INTZ qualify for ESL Pro League Season 11 Americas
The two teams had previously met in the upper bracket final of the ESEA MDL Season 32 playoffs, where Pujan "FNS" Mehta's side had emerged victorious with a 2-0 series win to earn themselves a 1-0 map advantage heading into the best-of-five LAN Grand Final.
That edge was swept away early into the series as INTZ claimed a narrow win on their opening map pick, Mirage, with the Brazilian side controlling much of the first half of the map thanks to a number of eco round victories to take a 9-6 lead. A dismal showing from Gustavo "yel" Knittel allowed Riot Squad to find entries onto bombsites following the side swap, but INTZ continued to remain competitive as Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes and Alexandre "xand" Zizi helped their team to fight back and keep things even at 14-14. A crucial AWP triple kill from yel in INTZ's time of need put the Brazilians on match point, allowing them to narrowly take the map 16-14 and even the series score at 1-1.
The onset of Inferno saw a similar story unfold as INTZ took initial control of the proceedings, running up an early lead. Riot Squad began to stabilize by putting up rounds of their own, but much like on Mirage, critical round losses to INTZ's pistols gave Ricardo "boltz" Prass and company the opening to take a one-round edge at halftime. INTZ put themselves in position to pull ahead in the series as they won four rounds off the break, giving them a 12-7 lead, but Riot Squad found their footing as they battled into overtime, where they took a 19-16 win to put themselves just one map away from a spot in ESL Pro League.
Although INTZ kicked off Train with a set of three rounds on the offense, Mitch "mitch" Semago helped Riot Squad to rally back, allowing the American side to double the score of their opposition for a 6-3 scoreline. A late resurgence from INTZ gave the Brazilians a fighting chance on the map, but it was Riot Squad who earned their first halftime lead of the series, albeit by a single round. The two teams remained locked in a back-and-forth brawl in the second half, resulting in another overtime, where INTZ prevailed 19-17 to push the series to Nuke.
The final map of the series saw a stark departure to the narrow margins of the first three as INTZ put up a solid defense, holding Riot Squad at bay for the majority of the first half to grant themselves an 11-4 lead. A ramp rush from INTZ sealed Riot Squad's fate, allowing the Brazilians to run rampant as they closed out the series with a 16-4 map victory to make their return to ESL Pro League after finding themselves relegated at the end of Season 9.
|Riot Squad||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|90 - 80||+10||90.3||1.19|
|76 - 80||-4||71.2||1.09|
|74 - 75||-1||59.1||0.96|
|75 - 89||-14||71.5||0.90|
|69 - 89||-20||66.0||0.87|
|INTZ||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|95 - 85||+10||87.4||1.19|
|91 - 79||+12||78.8||1.12|
|87 - 76||+11||75.2||1.11|
|75 - 77||-2||78.7||1.06|
|65 - 67||-2||55.4||0.95|
Both teams will look to close out the year strong as they compete in the ESEA MDL Global Challenge this weekend, with the lion's share of $75,000 on offer to the victor. Not all hope is lost for Riot Squad either, as the team will have another opportunity to qualify for ESL Pro League through Relegation on a yet-to-be-announced date.
The team list for ESL Pro League Season 11 Americas now looks as follows: