FURIA beat INTZ to book StarLadder Major spot
Six months later, FURIA are back at a Major. The Brazilian team went through peaks and troughs in Berlin, but as the series came to an end, there were no doubts about who the second-best team of the tournament was. They were by far the better team on Train and Mirage - only losing their own pick of Nuke - in a series where all eyes were on Yuri "yuurih" Santos, who continued his streak of hot performances with a 1.49 rating.
After losing to NRG and FURIA, INTZ will still have another shot at qualification through the Minor Play-In, in which they will face the third-placed sides from the other Minors. However, they will need to spend the next week working on their map pool, having played just four maps throughout this Minor.
The first map of this Brazilian derby, a rematch of one of Group B's opening games, witnessed a dominant start from FURIA, who raced to a 5-0 lead on the CT start of Train, their opponents' choice. The shouting contest between the two teams then began as INTZ started to get rounds on the board with a very slow style. FURIA never let their opponents get a jump on them and went into the break up 10-5, but it could have been a different story had INTZ not let a few key rounds slip away, including an anti-eco.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, FURIA further added to their lead with a solid pistol round, and followed that up with an anti-eco. A third-round buy from INTZ almost paid dividends before yuurih and Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato clutched a 2v4 situation in the inner site.
That round completely destroyed INTZ's economy and virtually killed their comeback hopes. FURIA, who, unlike their opponents, went for fast plays - sometimes executing in the first 15-20 seconds of rounds - kept the pace very high and locked down the map at 16-5 following a 1v2 yuurih clutch.
FURIA came out the livelier of the two sides on Nuke and strolled to a 4-1 lead on the Terrorist side. A quad kill by Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe with the AWP then turned the tide in INTZ's favor as the CTs kept a very tight defense for the remainder of the half to come out on top 8-7.
The second half began with INTZ winning the pistol round - their first of the series - and the following anti-ecos, bringing the scoreline to 11-7. The game threatened to spiral out of FURIA's control, but KSCERATO came to the team's rescue with three quick kills in the upper site.
FURIA took advantage of that momentum and chained a few rounds together, but just when it seemed that they were in control, Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes and kNgV- pulled off massive quad-kills to widen the gap between the two teams once again. The rest of the half was a scrappy affair, with INTZ preventing the overtime in the final round of regulation with another risky late call that caught the CTs off-guard.
A flawless T side pistol set INTZ up for a blazing hot start on Mirage and a 3-0 lead. But once FURIA had money in the bank, the landscape of the game changed completely, with Rinaldo "ableJ" Moda Junior racking up 21 frags as his team took a commanding 11-4 lead.
INTZ kept themselves in it with another strong early game, but just like in the first half, things fell apart once the game hit the gun rounds. FURIA took control of proceedings and strung five rounds together en route to a convincing 16-6 success.
|FURIA||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|66 - 38||+28||101.8||1.49|
|56 - 48||+8||85.6||1.29|
|64 - 48||+16||84.9||1.21|
|47 - 32||+15||73.9||1.17|
|39 - 41||-2||57.2||0.89|
|INTZ||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|51 - 50||+1||73.6||1.04|
|45 - 53||-8||70.5||0.93|
|42 - 53||-11||62.1||0.87|
|34 - 56||-22||58.9||0.76|
|35 - 60||-25||59.8||0.69|
FURIA bring the team count for the StarLadder Major's New Challenger Stage to eight as they join the winners of the Europe and the Americas Minors, mousesports and NRG respectively, and five teams coming from the IEM Katowice Major. This first stage will take place from August 23-26 at the Verti Music Hall, with tickets already on sale.
The team list for the initial stage of the Major currently looks as follows:
Americas Minor - StarLadder Major final standings: