Outsiders defeat MOUZ to secure IEM Rio grand final berth
The Russians got the better of the European mix in a three-map series to advance to the grand final of the IEM Rio Major.
Outsiders have booked themselves an appearance in the IEM Rio Major grand final by moving past MOUZ 2-0 in the semi-final, sending the European mix home after putting up a 16-10 showing on Ancient, narrowly dropping Overpass 14-16, and then crushing their foes with a 16-7 win on Inferno to wrap the series up.
The Russian team now advance to the grand final of the IEM Rio Major, where they will play the winner of Heroic versus FURIA on Sunday at 19:00 . The result also marks Dzhami "Jame" Ali and Alexey "Qikert" Golubev's return to the grand final of a Major for the first time in three years. The two players previously made it to the final hurdle back at the StarLadder Berlin Major in 2019 while playing under the AVANGAR tag, where they finished as runners-up to Astralis after suffering a one-sided defeat (6-16, 5-16).
This loss also marks the end of the road for MOUZ, who finish their run through the IEM Rio Major in 3-4th place. The team around Christopher "dexter" Nong had a relatively successful time whilst in Brazil, putting up an unblemished 3-0 record in the Challengers Stage before clinching a spot in the playoffs with a 3-2 showing in the Legends Stage. They then took down one of the overall favourites for the $1,250,000 event, Cloud9, in the quarter-final to guarantee a top-four finish, before being sent packing by the Russians.
The action of the first semi-final of the IEM Rio Major got underway on MOUZ's pick of Ancient. The dexter-led quintet quickly justified their pick, nabbing the pistol round before converting the following three rounds to go 4-0 up on the notoriously difficult T-side. David "n0rb3r7" Danielyan gunned down three on the B site to get his team on the board, the Russian squad using this to spearhead a five-round streak of their own to take the lead, 5-4. This nearly impenetrable defence by Outsiders endured as the remainder of the half progressed, with Jame and company only allowing MOUZ one extra round win by the end of their CT-side to post a comfortable five-round cushion at the break.
A 1vs1 clutch by Ádám "torzsi" Torzsás in the pistol round kicked off the second half, the European roster going on to snatch the next two rounds to edge ever closer to Outsiders on the scoreboard. The storyline of the map shifted at this point, with neither side able to string together more than three rounds at a time. This back-and-forth nature ultimately favoured Outsiders, however, who used this to score crucial round wins and reach match point, 15-9. A stellar showing from torzsi in the 25th round, in which the Hungarian added four more frags to his tally, kept his side in the running for one round longer, but in the end, it wasn't meant to be; Outsiders, armed with a mishmash buy comprising of Tec-9s and MAC-10s, managed to snatch away the final round they needed to lock in a 16-10 victory and send the series to Overpass.
It was time for MOUZ to hit the ground running once Overpass started, and the international lineup had plenty of answers for Outsiders' slow, methodical style to get off to an early 4-1 lead on the CT-side. Outsiders were quick to respond, however, switching things up on the offense to bring things back to a five-round stalemate, powered by high fragging output by Jame and Petr "fame" Bolyshev, who combined for 15 kills. From this point on, things had swung back into the European roster's favour, though, the dexter-led side overturning a lone-round win by the Russians with four uninterrupted rounds of their own to end the opening half with a 9-6 advantage to their name.
Outsiders started to close the gap once it was their turn to defend, taking the lead over the Europeans for the first time in the map thanks to a six-round spree to start their run on the CT-side. MOUZ did wake up slightly as the threat of elimination loomed, bringing the score back to a more equal 11-12, but a heroic 1vs3 clutch from Jame in the 25th allowed the Russians to add two to their name and be within touching distance of victory, 14-11. Alas, with their backs against the wall and the chance of a semi-final exit being on the cards, MOUZ suddenly decided to show up, putting up a fabulous display on the T-side, where they chained together five rounds on the trot to eke out a laborious 16-14 win and send the map to the deciding map of Inferno.
MOUZ continued their streak of round wins at the onset of the Inferno decider, going 2-0 up after winning the pistol and the following conversion. Again, though, Outsiders got right back on the saddle, overpowering their opponents' best T-side efforts by jumping out to their own 7-2 lead, a feat achieved due in part to a newly-found spike in form by Evgenii "FL1T" Lebedev, who had racked up 10 kills by this point. Nonetheless, dexter's troops rallied together in spite of this hefty deficit, though, perfectly-timed site executes by the mix team forcing the Russians to save round after round as MOUZ brought things all the way back to within one, 6-7. Outsiders were able to bring MOUZ's onslaught to a halt in the dying stages of the half, however, clinching the last two rounds of play to lead 9-6 at the side swap and be in good stead to clinch the first grand final spot up for grabs.
Outsiders doubled down when they switched over to the T-side. The Russian outfit extended their lead to 13-7 with relative ease to get the wind firmly in their sails. From here on out, there was little MOUZ could do to stop Outsiders from getting the job done, with Jame pulling another 1vs3 clutch out of his hat in the 22nd round to help his team reach match point, before successfully assaulting the A site in the 23rd to lock in the 16-7 victory and the grand final berth.
|Outsiders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 35||+30||79.0||1.40|
|58 - 42||+16||81.6||1.23|
|59 - 43||+16||77.8||1.18|
|48 - 44||+4||66.5||1.04|
|41 - 47||-6||69.4||1.03|