Spirit advance to Cologne groups over 00NATION, paiN eliminated
Vinicios "PKL" Coelho's squad leaves the tournament after two tough losses in the Play-In.
Spirit were the second team to advance to the group stage of IEM Cologne 2022 following their undefeated run in the Play-In. The Russian squad started off the event in great form by taking down Complexity in a best-of-one before moving to the upper bracket quarters, where they defeated the Brazilians of 00NATION 2-1 to secure their place in the next phase.
Meanwhile in the lower bracket, Sprout faced paiN for tournament survival. Both teams secured their respective map picks before the European mix were able to come out on top on Vertigo. The Brazilian squad will leave Cologne without a win following back-to-back losses on the opening day.
The series began on 00NATION's pick of Vertigo, a map that proved to be relatively fruitful for the Brazilian core in previous months. Sadly for them, Spirit came in extremely hot on the offensive side as they converted the opening pistol before quickly extending their lead to 7-0. Robert "Patsi" Isyanov was the main engine behind the Russians' success as he found several opening frags, but both Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov and Boris "magixx" Vorobiev contributed a great deal in the 11-4 half.
The Brazilians got off to a great start in the second half by taking the pistol thanks to a 2v3 from Marcelo "coldzera" David and TACO, but a Spirit force buy on round 17 immediately crushed their momentum. chopper and co. then comfortably sailed to a 16-5 victory.
Moving to Dust2, arguably Spirit's best map, the Russians were on track for another quick victory as they took an 8-2 lead on the back of another great performance from Patsi. However, once Santino "try" Rigal and coldzera got going, 00NATION managed to pull nine consecutive rounds across the two halves to take an 11-8 lead. Despite a late resurgence from the Russians, 00NATION were eventually able to edge the map 16-14 following a crucial post-plant hold of the B site from TACO.
Spirit kicked off the decider on Ancient with a pistol victory, but their streak would not last long as the Brazilians converted a force buy on round 3 with just a few saved weapons and a Zeus. From there, 00NATION remained in the driver's seat for the whole 10-5 half, with coldzera and Eduardo "dumau" Wolkmer both playing a great CT side.
After switching to the offensive, 00NATION failed to find any impact as all of the individuals had seemingly switched off. Spirit were more than happy to take advantage of this situation, taking the pistol and going on an incredible nine-round winning streak on their way to a 14-10 lead. Briefly, it looked like the Brazilians were about to come back after three successful rounds, but a failed push into the B site against a few USPs turned into a nightmare, and 00NATION conceded series point. Newcomer Igor "w0nderful" Zhdanov seemed more confident on the CT side, accumulating a 15-6 K-D in the second half as Spirit took the map 16-13 and the series 2-1.
|Spirit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|64 - 57||+7||87.4||1.26|
|54 - 44||+10||70.5||1.08|
|50 - 45||+5||68.1||1.07|
|47 - 45||+2||70.4||1.05|
|49 - 54||-5||68.1||1.02|
|00NATION||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|55 - 54||+1||79.9||1.02|
|58 - 55||+3||73.4||1.02|
|48 - 51||-3||71.2||0.98|
|45 - 54||-9||63.1||0.92|
|37 - 51||-14||65.0||0.81|
Meanwhile, Sprout and paiN came to blows in the first elimination match of the day. The Brazilian squad played a solid defensive side once the rifles started coming out, but significantly slowed down in the latter stages of the half. Spearheaded by Victor "Staehr" Staehr, the European mix got back on track and stole the last five rounds to salvage a 7-8 half. Rasmus "raalz" Steensborg's team carried their momentum after the break and quickly established themselves on the CT side. paiN would only convert two rounds on the A site before fading away, conceding the map 16-10.
The Brazilians moved to their pick of Dust2 pick looking to bounce back, and they did. Despite Laurențiu "lauNX" Țârlea doing everything in his power to stop paiN's offense, Sprout were only able to claim six rounds in the first half. After the break, the European squad was able to briefly retake the lead on the T side before running out of steam as the PKL-led squad settled on the defense. Gabriel "nython" Lino played two excellent halves, finishing with a 25-17 K-D and a 1.33 rating.
The decider on Vertigo started off with a very close 8-7 half in favor of Sprout as Staehr played another fantastic T side, butting heads against the Brazilian defense. Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt was the standout performer for paiN in the first half, but was unable to carry his performance after switching sides. The European mix quickly took the second pistol and extended their lead to 14-7 before paiN were able to get on the scoreboard again. The three rounds found on the offense were just a consolation prize for the Brazilians as they eventually conceded the map 16-10.
|Sprout||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|68 - 48||+20||90.7||1.31|
|59 - 46||+13||80.0||1.26|
|61 - 54||+7||89.4||1.22|
|59 - 52||+7||70.3||1.13|
|56 - 52||+4||72.0||1.12|