Entropiq qualify for ESL Challenger Melbourne
The Russian team beat Sprout 2-1 in the grand final to secure their berth to the event in Australia.
Entropiq have qualified for ESL Challenger Melbourne after topping the European closed qualifier, becoming the third team to secure a spot at the $100,000 event that will take place from September 2-4 after Wings Up and VERTEX qualified through Asia and Oceania, respectively.
Aleksei "NickelBack" Trofimov's troops started their qualifier run with a win over NASA, but were subsequently knocked down to the lower bracket after falling to HEET. However, the Russian side managed to claw their way back to the grand final by beating K23 and winning a rematch against Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro's side, setting up a deciding match against Sprout for a spot at the event in Melbourne.
On the other side of things, 17-year-olds Laurențiu "lauNX" Țârlea and Victor "Staehr" Staehr had been sensational for Sprout in their own qualifier run, helping them advance through the upper bracket while just dropping one map to FORZE in the process to reach the grand final.
The Romanian talent stood out even further in the final series, single-handedly putting up an absurdly dominant showing on Vertigo to grant his side a win to kick things off, aided by strong fragging from his Danish counterpart. A 10-5 lead on the T side of the map led swiftly into a 16-7 victory for Sprout, a win in which lauNX was in a class of his own, finishing the map with a 37-13 K-D and 2.33 rating while averaging 152 damage per round.
His performance cooled down somewhat on Dust2 as Entropiq bounced back from the one-sided loss, putting up a strong offensive effort of their own as they began the map up 8-1, before later closing things out 16-8 to force a Nuke decider. There, Sprout initially seemed to be in control, another admirable showing from lauNX helping his side to mount a 10-5 lead at the end of their CT side effort.
The situation turned even more grim for NickelBack's men early into the second half as Sprout pushed up to a 15-8 scoreline, but Entropiq refused to concede as Nikolay "mir" Bityukov and Aleksei "El1an" Gusev led the charge in a seven-round spree to force overtime, where their side maintained momentum to secure a 19-16 victory and take the series.
|Sprout||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|86 - 53||+33||95.6||1.43|
|50 - 50||0||69.0||1.00|
|49 - 57||-8||72.7||0.95|
|44 - 57||-13||67.9||0.89|
|35 - 51||-16||51.3||0.83|
|Entropiq||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|61 - 46||+15||77.7||1.20|
|66 - 60||+6||87.0||1.19|
|49 - 52||-3||63.6||0.92|
|48 - 53||-5||65.0||0.91|
|44 - 54||-10||62.2||0.84|
The team list for ESL Challenger Melbourne now looks as follows: