NRG, INTZ through to Americas Minor playoffs
Group A's winner series saw NRG tackle Sharks, kicking the series off on Inferno. The match-up favourites got off to a swimming start off the back of a successful T-side pistol. Triple kills from Tarik "tarik" Celik and Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz contributed to the team's 5-0 lead, but retaliation from Sharks came thick in the latter portion of the half. An AWP quad kill from Jhonatan "jnt" Silva served as the catalyst for the team's comeback, as the CTs gave up but two additional rounds, concluding the first half with an 8-7 lead.
A second pistol round victory, made possible by a USP-s triple kill from tarik, set the stone rolling for NRG once again. Despite a momentum upset in Sharks' first rifle round, the North American squad kept the pressure up, consistently able to shut down the offense throughout the early and middle segments of the half. Towards the later rounds, Sharks were able to close the round discrepancy, taking the first map to round 30, but faltered against NRG's weakened buy, conceding Inferno 14-16.
Nuke was next on the agenda for Group A's contestants, witnessing a strong CT-sided start from NRG. The North American squad secured the initial pistol round, and, in spite of their opponents' victory in their first rifle round, went on to consistently shut down the aggressors. A quad kill from Leonardo "leo_drk" Oliveira ensured Sharks' third round of the half, and after conceding an additional two, the Brazilian squad managed to soften the blow to a 6-9 deficit come half time.
NRG once more got the jump on the half through securing the second pistol round, but this time the North American roster was unable to sustain pressure on their opponents quite as well. Raphael "exit" Lacerda ensured Sharks' first round of the defence by dispatching three NRG members with the M4A4. The opportunity was not squandered by the Brazilians, as they went on to edge closer to their opponents with a 10-11 scoreline.
NRG denied the CTs an equaliser, instead exchanging blows, followed by three consecutive rounds that led to map and series point for stanislaw's crew. An incredible force buy victory in round 27 saw a 1v2 Scout clutch from jnt, and while it prolonged the duration of the map, it did not prevent the inevitable, as NRG secured a spot in the playoffs with a 16-12 series closure.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|48 - 37||+11||93.7||1.41|
|45 - 33||+12||91.3||1.34|
|49 - 33||+16||89.4||1.26|
|44 - 38||+6||81.6||1.17|
|26 - 33||-7||38.2||0.80|
|Sharks||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|46 - 42||+4||86.9||1.18|
|38 - 43||-5||69.1||0.94|
|38 - 38||0||64.9||0.92|
|28 - 44||-16||58.0||0.79|
|24 - 45||-21||59.6||0.69|
The second Brazilian match-up of the day saw INTZ take on Luminosity in Group B's winner series. Mirage was first on the agenda, seeing to a disappointing start for Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe and his men, who lost control of early proceedings immediately after winning their CT-side pistol round. Luminosity exploited the opening found, and after allowing a single round for their opponents, extended their round lead to 7-2. In the remaining rounds of the initial half, INTZ managed to soften their deficit by securing a total of four rounds, transferring to the offense on a 6-9 note.
Luminosity once more found success early on, this time on the defence. Lucas "steel" Lopes and his men landed four of the initial five rounds, but lacked the focus to consistently extend this dominant performance further into the half. Against the odds, INTZ consistently ran away with rounds, and despite their opponents sporting a six-round lead, they were able to not only equalise, but secure map point, thanks to an AWP ace from kNgV-. In spectacular fashion the Terrorists subsequently closed out the first map, landing a 16-14 comeback.
Train was a lop-sided affair from the get-go, as Gabriel "NEKIZ" Schenato commenced the map with a USP-s triple kill, ensuring an explosive start for Luminosity. The defence converted a further three rounds, halted by back-to-back triple kills from Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes and kNgV- in rounds four and five, respectively. Unfortunately for INTZ, these outstanding performances were the only pride of the initial half, as all remaining rounds fell in favour of Luminosity, who secured a dominant 13-2 finish.
A glimpse of hope was seen for INTZ in the form of the second pistol round, but it was crushed by a fired-up Ricardo "boltz" Prass on a pistol buy, who dismantled the defence with three frags, ruining any chance of a comeback. Three consecutive round victories for Luminosity meant a brisk 16-3 conclusion to the second map of the series.
Concluding Group B's winners' series was Overpass, where João "felps" Vasconcellos opened up with a statement of a play, dropping a pistol quad kill to kick off affairs. A further round was secured by the offense, with INTZ responding on their first full-buy, subsequently snatching the lead at 3-2. Wary of potential snowballing, Luminosity stopped their opponents from developing momentum, reassuming the lead with a significant margin at 7-3. Contrary to their performance on Train, the squad was unable to post as convincing a half, and only produced an additional round to INTZ's four.
Early success was seen for Luminosity on the defence, as an immediate leap to an 11-7 lead was witnessed. A spectacular 1v3 clutch from chelo secured INTZ their first round victory on the offense, but an absolute blunder followed immediately after, as the team lost to a single AWP and four USPs in round 19. The Terrorists shrugged the mistake off, proceeding to close the round discrepancy to 11-12. After playing catch-up with the defence, INTZ finally managed to square the scoreline at 14-14, forcing Luminosity into a risky force-buy. Consecutive force-buys for the defence spelled disaster, as Luminosity fell to another 14-16 comeback from INTZ, who move on to Friday's playoffs.
|INTZ||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|56 - 46||+10||82.5||1.21|
|52 - 48||+4||67.5||1.07|
|48 - 51||-3||60.6||0.90|
|40 - 54||-14||62.1||0.85|
|39 - 67||-28||63.9||0.76|