100 Thieves pull off double comeback against Evil Geniuses; advance to ESL Pro League grand final
The lower-bracket run in ESL Pro League Season 12 North America continues for 100 Thieves, as after taking down Liquid on Friday, the squad defeated the highest-ranked team in the region, Evil Geniuses, 2-0.
A vintage performance from Justin "jks" Savage inspired the victory, as the 24-year-old dropped 30 kills on Dust2 and averaged a 1.50 series rating, but it was the composure to come back from 10-5 halves on both maps that was particularly impressive, as was Aaron "AZR" Ward's work in creating space for his team's star.
Going into the series, 100 Thieves were 0W-3L in matches played against Evil Geniuses since the addition of the North Americans former coach Chet "Chet" Singh, with their most recent encounter finishing as a convincing 2-0 for Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz's men. This time around, with different maps coming into play, 100 Thieves secured the victory and ensured a place in the BO5 grand final on Sunday, where they will face FURIA who start with a one-map advantage.
Pushing A on the pistol round worked out for Evil Geniuses, setting them up for a near-perfect 6-1 start on the T-side of Dust2. AZR's pistol-armor heroics in mid stopped the bleeding and pushed his team to 6-4, with the rest of the half being a brawl. jks and Tarik "tarik" Celik stood out with four multikill rounds for the half each, but it was Evil Geniuses that finished it confidently, 10-5.
100 Thieves faked out their opponents on the second-half pistol, securing the round easily and equalized the scorline after AZR's anti-eco ace. Slowly but surely, the Australians grabbed the momentum and with successfully coordinated splits, powered to a 15-10 lead. Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov and tarik combined for the North Americans to stay alive, but it was only a matter of time before the map was concluded as jks' earned his team's sixteenth, dropping a 30-bomb in the process.
Evil Geniuses looked strong on the T-side of their map pick to start things off on Inferno, with Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai being the catalyst of success for 100 Thieves. After the score was 6-4, stanislaw and co. caused issues for their opponents with good mid and late round calls, ending the half 10-5 ahead.
Just like on Dust2, 100 Thieves bounced back in the second half, winning the pistol and stamping down their authority in Banana fights. AZR was leading by example, finding openings and multikills as they edged towards victory (14-11), accompanies by Jay "Liazz" Tregillgas. As the end neared, Evil Geniuses secured two in a row with some impressive holds, but 100 Thieves got across the finish line with a a critical B push and a classy 1v2 clutch from jks in the final round, making it 16-13.
|Evil Geniuses||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||50 - 46||+4||84.5||1.09|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||35 - 34||+1||65.0||1.05|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||37 - 35||+2||62.2||0.99|
|Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguzstanislaw||29 - 40||-11||59.2||0.85|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||26 - 44||-18||63.8||0.77|