G2 secure Legends Stage over ENCE, Liquid survive against 9z
The South American mix became the second team to be eliminated after recording a 0-3 score in the Swiss stage.
The second set of best-of-three matches from the Challengers Stage has come to an end. G2 overcame ENCE to secure a 3-0 record and a ticket straight to the Legends Stage, sending Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer's squad to the 2-1 pool with two more chances to qualify. G2 have completed a great run, going undefeated against Spirit and Liquid on day one, with Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov performing well in his Major debut.
Meanwhile, Liquid are now sitting on a 1-2 record after defeating 9z, eliminating them from the Major. The South American squad came into today's match with a 0-2 score following losses to ENCE and MIBR on the opening day of the event. Nick "nitr0" Cannella's men's road to the next stage is still long as they will have to win two more BO3 matches to advance, including a North American derby against Complexity on Wednesday.
Starting on the T side of Dust2, G2 were able to prevent ENCE from snowballing by converting a second-round force buy. Olek "hades" Miskiewicz really struggled on the CT side, with Lotan "Spinx" Giladi doing most of the heavy lifting on the defense. In stark contrast, the trident of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač, and m0NESY had a field day on the offensive, finding entries, impact frags, and clutches to power their squad to a 9-6 advantage.
Things would only get worse for ENCE after switching sides as they struggled to crack G2's defese, only claiming one round as they conceded the first map 9-16. m0NESY was the star of the show, ending the map with a 27-10 K-D and a 1.91 rating.
ENCE turned their form around for Ancient, coming into their pick with an aggressive T side that caught G2 off guard and enabled them to gain an early 5-0 advantage. Spinx played another great map and was crucial in ENCE success on the offense, dropping 20 frags by himself. The defenders were eventually able to stabilize and slowly cut the deficit to close the half only 7-8 behind.
Despite a slow start to their CT side following a pistol round loss, ENCE managed to recover and claim a 14-10 lead to put them within touching distance of the decider on Mirage. Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen then orchestrated a fantastic offense, powered by the duo of NiKo and huNter- to bring the game all the way to 30 rounds and force overtime. Unfortunately for them, G2 would only get one round in extra time, conceding Ancient 16-19.
Going over to Mirage, despite G2 winning the pistol and blitzing through the early rounds with some rushes on the B site to gain a 7-1 advantage, ENCE eventually adapted and successfully defended the A site from four consecutive attacks on their way to a 7-8 comeback. Paweł "dycha" Dycha was absolutely unplayable on the CT side, dropping a whopping 21 frags in the first 15 rounds. A chaotic series of force buys in the early stages of the second half eventually concluded with G2 taking the lead, stringing seven rounds in a row to close the series 16-9.
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|63 - 56||+7||83.9||1.11|
|59 - 60||-1||79.6||0.99|
|52 - 68||-16||74.0||0.84|
|44 - 57||-13||68.7||0.81|
|28 - 57||-29||42.8||0.58|
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|72 - 49||+23||91.1||1.36|
|63 - 52||+11||85.8||1.24|
|64 - 49||+15||71.5||1.18|
|50 - 48||+2||72.3||1.17|
|48 - 48||0||63.7||1.06|
The second elimination match of the day got started on Liquid's pick of Ancient. 9z had a great start following their pistol conversion thank to both Luca "Luken" Nadotti and Franco "dgt" Garcia playing tremendously well. It took some time for the North American representatives to find their footing, but they were eventually able to keep the half competitive, going into the break trailing only 7-8 behind.
After swapping to the CT side, Liquid really came into their own as they held off the South American mix with some interesting CT setups on the B bombsite. To makes things harder for 9z, both Keith "NAF" Markovic and nitr0 began performing up to expectations, allowing the North Americans to only drop three rounds on their way to a 16-11 victory.
Everything came down on Overpass, and as 9z stared down the barrel of elimination, dgt pulled another fantastic performance on the T side. Unfortunately for the South Americans, Richard "shox" Papillon decided to turn his poor tournament form around, helping Liquid salvage another 7-8 half. In a similar fashion to the first map, the North Americans started to take control of the game in the second half as both Josh "oSee" Ohm and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski hammered 9z on the T side. Liquid secured their 2-0 sweep with another 16-11 win.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|43 - 35||+8||93.9||1.32|
|43 - 30||+13||83.0||1.31|
|37 - 24||+13||63.6||1.22|
|34 - 29||+5||75.1||1.08|
|30 - 31||-1||61.2||0.96|
|9z||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|40 - 38||+2||84.2||1.09|
|34 - 33||+1||67.3||0.97|
|26 - 34||-8||56.8||0.84|
|32 - 42||-10||67.1||0.84|
|17 - 40||-23||45.2||0.63|
The standings after day two are as follows: