forZe take revenge on EG to round out EPICENTER group stage
forZe took their revenge after losing to Evil Geniuses in the opening match of the group, when the North American side fielded Igor "crush" Shevchenko instead of Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte, whose return in the rematch didn't have the desired effect despite the star ending the series as his team's highest-rated player.
With the victory, Bogdan "xsepower" Chernikov & co. have secured a favorable matchup in Heroic in the quarter-finals, putting Evil Geniuses up against Natus Vincere in a high-profile clash on the other side of the bracket.
Nuke kicked off the last series of the group stage and it began with the two teams going at it in a back-and-forth forcebuy war, until eventually Evil Geniuses came out on top to take control of the first half on the CT side, clinching a 9-3 lead spearheaded by Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov's AWPing outside.
Although forZe closed the first half with three in a row, they found themselves unable to compete against the North American team's offense, which went on an undefeated streak on the back of a pistol round win to claim a series lead at 16-6 before going over to their own pick, Mirage.
The difference was like night and day from the opening map, as the Russian squad were the ones to come out on top of the forcebuy battle in the early stages and with Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov picking up a couple of triples in a row, they started mounting a huge defensive half.
Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz's 1v2 clutch in the second-round forcebuy ended up being the only round the North American team could convert in the entire map, as forZe never let their foot off the gas even when their opponents switched up the pace with some fast tactics, equalizing the series with a 16-1 whitewash.
Things looked dire for Evil Geniuses when forZe strung six rounds together after a pistol round loss on the T side, but they were able to stabilize thanks to some individual heroics from CeRq and stanislaw to end the half with six to their name.
Nonetheless, with Almaz "almazer" Asadullin putting up a triple in the pistol round, the home team cruised to 14-7 and were relieved to be able to close out the big lead despite an earlier fumble against Virtus.pro, clinching the higher quarter-final seed from Group B at 16-10.
|Evil Geniuses||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||39 - 44||-5||66.9||1.02|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||44 - 43||+1||66.2||0.99|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||43 - 48||-5||71.8||0.94|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||35 - 49||-14||76.5||0.88|
|Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguzstanislaw||32 - 45||-13||59.2||0.72|
|forZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Andrey 'Jerry' MekhryakovJerry||58 - 35||+23||83.6||1.38|
|Bogdan 'xsepower' Chernikovxsepower||46 - 36||+10||73.2||1.25|
|Evgeny 'FL1T' LebedevFL1T||45 - 40||+5||77.6||1.11|
|Dmitriy 'facecrack' Alekseyevfacecrack||43 - 42||+1||71.4||1.08|
|Almaz 'almazer' Asadullinalmazer||37 - 40||-3||67.9||1.01|