Vitality edge out NiP; Astralis take down Cloud9 in Katowice openers
NiP and Vitality opened their bout on Vertigo, the Swedes' map pick, where Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora spearheaded a 6-1 start on the offence for his team off the back of a pistol round quad kill. The two sides then traded two rounds apiece before a few fantastic Deagle shots swung some late momentum in the direction of the Frenchmen, who managed to recover a slow start to the match to chase a one-round deficit at the midway point.
It didn’t take long for Vitality to take control of the map in the second half as a triple kill from Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut on the pistol was followed up with numerous opening kills from Alex "ALEX" McMeekin to put the Frenchmen in the driver’s seat with a 12-9 scoreline. NiP wrestled back to level the score immediately after, however, a Richard "shox" Papillon 1v2 was enough to keep Vitality ahead as they went on to close out the map 16-12.
A swift double kill at the hands of Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson got NiP off to a 2-0 start on the CT side of Nuke, but a 1v3 clutch from ZywOo kicked off a period of consistency for Vitality, who went on to pick up six of the following seven rounds. With the Swedes lacking rounds on the favoured CT side, the group recomposed to find much-needed success on the defence, narrowing the score to 7-8 at halftime.
The map remained neck and neck once the two teams swapped sides, with three rounds apiece opening up the second half, but an ALEX triple kill in the 22nd round propelled Vitality into a commanding position, enabling the French squad to lock down the map and take the series 2-0.
|NiP||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|45 - 40||+5||92.5||1.23|
|41 - 40||+1||82.3||1.09|
|34 - 36||-2||65.9||0.90|
|26 - 41||-15||61.2||0.85|
|25 - 39||-14||57.7||0.76|
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|51 - 33||+18||102.2||1.43|
|45 - 34||+11||91.6||1.30|
|36 - 31||+5||65.0||1.07|
|35 - 36||-1||68.0||1.00|
|28 - 37||-9||66.6||0.86|
Cloud9 kicked off their Katowice campaign with a mammoth task ahead of them in the form of Astralis, and despite dropping the pistol early on, the North American-South African side settled in comfortably on the T side to earn a 4-1 start. However, proceedings rapidly dampened for Cloud9 as Astralis locked down a water-tight defence to overwhelmingly overrun Johnny "JT" Theodosiou and his troops, securing ten consecutive rounds to lead 11-4 at the halfway mark.
The Danish dominance did not let up moving forward as all Cloud9 could achieve on their defence was back-to-back rounds following a successful pistol force buy. As soon as Astralis reintroduced primary weapons to the map Cloud9 lost all sight of a comeback, with Nicolai "device" Reedtz leading the Danes to a convincing 16-7 score.
Up next the two sides headed into Train, Astralis’ map pick, where the Danes secured a trio of rounds instantly. With guns in hand, though, Cloud9 found their rhythm in the map to lock down seven-straight rounds on the defence, which included successive clutches from Ian "motm" Hardy and Ricky "floppy" Kemery. Despite Cloud9’s successes, the team’s economic situation was in tatters, enabling Astralis to narrow the score to 6-7. The final two rounds were traded, with an outstanding 1v4 clutch from floppy adding an eighth for Cloud9.
Little could separate Cloud9 and Astralis in the early stages of the second half as both teams had periods of prosperity, which saw the score level out at 12-12. However, the North American-South African side fell flat moving forward as their bank diminished, allowing Astralis to run them over to take the remaining rounds and secure the map 16-12.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|50 - 24||+26||88.3||1.57|
|49 - 24||+25||95.6||1.52|
|34 - 31||+3||83.0||1.18|
|31 - 27||+4||68.6||1.11|
|33 - 34||-1||78.2||1.07|