Vitality outlast Outsiders to reach ESL Pro League semi-finals
The European squad survived a trip to overtime on Dust2, the series' second map, to remain unbeaten in Malta.
Vitality locked in a place in the ESL Pro League Season 16 semi-finals, edging out Outsiders 2-0 in what was their first time back in the server in over three weeks. The European combine got the better of the Russians on Mirage (16-13) before edging out their foes in an overtime affair on Dust2 (19-17).
Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut continues to be an unmatched presence in the server, the Frenchman put up a superb 1.37 rating and 56-32 K-D. Vitality will face off against the winner of G2 vs. Natus Vincere, with that match-up taking place on Friday at 19:00 .
Outsiders, meanwhile, exit the event in 5-8th place after narrowly booking a spot in the playoffs following their 3-2 record in Group B. The Russian squad will be back in action from Malta in the not-too-distant future, as they're set to participate in the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR from October 4.
The penultimate quarter-final of the tournament got underway on Outsiders' pick of Mirage, though it was Vitality who got off to a strong start on the CT-side, powered by ZywOo who added 16 kills to the board to gift the European combine a 7-0 opening lead. Outsiders slowly began to find their footing, however, as the Russians nabbed a handful of crucial rounds on the back of explosive bombsite takes to regain control of the economy and bring the map back to a more recoverable 5-10 scoreline by the side swap.
Outsiders nabbed the second pistol round of the map to get their comeback attempt started, following up with a spree of rounds as they clawed their way back to just one round down, 11-12. Vitality managed to maintain their composure, though, stealing away the 24th round thanks to a successful force buy to run ahead and reach match point, 15-11. A short-lived two-round statement by the Russians kept them in the running, but in the end, Vitality did enough to close the map out, 16-13, as a slow lurk up B short in the final round went undetected for the European mix to convert their 4vs3 advantage.
Vitality got off to a hot start on their pick of Dust2, overturning an Outsiders pistol round win with a commanding five-round streak of their own on the T-side. The European mix's advantage was eroded away slightly as the map progressed, with Alexey "Qikert" Golubev putting his team on his back as his squad reduced the deficit down to 4-7. The remainder of the half was a back-and-forth affair, with two-round sprees by both sides allowing Vitality to lead 9-6.
Outsiders were firmly in the driver's seat at the onset of the second half, the Russian lineup consistently finding the opening pick on the offense to propel themselves to an 11-9 lead. ZywOo stepped up massively in the ensuing rounds to get his team back on track, though, the two-time best player in the world hitting 20 frags as his team pulled the score back to a 13-13 stalemate. At this point, the game returned to the hard-fought nature seen at the end of the opening half, with Outsiders converting a 3vs3 post-plant on the A site in the 30th round to force a trip to overtime.
Once there, it was Vitality who barely came out on top, with the side winning four rounds to Outsiders' two to clinch a 19-17 victory — ZywOo once again being instrumental for his team as he added four frags to his tally in the final round to get his team over the line.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|56 - 32||+24||88.3||1.37|
|43 - 38||+5||78.8||1.12|
|35 - 42||-7||62.9||1.00|
|32 - 40||-8||60.8||0.82|
|26 - 38||-12||53.0||0.77|