Virtus.pro move on in EPL playoffs after stunning comeback win vs. ENCE
The CIS giants roared back from a 3-15 deficit on the final map to secure an impressive victory.
Virtus.pro are through to the second round of the playoffs in ESL Pro League Season 13 following a three-map thriller against ENCE. The current world No.4 took the lead in the series with a dominant victory on Inferno but looked disjointed on the following two maps, where they lacked incisiveness and the creative spark that is usually provided by Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis.
The CIS giants looked lost and totally out of ideas after a 3-23 run, but they managed to pull off a miraculous comeback that is bound sting for a while for ENCE's players after they came so close to an upset. The victory comes as a much-needed boost for Virtus.pro, who have looked shaky in this tournament, but they will need to sharpen their act in order to survive their next match, which will pit them against the winner of Natus Vincere vs. Complexity.
Virtus.pro got off to a flying start on Inferno, their strongest map in recent times (only one loss in the previous ten games), taking the game to their opponents from the offset. Apart from a brief period in which they were able to go toe-to-toe with their opponents, ENCE simply could not sustain the pressure as Virtus.pro raced to a 10-5 lead. The onslaught continued in the second half as ENCE offered little resistance, posting only one round, courtesy of a quad-kill from Paweł "dycha" Dycha, before the game came to a close.
ENCE came out on Train looking a different side, strolling to a 4-0 lead following a dominant period in which they gave up just two frags. Their grip on the game loosened after that, with the half ending with a difference of just one round between the two teams as Virtus.pro capitalised on errors to claw their way back into the game. ENCE composed themselves during the break, however, and put in a flawless defensive performance in the second half to take the series to a third map.
ENCE picked up where they left off and ran rampant from the opening stages on Dust2. Virtus.pro were limited to just three rounds in the first half after looking toothless on the T side, and they watched ENCE hit match point off the back of a clutch from Joonas "doto" Forss in the pistol round. All hope appeared to be lost for the CIS giants, but they tightened up and immediately took the upper hand, winning 12 rounds without response to force overtime.
With momentum now firmly with them, Virtus.pro took control of proceedings and reached series point with a round left to play. ENCE still attempted to respond, only to fumble again in the last second as they wasted a 4v2 advantage against Alexey "Qikert" Golubev and Dzhami "Jame" Ali in a bizarre ending to a chaotic contest.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|64 - 44||+20||94.1||1.35|
|52 - 44||+8||61.3||1.03|
|53 - 51||+2||73.2||1.03|
|53 - 58||-5||72.6||0.99|
|40 - 47||-7||59.3||0.83|