Virtus.pro upset OG; top spot in EPL Group C remains open
The squad that reached the StarLadder Major grand final has been on a path of steady decline since their Cinderella run in Berlin, falling from #3 in the world ranking to #20 where they sit at the moment. Virtus.pro recorded their last BO3 victory at the start of February (over Heroic at ICE Challenge) and have a 1W-14L map record since. They were also without a single map win in ESL Pro League S11 before the match against OG (ranked #15), who on the other hand have managed to take down TYLOO, mousesports, and G2, and were looking set to claim the top spot in the group by securing a victory over the struggling Kazakh side.
However, OG didn't put up a convincing performance on any map in the series, barely edging out Dust2 in overtime before being outclassed on Overpass by Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev's team. Inferno followed, where Virtus.pro put up a strong T-side and won a crucial round at 13-13 which swung things their way. With OG unable to claim the victory today, their destiny in Pro League depends on the result of their match against FaZe.
The two sides took to Dust2 first, where Issa "ISSAA" Murad was inspired on the CT side, claiming multikills in the first three rounds and pushing his side to 7-2 lead. Timur "buster" Tulepov resolved a 2v2 to secure Virtus.pro their third and start the Kazakh side's comeback as they grabbed seven before half-time.
After losing the pistol, Dzhami "Jame" Ali and co. were close to bouncing back with a force buy, but OG barely edged it out to keep ahead. Virtus.pro still fought back on the gun rounds and eventually forced overtime, but ISSAA and Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt stepped up in the added rounds to claim Dust2 19-17.
Virtus.pro were off to a hot start on their map pick, Overpass, with a B hit working for them on the pistol. AdreN's entries pushed them to a 5-2 lead and saw them stabilize on the offense despite Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså's clutch and a full-eco win by OG. The score was 7-2 before Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski's double got his side back on track, minimizing the deficit to 8-7 before the switch.
buster and Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev combined for all five kills on the CT pistol and their team recovered from entry deaths round after round, seeing Virtus.pro extend their lead to 14-7. With three multikills rounds in a row, including a 1v3 ace clutch, ISSAA was the hero for OG as they kept alive (14-10), but Virtus.pro eventually closed out Overpass 16-10, their second map victory from the last seventeen played.
The pistol round and an eco win early on weren't enough for OG to build a strong lead on the defensive side of CT, as Virtus.pro were able to enter the B bombsite time after time to secure a lead at round 11, 6-5. OG were unsuccessful in their attempt to claim Banana control in the following round, which resulted in Virtus.pro extending their lead even further, reaching 9-6 before the switch.
An eco round going their way following a pistol round loss saw Virtus.pro edge forward to 12, but OG didn't throw in the towel. ISSAA was leading the fragging for his side as they mounted the comeback and equalized the scoreline at 13-13, with both teams having almost nothing in the bank. Virtus.pro locked down the B approach and then shut down two compromised buys in a row to secure the series win, 2-1.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Dzhami 'Jame' AliJame||75 - 51||+24||83.1||1.25|
|Timur 'buster' Tulepovbuster||68 - 56||+12||75.2||1.14|
|Alexey 'qikert' Golubevqikert||58 - 56||+2||73.5||1.07|
|Sanjar 'SANJI' KulievSANJI||54 - 65||-11||69.1||0.94|
|Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN||46 - 52||-6||55.8||0.90|
|OG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Issa 'ISSAA' MuradISSAA||78 - 55||+23||90.4||1.33|
|Mateusz 'mantuu' Wilczewskimantuu||58 - 51||+7||63.7||0.98|
|Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangsåvalde||49 - 57||-8||60.1||0.93|
|Nathan 'NBK-' SchmittNBK-||56 - 68||-12||77.6||0.91|
|Aleksi 'Aleksib' VirolainenAleksib||39 - 70||-31||57.5||0.68|