mousesports to ICE Challenge semi-finals over Virtus.pro
mousesports started off their 2020 with a victory over MAD Lions, but they had to do it with an overtime in one of the two maps played as they greased their gears after the winter break. They have now secured a semi-final berth at the ICE Challenge, a tournament they are using as preparation ahead of their first big event of the season, IEM Katowice, with two out of two wins.
On the other side was Virtus.pro, who started the year struggling with a group stage exit at DreamHack Open Leipzig, and although they beat Heroic in two maps in their ICE Challenger opener, they still showed signs of strife and are showing a different version of the team that surprised everyone in 2019 reaching a Major final and winning a BLAST Pro Series.
Bagging Vertigo 16-9 without much pressure from Virtus.pro, mousesports were able to close the series out on their map pick, Train, although the Kazakh-majority side will not only be in contention during the ICE Challenge playoffs, but they will have one of the high seeds going into Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
Despite losing the first pistol round on the defending side of Vertigo, mousesports quickly turned it around by winning the forcebuy. Robin "ropz" Kool was unable to crystalize a 1vs3 post-plant clutch after killing the first two players on round 5 as Virtus.pro brought it within one. The brawl continued, but it was finally the European combine on the defense who were able to stabilize after ten rounds with a 7-3 lead. Unable to control ropz and Özgür "woxic" Eker’s aggressive plays, Virtus.pro started to flounder, ultimately bringing it around in the last few rounds of the half switch at 6-9.
Chris "chrisJ" de Jong got three kills in the second pistol round, including on a CT trying to defuse on the edge of a smoke, to keep mousesports well in the lead. Taking the first gun round, Finn "karrigan" Andersen and his men kept pushing towards the finish line, and although Virtus.pro managed to chain a few rounds together, a quad-kill by ropz including three kills in a 2vs3 afterplant to get on match point all but sealed the deal for map one to go in mouz’s favor.
Train started off with mousesports winning the pistol round on the attacking side, but three SSG08s on B from Virtus.pro put a damper on the anti-forcebuy and the CIS team was able to even out the scoreline. The two teams then brawled, but it was mouz who once again came out on top and took control early on as Virtus.pro struggled to put together strong buys on the CT side, eventually winning the harder side 8-7.
Virtus.pro evened it out with a fast B play in the second round and took the lead against the forcebuy. It looked like the CIS side could start to get on a roll by winning four out of the first five rounds, but mousesports were able to win a forcebuy and go on to tie it back up, 11-11, as the map started to hit its crucial rounds. Virtus.pro won a B execute forcebuy at 11-13, going on to tie it back up and force mousesports on a forcebuy and turn it around, 14-13. A critical three-kill round by karrigan in a 3vs5 tied it back up, 14-14, before closing it out in the last round, 16-14, to seal the deal.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Sanjar 'SANJI' KulievSANJI||41 - 42||-1||90.5||1.14|
|Dzhami 'Jame' AliJame||38 - 35||+3||62.1||0.99|
|Timur 'buster' Tulepovbuster||38 - 42||-4||77.3||0.92|
|Alexey 'qikert' Golubevqikert||31 - 39||-8||66.5||0.90|
|Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN||23 - 42||-19||56.9||0.71|