Gambit through to IEM Katowice grand final over Spirit
Gambit have become the first team confirmed for Sunday’s best-of-five grand final at 15:00 , where they will play the winner of Liquid vs. Virtus.pro, after taking out Spirit in a two map semi-final on Overpass (16-11) and Inferno (16-13).
With this victory Gambit have become the first team to defeat Spirit in a month, breaking an eight match winning streak which included victories over BIG, G2, Heroic and Astralis, and it was none other than Gambit who last beat Spirit in the DreamHack Open January group stage before Nikolay "mir" Bityukov and company would go on to win the tournament.
Gambit, who have made the grand final through the lower bracket after an initial loss to Evil Geniuses in the first round of play set the pace against Spirit on their own pick, Overpass, a map they lost twice in the early stages of the tournament, to Evil Geniuses and Heroic, before going back to winning ways on it against Natus Vincere in the quarter-finals.
Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov and company won the first four rounds on the attacking side before Spirit were able to put up a winning defense, although Gambit didn't let up, taking an early 8-3 lead. Late in the half Boris "magixx" Vorobiev and Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov, who had low impact in the early rounds, had several multi-kill rounds to bring the half to a closer 6-9 before switching sides.
nafany and Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov locked down the A site in the second pistol round for Gambit to hit double digits, but Spirit struck back in the second round pistol buy with a successful fast play on A. Gambit hit back with a forcebuy of their own in a chaotic start to the second half, settling play and taking a 14-7 lead before another A forcebuy by Spirit that ended with Abdul "degster" Gasanov winning a 1vs2 clutch gave the attacking team a lifeline.
Gambit brought out the steamroller on Inferno, going up 4-0 on their rival’s map pick as Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov kept his team cruising ahead with a 1vs3 clutch. It wasn’t until the ninth round that Spirit were able to get into the game, but with sh1ro and Ax1Le firing on all cylinders Gambit kept plowing forward to take a massive 12-3 lead at the half.
Spirit started their defense with a win in the pistol round as degster took down three players with his USP, but a forcebuy play on the A site by Gambit worked out in the attacking team's favor and put Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev and company up against the ropes.
Spirit once again found themselves going up against several map points, although this time around they started to mount a serious comeback attempt, making it all the way to 11-15. Gambit crossed the line in the closing rounds of the map, however, and secured a 16-13 victory to proceed to the IEM Katowice grand final.
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|38 - 36||+2||80.3||1.08|
|33 - 35||-2||61.5||0.93|
|36 - 41||-5||63.7||0.92|
|27 - 40||-13||59.8||0.86|
|31 - 33||-2||57.8||0.85|