FaZe edge out EG to complete IEM playoffs bracket
After meeting in the opening round of the group stage, FaZe and Evil Geniuses were set to clash again for the second spot in Group B, with the European side once again picking Nuke to start the series, which had turned out successfully for them the first time around.
A scrappy, fast-paced start of the match saw Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz's team get off to the better start on the defense despite losing the pistol round, a 3v1 situation to Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, and a 5v3, as some key breaking points including a forcebuy win and clutches from Ethan "Ethan" Arnold and Tarik "tarik" Celik allowed them to amass an 8-3 lead.
Another 1v3 from Nikola "NiKo" Kovač swung the late stages of the first half in favor of FaZe, who went over to the second half with six rounds to their name and soon found themselves in the lead on the back of a fruitful start on their own defense. A halfbuy win and Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte and Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov's 2v5 leveled the score as neither team looked in control until it was 12-12, when FaZe put their foot down with a four-round streak to secure a series lead.
Inferno began with the first three rounds going back and forth, with Evil Geniuses coming out on top of the forcebuy shenanigans to go up 5-1. FaZe responded with an eco round victory in the seventh round, courtesy of NiKo's spectacular quad-kill, and went on to equalize the scoreline at 6-6 before Ethan's ace swung the rest of the half in the North American team's favor.
EG extended their lead to five with a second pistol round win, but once Marcelo "coldzera" David's side got a hold of weaponry, they closed the gap to just one. As the map reached the late stages, the two teams started to trade rounds back and forth, with FaZe looking like slight favorites once olofmeister clutched two 1v2s to reach 14 rounds and put their opponents on a low buy. However, a win with just pistols swayed the momentum and Evil Geniuses held on to the series with a 16-14 triumph.
Dust2 was left as the decider and it started out streaky, with Evil Geniuses' great 5-0 start answered by a three-round run by FaZe's double AWP setup on the CT side. The remainder of the half was mostly in Chet "ImAPet" Singh's team's control, who managed to clinch five out of the last seven rounds for a comfortable 10-5 half.
Helvijs "broky" Saukants and NiKo combined for five in the second pistol round, while olofmeister saved the antiforce with a 1v2 clutch. That allowing FaZe to open the second half with a dominant run that ended at seven in a row, as Evil Geniuses finally got on the board and retook the lead after CeRq saved a scary 1v4 attempt from the Latvian. Neither team could finish off the job in regulation from there on, as the deciding map went to overtime. There, FaZe picked up a convincing couple of rounds on each side on the back of multikills from Håvard "rain" Nygaard, coldzera, and olofmeister, emerging victorious from the nail-biting finish at 19-16.
|Evil Geniuses||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||63 - 56||+7||74.2||1.09|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||65 - 66||-1||70.4||1.02|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||52 - 67||-15||66.4||0.91|
|Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguzstanislaw||54 - 63||-9||63.7||0.87|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||49 - 67||-18||63.7||0.85|
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||77 - 59||+18||88.2||1.27|
|Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjerolofmeister||67 - 51||+16||73.3||1.21|
|Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera||59 - 55||+4||80.9||1.11|
|Helvijs 'broky' Saukantsbroky||55 - 56||-1||62.6||0.99|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||60 - 63||-3||70.7||0.98|
With FaZe clinching the final spot in the playoffs, the semi-final pairings look as follows: