Virtus.pro qualify for Katowice playoffs; Gambit see off CPH Flames
Virtus.pro will take on Heroic for a spot in the semi-final, while Gambit and Vitality face off for their tournament lives in the lower bracket.
Virtus.pro have become the second team to secure a playoff berth at IEM Katowice after they claimed victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas in a three-map series, securing the Overpass opener 16-12 before dropping their own Vertigo pick and needing a win on the Ancient decider to take things over the line. Dzhami "Jame" Ali's side will next take on Heroic to determine which team will advance directly to the semi-final, while Ninjas in Pyjamas will fend for their tournament lives in the lower bracket against MOUZ.
Meanwhile, Gambit made up for their opening series loss to Ninjas in Pyjamas as they eliminated Copenhagen Flames in the lower bracket, but the series was not clear-cut as the two teams traded wins with hard-fought battles on Overpass and Inferno, before Gambit cruised through Vertigo to claim victory. Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov's troops will next face off against Vitality on Saturday at 19:30 .
Ninjas in Pyjamas kicked off their pick of Overpass with a pistol victory, converting against Virtus.pro's subsequent forcebuy to take an early lead. A triple kill from Evgenii "FL1T" Lebedev in a save round put a swift halt to the momentum of the Swedish side though, and further multi-kill rounds from Jame and Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis helped Virtus.pro to emerge on top of an early back and forth to establish a firm 10-5 lead at the break. Another pistol win and conversion following the side swap allowed Ninjas in Pyjamas to close the gap slightly, but once Virtus.pro had rifles in hand, they wasted little time in bringing the map to a close, 16-9.
Jame's troops maintained momentum as Vertigo got underway, a pistol round quad kill from FL1T leading into a 6-1 scoreline for Virtus.pro as they continued to apply pressure to Ninjas in Pyjamas. Fredrik "REZ" Sterner and Love "phzy" Smidebrant were key in helping the Swedes keep themselves in the running as they began to claw back rounds in the latter portion of the half, closing the gap to a single round at halftime as the sides swapped over.
Ninjas in Pyjamas gained the upper hand after winning the second pistol of the map, winning five in a row to attain double digit rounds before Virtus.pro grabbed their first CT side round. The two teams then traded rounds, but it was Ninjas in Pyjamas who came out on top of the exchange as they managed to stabilize and close out the map 16-12 to force an Ancient decider.
There, Ninjas in Pyjamas faltered entirely as Virtus.pro laid waste to the Swedish team's defenses for much of the first half, four early rounds from Hampus "hampus" Poser's men providing little solace as the CIS side emerged ahead 11-4 at halftime. A pistol win following the side swap offered brief respite as Ninjas in Pyjamas closed the gap slightly, but much like on Overpass, it was VP in firm control once rifle rounds were underway as the map was brought to a quick end.
In the lower bracket, Gambit managed to emerge victorious, although they looked a far cry from the dominant side everyone has grown accustomed to online. Still, they kicked off Overpass with an early lead following a pistol win, and made up for a five-round streak from Copenhagen Flames by winning six of their own to pull ahead 9-6 by the break. The Danes made an effort to stay competitive in the second half as they fought back into the map, but struggled to secure a number of advantageous situations that Gambit were able to recover, leading to a 16-12 win for nafany's men.
Inferno began in almost the opposite fashion as it was Copenhagen Flames who took early control, winning the first seven rounds straight before Gambit were able to respond with seven in a row of their own. This time though, Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen's side were the ones to establish control after the sides swapped over, and they began to pick apart the Gambit defenses with some excellent calls en route to a 16-13 win.
The Vertigo decider between the two teams was a disappointing finish to the series after the narrow margins of the first two maps as Gambit crushed the Danish team from the onset, going up 11-2 on the T side thanks to inspired performances from Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov and Abay "HObbit" Khassenov. A handful of rounds and pistol win from Copenhagen Flames did little to get them back into the map as Gambit kept up the pressure and quickly got back control following a forcebuy win, closing out the map shortly after to eliminate the Danes from the competition.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|50 - 32||+18||66.1||1.29|
|59 - 50||+9||79.9||1.18|
|52 - 45||+7||81.4||1.17|
|49 - 44||+5||73.5||1.14|
|47 - 47||0||70.2||1.08|
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|56 - 52||+4||85.5||1.14|
|44 - 50||-6||69.7||0.99|
|43 - 51||-8||67.2||0.99|
|40 - 51||-11||54.4||0.80|
|34 - 54||-20||55.2||0.67|
|Copenhagen Flames||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|50 - 59||-9||79.3||0.96|
|49 - 58||-9||75.2||0.94|
|49 - 55||-6||68.4||0.90|
|44 - 57||-13||59.3||0.78|
|35 - 58||-23||55.0||0.71|
|Gambit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|64 - 36||+28||82.6||1.41|
|74 - 49||+25||99.9||1.40|
|56 - 49||+7||80.2||1.17|
|53 - 41||+12||65.9||1.11|
|39 - 54||-15||60.7||0.89|