Liquid top Group A over G2 in Chicago; MIBR eliminate Envy
Liquid have secured themselves a spot in the IEM Chicago playoffs following a 2-1 victory over G2 (13-16 Dust2, 16-13 Overpass, 16-9 Inferno). Subsequently, MIBR sent Envy packing with a 2-1 victory of their own (11-16 Inferno, 16-9 Mirage, 19-15 Train).
The final round of matches on day one at IEM Chicago began with Liquid facing off against G2 in the Group A winners match, with the Frenchmen seeking revenge for their loss to the North Americans in the grand finals of ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals.
A pistol round victory for G2 got them on the board early, but the ensuing anti-force buy quickly went the way of Liquid to allow Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski's side up to a 6-1 lead. A retake secured G2 their second round of the map, but a quick reply from Liquid saw the team get the bomb down in a 5vs5 to convert the round in their favour.
Despite the setback, G2 continued to fight back, with Audric "JaCkz" Jug picking up four kills to help his team narrow the deficit to a 7-5 scoreline. Keith "NAF" Markovic replied in kind with a four-kill round of his own to help his team work their way up to a 9-5 lead, although G2 managed to steal away the final round of the half in a 3vs5 thanks to yet another quad-kill round by François "AmaNEk" Delaunay with the Scout.
Liquid's good form continued into the second half with a pistol round victory, which Nick "nitr0" Cannella followed up with an MP9 ace against the ecoing G2 players; however, the North American team's 11-6 lead was quickly left by the wayside as a stellar performance on the offense allowed for G2 to bounce back, giving up just two rounds on the road to a 16-13 first map victory.
EliGE opened up Liquid's pick of Overpass with three kills in the pistol round, allowing for his team to work their way up to a 4-0 lead. Kenny "kennyS" Schrub and JaCkz put a halt to the streak as G2 replied with six rounds of their own, but it was Liquid who once again remained ahead 9-6 at the half.
G2 tied up the match off the back of a pistol victory following the side swap, with NAF helping Liquid briefly remain ahead with a 4k before the Frenchmen added another two to their tally to take the lead. A slow anti-eco proved to be G2's downfall as Liquid got back on the board off the back of pistols, allowing Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and company to swing momentum back in their favour as they gave up just two final rounds on the road to a 16-13 finish.
Inferno began much the same as the previous two maps as Liquid took a lead at the start, but it was here that the North American team put on a clinic to show why they are currently ranked as the best team in the world. A stellar performance from Stewie2K in particular allowed for the North American side to completely dismantle G2's defense, winning twelve rounds straight before an AWP 3k by kennyS finally gave the Frenchmen their first round.
A trade of rounds at the end of the half put G2 at two rounds as the sides swapped over, seemingly sealing their fate, but a nine round streak that saw Richard "shox" Papillon secure a 1vs3 clutch allowed for G2 to reduce the deficit considerably before Liquid posted their first of the half. Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken finally sealed the deal with a 3k in the final round, allowing for his team to close out the map 16-9.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||63 - 50||+13||82.8||1.22|
|Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF||53 - 49||+4||78.4||1.16|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||56 - 53||+3||80.3||1.16|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz||46 - 54||-8||62.0||0.94|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0||48 - 50||-2||56.3||0.93|
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Kenny 'kennyS' SchrubkennyS||60 - 49||+11||73.9||1.18|
|Richard 'shox' Papillonshox||58 - 47||+11||70.7||1.15|
|Audric 'JaCkz' JugJaCkz||48 - 60||-12||71.9||0.96|
|François 'AmaNEk' DelaunayAmaNEk||45 - 53||-8||67.3||0.94|
|Lucas 'Lucky' ChastangLucky||44 - 57||-13||64.4||0.82|
Simultaneously, a battle of coaches went down in the elimination matchup, with Zachary "Eley" Stauffer filling in for Noah "Nifty" Francis in a last-minute swap due to the player feeling too sick to play. A 1vs2 clutch by Epitacio "TACO" de Melo helped MIBR secure the pistol round as the series got underway on Envy's map pick of Inferno, but an immediate reply allowed for Bradley "ANDROID" Fodor & co. to bounce back and take control.
Although a number of situations went down to the wire between the two sides, it was Eley who proved to be the superior stand-in as he helped Envy secure eleven of the next twelve rounds, with MIBR edging out the final two rounds of the half to trail 4-11. Eley ended the half at the top of the board for his team, putting up 16 kills and averaging 106 damage per round to give Envy a considerable lead as they swapped to their CT-side.
The Brazilians looked to turn the tides as they looked revitalized on the offense following the side swap, managing a five round streak to narrow the deficit to 9-12. Three kills on the AWP by Sam "s0m" Oh gave Envy their first round in the half, with Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek securing four of his own with the sniper rifle in the ensuing round to help Envy on their way to a 13-9 scoreline. An eco round victory gave MIBR some life as they looked to fight back, but triple kills by ANDROID and Eley saw Envy seal the deal with a 16-11 win on the first map.
A triple kill by Sonic kept Envy in control as MIBR's pick of Mirage got underway, but once the Brazilian side were on rifles, the momentum quickly shifted in their favour. Six rounds went the way of MIBR before individual heroics by Sonic and Jacob "FugLy" Medina gave their side three additional rounds, but it was MIBR who remained ahead at the half by 9-6.
TACO ensured a pistol round victory for his side as he opened MIBR's defensive half with four kills, helping the team work their way up to a 11-6 lead. Envy won two rounds of their own, only narrowly stealing away a round against a force-buy from MIBR thanks to a 4k by Sonic, but a Deagle 4k by TACO while his team was saving allowed for MIBR to regain control and take the map 16-9.
The deciding map of Train saw MIBR open up their offensive side with a pistol round victory, but Envy were able to immediately answer back as the sound of s0m's Deagle rung out for three kills. The 17-year-old continued to put up numbers for his side as Envy won eight in a row, with MIBR finally putting a halt to the streak to put their second round on the board.
A 1vs4 AWP clutch by Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo allowed for MIBR to avoid the reset and push up to five rounds, but that was all they mustered in the first half as Envy remained ahead by 10-5. An additional three rounds went Envy's way as s0m continued to rack up kills, but Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and FalleN rose up to meet him to help their team to a nine round streak and steal away the lead at 14-13. A 1vs2 clutch by s0m saw Envy work their way up to match point first, but a 3k from FalleN pushed the map into overtime, where the Brazilian side reigned supreme to close out the map 19-15.
|Envy||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Sam 's0m' Ohs0m||73 - 57||+16||84.1||1.21|
|Aran 'Sonic' GroesbeekSonic||61 - 56||+5||68.7||1.03|
|Bradley 'ANDROID' FodorANDROID||53 - 53||0||71.8||0.98|
|Jacob 'FugLy' MedinaFugLy||50 - 66||-16||71.0||0.94|
|Zachary 'Eley' StaufferEley||47 - 69||-22||56.8||0.78|