FaZe advance to PGL Major Antwerp grand final after edging out Spirit
In the first semi-final matchup, it was FaZe who emerged victorious over their Russian opponents Spirit to grant them a spot in the grand finals of the PGL Major Antwerp, showcasing their brilliance across two maps by taking an extremely competitive Mirage 16-13, and a triple-overtime Dust2 25-23.
Despite having been eliminated from the Major at this stage, Spirit's run was nothing short of remarkable, proving that the competition's youngest squad, led by Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov, can go toe-to-toe with some of the world's best and more experienced players.
Mirage was the map to kick the series off, which saw Spirit draw first blood by taking the pistol round after a solid B apartments hold from Robert "Patsi" Isyanov and Pavel "s1ren" Ogloblin. After trading a couple of rounds to keep things level at 3 apiece, FaZe were able to break away from their Russian opponents by methodically executing their site pushes, accompanied by multi-kills courtesy of Håvard "rain" Nygaard and Robin "ropz" Kool, to find themselves leading 7-3. Spirit were able to stop their opponents' site push in the 11th to break their run, however FaZe quickly bounced back as they only dropped one more round in the first half, entering the switch up 10-5.
Spirit opened the second period with a superb quad-kill from Patsi in the pistol round while also winning the next two, taking advantage of their opponents' financial struggles as they narrowed down their deficit to 8-10. The two teams then went on three-round sprees as the scoreline read 13-11 in favor of FaZe.
The ensuing rounds were as tightly-contested as possible, with Finn "karrigan" Andersen clutching a 1vs3 for his team and Abdul "degster" Gasanov denying FaZe map point through a 1vs2 clutch of his own. Both sides pushed each other to the very edge, with FaZe narrowly edging out Spirit, wrapping up Mirage in the 29th round as ropz denied s1ren what would have been a decisive ace for the Russian.
FaZe got off to a hot start on Dust2, attaining a 4-1 lead through impressive area control along with Helvijs "broky" Saukants and rain's nine and eight kills, respectively. As the pair of teams kept going back-and-forth, what looked like yet another round on the board for FaZe in the 12th turned into a successful 2vs4 and ace clutch for Boris "magixx" Vorobiev, giving Spirit the morale boost they needed to try and catch up to karrigan's squad. Even though the Russians eventually brought the score to within one, FaZe rounded out the first half strong by taking the last three rounds, finding themselves up 9-6 after 15.
Coming out of the break, both Spirit and FaZe exchanged scoring runs, until the Russians took six in a row and were eventually able to tie the game, claiming their first lead of the map just a round later, as chopper's side were now the ones in the driver's seat, holding a 13-12 lead. After a successful Spirit retake on the A site, which gave the Russians map point with two rounds to go, FaZe knew it was all or nothing and switched on at the very last moment, denying their opponents the win in regulation, forcing overtime.
Three overtimes, numerous heart-wrenching moments and countless sensational clutches from both sides later, it's FaZe that ultimately seal Dust2 25-23, and the entire semi-final series to book their place in the grand finals of the Major.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 53||+12||94.7||1.33|
|48 - 48||0||78.6||1.12|
|59 - 49||+10||71.8||1.11|
|52 - 43||+9||63.1||1.00|
|47 - 51||-4||73.1||0.94|