NAVI survive Nemiga scare; Virtus.pro overcome Spirit in WePlay! Clutch Island
Both matches of the day were thrillers, with Natus Vincere starting it off with a hard-fought victory over Nemiga. It was much needed win for Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and co., seeing their lack of Major-qualifying points following a group stage exit in ESL One: Road to Rio - CIS. Following that, Virtus.pro took down Spirit 2-1 after losing their own map pick, Dust2, with Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev topping the scoreboard with a 1.31 series rating. Nemiga and Spirit are not eliminated, however, as they will be fighting for their tournament lives in the lower bracket.
The Belarusian side Nemiga grabbed a strong lead early into their Terrorist side on Inferno, 11-1, before Denis "electronic" Sharipov helped his team recover with an ace, which saw Natus Vincere secure four before switching to the offense. s1mple led the way as they mounted a comeback as Ts, getting just two rounds away from equalizing at 13-11, but then their executes hit a brick wall three rounds in a row, seeing Nemiga claim the map.
s1mple's quiet CT side on Dust2 saw Natus Vincere struggle to establish a foothold in the first half of their map pick, seeing the back-and-forth edge into Nemiga's favor before the switch (8-7). Despite the Belarusian team's pistol round win, Natus Vincere remained competitive in the second half and the score was equalized, 11-11. From that point onward, however, Nemiga was better in late-round situations to reach match point, but their opponents held on to force overtime. After two sets of added rounds, Natus Vincere edged out the victory, pushing the series to the third map.
On Nuke, Natus Vincere started furiously, going up 8-0 as electronic stood out, before their run was stopped by Anton "speed4k" Titov's triple. Nemiga then won all but one round before the end of the half (9-6), but Natus Vincere's strong CT side saw them regain their confident lead (14-6). The game seemed all but over, but then the CIS powerhouse crumbled as Nemiga made the comeback to force overtime. It was all for nothing in the end, as Natus Vincere managed to steal away the victory, 19-16.
|Nemiga||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Anton 'speed4k' Titovspeed4k||86 - 59||+27||73.7||1.25|
|Igor 'lollipop21k' Solodkovlollipop21k||77 - 69||+8||75.9||1.15|
|Aleksandr 'mds' Rubetsmds||60 - 71||-11||69.5||0.96|
|Rassim 'Jyo' ValijevJyo||55 - 74||-19||66.9||0.90|
|Anton 'boX' BurkoboX||55 - 73||-18||70.3||0.89|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||78 - 69||+9||84.3||1.23|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||78 - 61||+17||79.7||1.19|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||72 - 59||+13||66.4||1.12|
|Ilya 'Perfecto' ZalutskiyPerfecto||58 - 66||-8||64.9||0.97|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||60 - 78||-18||71.4||0.96|
Virtus.pro and Spirit faced off on Dust2 first, where Spirit looked comfortable to start of their CT side. Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev's squad figured out their opponents' weaknesses in the second part of the half, edging back to 7-8, and the game was an open one from that point onward, with two teams neck-in-neck (11-11). Then, in the final strech, Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov and Artem "iDISBALANCE" Egorov combined for key kills to help Spirit close it out, 16-13.
After losing their map pick, Virtus.pro showed up strong on Mirage, establishing themselves on the CT side after some force-buy back and forth early on. Spirit managed to bounce back into the lead shortly, but the double AWP on Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis and Dzhami "Jame" Ali allowed them to secure an 8-7 for the half. With the YEKINDAR, Jame, and SANJI all in great form, Virtus.pro ran away with the second half, taking a decisive 16-9 victory.
Inferno followed, where Spirit took a 7-1 lead to start it off, but Virtus.pro managed to retain composure and make a comeback, finishing the T-side just one round behind. Spirit then won the second pistol, but a force-buy B stack from SANJI and co. allowed his team to take control of the half and win the map 16-10.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Sanjar 'SANJI' KulievSANJI||72 - 51||+21||89.9||1.30|
|Alexey 'qikert' Golubevqikert||59 - 48||+11||80.0||1.21|
|Mareks 'YEKINDAR' GaļinskisYEKINDAR||59 - 53||+6||88.3||1.19|
|Dzhami 'Jame' AliJame||45 - 45||0||55.9||0.95|
|Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN||42 - 49||-7||58.6||0.89|