North ascend to New Legends stage with narrow win over CR4ZY; Grayhound eliminate INTZ
North have joined mousesports as one of the first two teams to advance to the Legends stage following a 2-1 win over CR4ZY, while Grayhound saw to the elimination of INTZ with a 2-1 series victory of their own.
The second Legends stage advancement match saw North up against CR4ZY, with the series kicking off on Mirage. An early 2-0 lead for Nemanja "nexa" Isaković and company on the offense was quickly responded to by North, who gave CR4ZY no inroads towards either bombsite to take seven of the ensuing eight rounds and pull ahead 7-3. A quartet of rounds towards the end of the half kept things competitive for CR4ZY, with North edging out one of their own for a 8-7 scoreline as the sides swapped over.
Now on the CT-side, CR4ZY put up an impenetrable defense, powered primarily by a stellar individual performance by Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač. Contributions from Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas and Otto "ottoNd" Sihvo also helped CR4ZY secure a lockout in the second half, winning nine rounds straight to take their own map pick 16-8. huNter- ended the map at the top of the board, mustering a 1.75 rating courtesy of his 28-13 K-D and 107.2 ADR.
A quad kill in the pistol round by Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye helped the Danes bounce back as Inferno got underway, with North springboarding off of the victory to grant themselves a 4-0 lead. Three Deagle kills by ottoNd led to CR4ZY's first round win, but the team managed just one more round before they were responded to by Kjaerbye's side, with the 21-year-old aiding his team on the road to two more rounds for a 6-2 scoreline.
CR4ZY were unwilling to relent however, answering back by securing five of the next six rounds to fight back into the half, with North once again winning the final round on their T-side to narrowly edge out the lead 8-7.
The second half of Inferno seemed set to play out in identical fashion to the one on Mirage, with CR4ZY going on a six-round spree on the offense to grab a 13-8 scoreline. North fought back for two rounds of their own, but CR4ZY responded in kind to move up to match point. Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså and Kjaerbye refused to concede the map however, fighting back alongside their teammates to force overtime by winning five rounds in a row.
Despite a 3-0 start to overtime, North were unable to convert their lead into an immediate win as CR4ZY replied in kind for a second overtime. The two teams continued to fight, remaining at odds as individual heroics from huNter-, ottoNd, nexa, valde, and Kjaerbye resulted in a long back-and-forth that saw the match go into a fourth overtime. There, North finally stabilized, with Kjaerbye securing a triple kill in the second-to-last round to help his team edge out a hard-fought 28-26 victory.
Philip "aizy" Aistrup allowed for North to continue in their winning ways as he found four frags on the CT pistol of Train, with the Dane fragging out to help his side to a 7-1 lead. An ace from nexa gave CR4ZY their second round in the half, with the Serbian team converting the opening into a comeback effort in the half as they only lost one last round to keep the score close at 8-7.
An incredible grenade allowed for nexa to secure a triple kill in the second pistol round and immediately tie up the match, but a forcebuy from North in the following round saw the Danes regain control as aizy continued to stack up frags for himself. Three frags from huNter- gave CR4ZY their only round out of the next seven, with North sitting upon a 14-9 lead before the Serbian side stabilized. A valiant comeback effort by CR4ZY saw nexa and company rally back to claim match point first, but North snuck in one last round to force yet another overtime.
In identical fashion to Inferno, North opened up overtime with a flawless three round spree, but unlike the previous map, this time the Danes were able to convert their edge into a 19-15 victory to take home the series 2-1 and claim a spot in the New Legends stage.
|North||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|89 - 68||+21||86.8||1.22|
|80 - 72||+8||72.7||1.12|
|74 - 82||-8||78.4||1.05|
|73 - 72||+1||64.7||0.99|
|61 - 83||-22||60.3||0.89|
|CR4ZY||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|88 - 73||+15||87.9||1.23|
|93 - 74||+19||83.2||1.18|
|83 - 74||+9||71.9||1.06|
|65 - 80||-15||67.3||0.94|
|47 - 76||-29||50.3||0.73|
INTZ entered their elimination series against Grayhound looking to improve upon their performances from the first day of play, where they had managed just a single round combined in the first halves of their matchups against North and Vitality.
The Brazilians made good on an effort to improve as they won the first three rounds on the T-side of Train, but their lead was quickly left by the wayside as Grayhound refused to concede once they had rifles in their hands. Christopher "dexter" Nong and Liam "malta" Schembri combined to push their team up to an 11-4 lead, with INTZ managing just one final round following the side swap before the Australian side closed out their opponent's map pick 16-5.
INTZ once again took an early lead on the defensive side of Nuke, with Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe powering his side to a 5-1 start. Again, the team found themselves unable to maintain their lead for long, with Grayhound rallying back for six rounds of their own before INTZ were able to add two more to their tally. A final round in the half put Grayhound in a solid spot to close out the map as they swapped over to the favoured side of the map with a narrow 8-7 lead.
The two teams continued to keep the scoreline close as the second half got underway, trading rounds back-and-forth before INTZ finally put an end to the battle with a five-round streak to attain match point at 15-12. Grayhound made an effort to force overtime as they fought to put two more rounds on the board, but kNgV- and company won a final round for a 16-14 victory to force a deciding map.
A CT start for Grayhound saw the Australians take three rounds as an opening salvo, with INTZ replying in kind to immediately even the score. From there, the half was firmly in the control of Erdenetsogt "erkaSt" Gantulga's side, with INTZ only mustering a single round towards the end of the half for an 11-4 scoreline in the favour of the Australians.
A pistol round victory gave INTZ a chance to begin a comeback effort, with the team managing to trade back Grayhound's first gun round victory with one of their own to hold control of the economy despite a 7-12 deficit. Despite having control of the money, INTZ were unable to convert a 4vs2 in the ensuing round as the sound of dexter and Simon "Sico" Williams's Deagles rang out, allowing for Grayhound to regain their foothold and cruise to a 16-7 finish to eliminate INTZ from the New Challengers stage.
|Grayhound||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|61 - 39||+22||88.2||1.34|
|56 - 46||+10||73.2||1.13|
|50 - 52||-2||79.3||1.11|
|54 - 45||+9||73.2||1.04|
|41 - 45||-4||67.1||1.03|
|INTZ||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|63 - 52||+11||93.6||1.28|
|51 - 51||0||75.3||1.01|
|41 - 49||-8||67.6||0.92|
|40 - 53||-13||61.5||0.79|
|31 - 57||-26||44.4||0.68|