ENCE beat Renegades; Heroic stun Vitality at IEM Chicago
The second pair of matches in Chicago kicked off with a two-map series between ENCE and Renegades, two teams seeking redemption after cutting a frustrating figure at their previous event, ESL One Cologne. The Australian team's round wins in the first half of Inferno, their own map pick, were few and far between as their offense was simply inconsequential, resulting in a 10-5 lead for ENCE at the break.
Renegades kept their comeback hopes alive after winning the pistol round and the subsequent anti-eco, but their recovery was short-lived: ENCE assumed the driving seat again once they had guns in hand and won six rounds in a row to lock down the first map of the series.
The Australian team looked livelier on the next map, Train, as they secured a 9-6 lead on the CT side after preventing their opponents from stringing rounds together for the majority of the half. Justin "jks" Savage was in stunning form throughout the map, but it was not enough to force a decider map as ENCE secured the win in the final round of regulation to advance to the group's upper bracket final.
|Renegades||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|51 - 34||+17||105.5||1.46|
|30 - 39||-9||71.9||0.89|
|29 - 40||-11||64.9||0.86|
|25 - 37||-12||54.5||0.79|
|24 - 36||-12||51.0||0.72|
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|42 - 29||+13||80.7||1.21|
|35 - 29||+6||83.5||1.20|
|39 - 34||+5||76.6||1.20|
|37 - 31||+6||81.3||1.17|
|33 - 36||-3||63.7||0.97|
Meanwhile, Vitality and Heroic faced off in a rematch of the recent ESL One Cologne group stage series between the two teams, which the French side had won in two very close maps. The match kicked off on Overpass, one of Vitality's strongest maps, with Alex "ALEX" McMeekin's troops dominating proceedings throughout the majority of the first half, taking a commanding 10-5 lead following some great individual rounds, including an ace from Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt and some multi-kills by star player Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, Vitality picked up where they had left off and hit 14 rounds without even breaking a sweat. It looked like the French giants had the game in the bag, but then the unthinkable happened. Inspired by a vintage performance from Adam "friberg" Friberg - who got the most kills he had ever had on LAN in regulation since August 2013 -, Heroic completed a miraculous comeback by winning 11 rounds in a row, exacting revenge on the French side for the ESL One Cologne defeat on this map.
Next up was Nuke, where Heroic rallied back immediately after losing the pistol round and carved out a four-round lead on the CT side. Vitality put together a string of rounds of their own to bring the deficit to a solitary round, but Heroic dominated the final stages of the half and hit double digits with some outstanding plays by Martin "stavn" Lund.
The 17-year-old carried that form into the second half and inspired his team to reach match point at 15-7 after a somewhat slow start to their Terrorist side. Vitality looked well off the pace, and even ZywOo was a far cry from his usual self, forcing NBK- to do most of the fragging. The French team still got two more rounds on the board, but it was simply too little, too late, as the Danes put the series to rest in the 25th round to seal a convincing victory.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|47 - 47||0||98.1||1.18|
|34 - 37||-3||63.1||0.91|
|29 - 45||-16||64.4||0.83|
|31 - 41||-10||61.3||0.78|
|25 - 44||-19||49.5||0.62|
|Heroic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|52 - 34||+18||92.7||1.43|
|47 - 31||+16||85.5||1.31|
|39 - 32||+7||74.7||1.21|
|35 - 31||+4||75.9||1.17|
|41 - 38||+3||76.5||1.16|