AVANGAR stun Vitality; advance to semi-finals in Berlin
AVANGAR have pulled off a shocking upset at the StarLadder Berlin Major, claiming a 2-1 victory over Vitality with wins on Mirage (16-9) and Dust2 (16-10) to earn a spot in the semi-finals against Renegades.
Double kills from Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt and Cédric "RpK" Guipouy saw Vitality open up the second quarter-final matchup of the StarLadder Berlin Major with a 2-0 lead on Mirage. An MP9 triple kill by Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev was what first got AVANGAR on the board, allowing the Kazakhstani side to take the lead from the Frenchmen thanks to an additional quad kill from SANJI and triple from Dzhami "Jame" Ali. A 1vs2 clutch by Dan "apEX" Madesclaire helped Vitality regain control, allowing them to fight back for a 7-5 scoreline. A half-buy from AVANGAR saw Alexey "qikert" Golubev grab himself two crucial frags, swinging momentum into AVANGAR's favour as the team took all three of the remaining rounds in the half to edge out an 8-7 lead.
Vitality quickly equalized as they also secured the second pistol round of the map, with Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut — who had been notably absent from the board in the first half — grabbing himself an MP9 quad kill in the ensuing round to give Vitality a one-round edge. However, once AVANGAR were on rifles, they remained a step ahead of their opposition for the remainder of the half as Jame led his side to a picture-perfect finish as they locked the French out of the map for a 16-9 victory.
SANJI's fragging form continued onto AVANGAR's pick of Inferno as the 21-year-old grabbed himself three kills to help net his side their first pistol round victory and a 2-0 start to the map. Only one round went the way of Vitality, courtesy of a pair of frags from ZywOo, with Timur "buster" Tulepov answering back with a triple kill of his own to push AVANGAR up to a 5-1 lead. NBK- and RpK combined with two kills apiece to grant Vitality their second round, but a double entry from SANJI kept AVANGAR ahead as they pushed Vitality's economy to the breaking point. Three crucial frags from Alex "ALEX" McMeekin was what began Vitality's resurgence, with ZywOo finding a quad kill of his own as the Frenchmen strung together seven consecutive rounds to keep AVANGAR at bay for a 9-6 lead.
Three kills from RpK were not enough for Vitality to grab another pistol victory, allowing for AVANGAR to close the gap to 9-8. In similar fashion to AVANGAR's second half showing on Mirage, Vitality had full control of the map on gun rounds, with ZywOo asserting his dominance as he pushed up banana for a triple kill to help Vitality grab five rounds in a row, putting them in touching distance of map point. AVANGAR began to fight back, but only three rounds went their way before back-to-back multi-kill rounds from apEX took Inferno over the line with a 16-11 win for Vitality.
An innovative boost to spot ALEX at car allowed for qikert to secure a quad kill, granting AVANGAR the lead as Dust2 got underway. A clean farm round by AVANGAR was replied to in kind by Vitality on their first gun round, but an answer back by the Kazakhstani side kept control in the hands of AVANGAR. A triple kill out of long by buster was rounded out with a final frag on NBK-, allowing the AVANGAR to push up to another 5-1 lead.
Much like on Inferno, a pair of frags from ALEX and ZywOo gave Vitality their second round, but Jame's AWP rung out to allow AVANGAR to answer back and go up 7-2. Another double kill from ZywOo helped Vitality add a third round to the board, but three back-to-back multi-kill rounds by Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev saw AVANGAR completely shut down Vitality, with buster securing three frags of his own in the 15th round to take a dominant 12-3 lead.
The situation took a grim turn for Vitality as three defensive frags from qikert seemed set to grant AVANGAR their fourth pistol round of the series, but ZywOo refused to concede as he found himself a 1vs3 ace clutch to pull the round back in Vitality's favour. The Frenchmen began to narrow the deficit as they brought the scoreline to 12-6, but Jame answered ZywOo's ace in the first round with an AWP ace of his own to push his side up to a 14-6 lead. A comeback effort by Vitality saw the Frenchmen run back four rounds to attain double digits, but AVANGAR remained resilient as they secured two final rounds to net a 16-10 victory and advance to the semi-finals.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu 'ZywOo' HerbautZywOo||60 - 47||+13||81.1||1.19|
|Dan 'apEX' MadesclaireapEX||50 - 55||-5||76.1||1.00|
|Alex 'ALEX' McMeekinALEX||55 - 59||-4||71.3||0.99|
|Cédric 'RpK' GuipouyRpK||40 - 53||-13||66.0||0.88|
|Nathan 'NBK-' SchmittNBK-||34 - 59||-25||49.8||0.65|