to the defence in looks to close out. A successful pistol followed up by an anti-eco 4k for Egor "flamie" Vasilyev painted an accurate picture for things to come. On all but three occasions the CIS squad were able to fend off the aggressors, securing a respectable 16-11 finish, thus extending their series life to map three.
The concluding map of the series, Overpass, saw Natus Vincere kick off to a fruitful T start, sweetened by a pistol triple kill from flamie. The aggressors kept the ball rolling, stunted in two of the ensuing five rounds, securing an early 6-2 lead. At the mid-half point, Heroic developed financial footing, producing some success, but were subsequently reset off the back of an outstanding AWP ace from Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who propelled his team to a 9-6 half.
Having transferred to the offense, Heroic walk away with the first two rounds, subsequently conceding the momentum to s1mple, who once more stepped up for Natus Vincere with an AWP triple kill. A weak economy on part of the Ts meant the CIS squad were able to further their score, securing three consecutive rounds. The Danes gave Natus Vincere a taste of their own medicine, and after the CIS representatives sustained a reset of their own, Heroic managed to equalise the scoreline at 12-12. The remaining six rounds witnessed a bloodbath, in which Heroic emerged on top, securing the final ESL Pro League Season 9 European slot off the back of a 16-14 conclusion to Overpass.
|Heroic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Benjamin 'blameF' BremerblameF||53 - 51||+2||77.8||1.07|
|Patrick 'es3tag' Hansenes3tag||52 - 56||-4||73.9||1.02|
|Martin 'stavn' Lundstavn||50 - 54||-4||70.4||1.01|
|Adam 'friberg' Fribergfriberg||55 - 59||-4||72.1||0.96|
|Niels-Christian 'NaToSaphiX' SillassenNaToSaphiX||43 - 54||-11||53.0||0.81|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||82 - 42||+40||93.7||1.53|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||55 - 46||+9||70.5||1.08|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||56 - 54||+2||72.6||1.05|
|Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus||46 - 54||-8||72.8||1.01|
|Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward||34 - 58||-24||53.7||0.75|
The ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals team list now looks as follows: