Vitality secure final New Legends stage spot over Grayhound
The final 2-2 matchup of the New Challengers stage kicked off in style as Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut immediately made his presence on the server known, securing a USP ace at long A on Dust2 to give Vitality an early edge. ZywOo continued to frag out for his side to garner a 14-0 K-D six rounds into the map, while Alex "ALEX" McMeekin sat upon a 9-1 record of his own to help keep the Aussies at bay.
Two B site hits gave Grayhound their first inroads on the offense, but from there ALEX and the rest of Vitality stepped up to bat alongside their star, allowing the Frenchmen to swiftly move up to an 11-2 lead. An ace attempt towards the end of the half by Ollie "DickStacy" Tierney was denied by Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt in a 1vs1, leading to a dominant 13-2 scoreline for Vitality with ZywOo ending the half 21-3.
A pistol victory following the side swap gave Grayhound the chance to make the scoreline look more competitive, but the first gun round went the way of Vitality thanks to a triple kill round from ALEX. Erdenetsogt "erkaSt" Gantulga responded in kind in the ensuing round to grant his side an additional round, but an immediate B site hit saw Vitality reply back to take two final rounds for themselves to close out their opponent's map pick 16-5.
Grayhound seemed set to fare no better as Overpass got underway, with NBK- crushing the Australian side in the pistol round with a quad kill on the offense, setting Vitality up for a 3-0 lead. Once rifles were in their hands, however, Grayhound began to fight back as a number of multi-kills from Christopher "dexter" Nong led to a nine-round spree, granting Vitality no entry into either bombsite. Three kills by NBK- finally broke the streak to give the French their fourth round, but an immediate answer back from Liam "malta" Schembri once again left Vitality on the backfoot as Grayhound ended the half up 11-4.
ZywOo repeated his efforts from the start of Dust2 as he took firm control of a CT pistol round, finding four frags to swing momentum into the favour of Vitality. Although Grayhound edged out a victory in the first gun round, NBK- and company seemed to have stabilized as they won six rounds of their own to tie up the match at 12-12.
A renewed effort from Grayhound began a short back-and-forth battle between the two sides, leading to another tie at 14-14, with Grayhound claiming match point following a 1vs1 victory. One final long A execute sealed the deal for the the Australians, allowing them to edge out a 16-14 map win and force a series decider of Inferno.
Another early lead for Vitality saw the team take four rounds to start the map, but a diminished economy due to contention from Grayhound saw the Australians able to answer with three of their own as Vitality were reduced to pistols. A CZ triple kill on a half-buy by NBK- was what finally gave Vitality a chance to reply, with Dan "apEX" Madesclaire securing three of his own in the ensuing round to put Grayhound on an eco. NBK- continued lighting up the scoreboard for his side, helping to win seven of the remaining eight rounds to take an 11-4 lead at the half.
Grayhound put themselves in a position to fight back as the final pistol round of the series went their way, but Vitality were unwilling to relent and won a force-buy to gain control themselves. A triple kill with a MAG-7 by malta gave his side an opportunity to fight back, but ZywOo clutched a 1vs2 to keep control firmly in the favour of Vitality, allowing his team up to match point. One final comeback effort from the Aussies saw them garner five rounds to bring the scoreline to 15-10, but Vitality took the map over the line with one last round to close out the series 2-1.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|76 - 44||+32||103.5||1.57|
|67 - 48||+19||89.9||1.35|
|49 - 46||+3||68.9||1.10|
|42 - 48||-6||59.6||0.95|
|49 - 51||-2||72.5||0.94|
|Grayhound||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|60 - 57||+3||82.2||1.16|
|52 - 54||-2||68.3||0.89|
|48 - 58||-10||72.2||0.89|
|42 - 55||-13||63.7||0.82|
|35 - 60||-25||53.6||0.72|