Vitality edge past NiP in triple overtime series to reach ESL One: Road to Rio lower final
Following their thriller series against FaZe yesterday, NIP once more found themselves battling it out in a long-lasting best-of-three, with the Swedish squad taken to their limits by Vitality as all maps played concluded in overtime. After fighting back from a loss on Mirage, Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson and co. notched a win on their map pick of Overpass, but it was the Frenchmen who recorded the series win after closing out a nail-biting decider on Inferno.
The second round of the lower bracket kicked off on Mirage, the pick of Vitality, where the Frenchmen opened up the series with the pistol on the Terrorist side. NIP replied immediately in the next to string together three rounds before the two teams traded a round apiece. Vitality enjoyed a short period of success on the offence to take a 7-4 lead until NIP locked down the majority of the final rounds to head into the midway point trailing by one.
Vitality extended their advantage to 10-7 off the back of a Kévin "misutaaa" Rabier's 1v1 clutch on the pistol, but it was NIP who took control of proceedings after getting guns in hand. Five in a row put the Swedes ahead before an impactful Richard "shox" Papillon quad kill turned the map around once again, with a double AWP setup proving pivotal on the defence for the French side. At 12-14, NIP finally found an answer as they strung together three successive rounds to get in touching distance of a map one win, but Vitality forced overtime.
NIP looked primed to win out overtime after a showing of brilliance from Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora and Tim "nawwk" Jonasson to turn a 2v4 situation around, however, a shox 1v2 clutch spelt the beginning of the end for the Swedes, with a 19-16 scoreline soon materialising.
On Overpass, Lekr0 propelled his team to an early 4-0 lead on the T side with two multi-kills before a series of regimented rounds from Vitality levelled the score. However, NIP overwhelmed the Frenchmen moving forward, winning six of the final seven rounds of the half to head into the break with an imposing 10-5 advantage.
The Swedish squad rapidly hit a 13-8 scoreline in the early stages of the second half, but Vitality tightened up their executes and trading to go on a six-round streak. Dan "apEX" Madesclaire’s troops edged towards a 2-0 win following two crisp triple kill rounds from shox and Cédric "RpK" Guipouy, however, Fredrik "REZ" Sterner forced yet another overtime with a last-second defuse in the final round.
Inferno played host to the decider, where Vitality stormed their way to a commanding 9-3 lead on the Terrorist side despite losing a man early in the majority of rounds. NIP managed to scrape together two more rounds on the defence before swapping sides to chase a 5-10 deficit at the halfway mark.
Vitality built on their first-half lead swiftly on the defence with three rounds before NIP replied in kind with a trio of rounds of their own to narrow the score difference to 9-13. A back and forth ensued after a Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut triple kill, with the French squad soon finding a 15-11 advantage. However, NIP refused to let the series slip away from them and battled back to force overtime, winning a 3v5 in the final round.
Seemingly pushed to their limits, Vitality somehow hit a higher gear to barely pull ahead in overtime, managing to close out the map 19-17, and the series 2-1, to progress to the lower bracket final.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|79 - 64||+15||77.4||1.20|
|80 - 64||+16||75.3||1.13|
|69 - 76||-7||82.1||1.03|
|61 - 73||-12||63.5||0.95|
|58 - 77||-19||62.8||0.90|