fnatic fend off Looking For Org in Group A of ESL Pro League
The international composition recovered from an early map loss to come back and take the series 2-1.
fnatic have secured their first victory of ESL Pro League Season 15 after beating Looking For Org 2-1 on the second day of play in Group A, notching an important win over the Australian team after getting off to a dismal start in the tournament following a battering from Ninjas in Pyjamas in their opening match.
It wasn't a clean victory by any sense as Alex "ALEX" McMeekin's side started the series down 0-1 after letting a significant lead slip on Dust2, but comfortable wins on Inferno and Overpass can offer the team some comfort as they look to survive their group fielding three new players.
The victory is key for fnatic as they hope to continue putting up series wins while awaiting the return of Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, who tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the event. While topping the group is extremely unlikely, fnatic are still in with a chance to sneak into second or third place, especially with G2 left without their captain — the team that ALEX and company will next face on Friday at 19:30 .
The series kicked off on Looking For Org's pick of Dust2, and worry started to creep in early on for the Australian side as fnatic took an early lead off of a pistol victory, going up 4-0. Concerns began to ease once rifles were in hand for the organization-less squad though, and it was 34-year-old Mike "ap0c" Aliferis who led the charge, finding impact with lurks and multi-kill rounds as his team kept the scoreline close throughout the half to trail 7-8 heading into the side swap.
fnatic further extended their lead by another four rounds following a second pistol victory with Valentin "poizon" Vasilev stepping up, but they were quickly left looking out of sorts as an uninspired T side saw them garner just one additional round as the Australian side put up a stalwart defense, closing out the map 16-13.
The heroic comeback effort of the first map set the stage for a possibly tense affair in the series as Inferno got underway, but it was anything but that as fnatic were in firm control throughout. The trio of William "mezii" Merriman, Peppe "Peppzor" Borak, and ALEX combined in a dominant T side showing for fnatic as they raced to an 11-4 scoreline at halftime, with another pistol win helping them to immediately attain match point before they closed things out soon after, 16-8.
Overpass followed a similar script, though Looking For Org were able to show a better face overall. Still, rounds for the Australian side were sporadic, an early spree of three being the only notable string they were able to tally in the first half as an inspired performance from mezii kept fnatic ahead for the majority of their CT side effort, leading to a 9-6 lead by the break.
ALEX's side won their fifth pistol round of the series following the side swap to further extend their lead, and yet another conversion allowed for them to push up to a 13-6 scoreline before Looking For Org were able to respond. It took a triple kill from Jared "hazr" O'Bree for his team to notch their first CT side round, but an immediate response from fnatic followed, and an end to the series came about almost immediately afterward as the international mixture took the map over the line with little difficulty.
|Looking For Org||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|49 - 51||-2||73.4||1.02|
|49 - 53||-4||65.4||0.93|
|39 - 51||-12||63.2||0.88|
|42 - 53||-11||59.8||0.88|
|42 - 56||-14||62.4||0.81|
|fnatic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|58 - 45||+13||98.9||1.34|
|57 - 44||+13||77.1||1.26|
|50 - 44||+6||72.8||1.11|
|53 - 47||+6||70.3||1.09|
|44 - 41||+3||59.8||1.02|
The Group A standings after day two of ESL Pro League Season 15 looks as follows: