IHC eliminate paiN from IEM Katowice Play-In
The Mongolian team will play a do-or-die match for a spot in the group stage against FURIA.
IHC have secured survival in Katowice with a 2-0 victory over paiN in the first round of the play-in's lower bracket. In the opening day of play the Mongolians went down 5-16 to a very strong Cloud9, powered by its stars Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov and Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov, while paiN fell 7-16 to ENCE.
Vinicios "PKL" Coelho mentioned similarities between Asian and Brazilian CS going into the match-up against the Garidmagnai "bLitz" Byambasuren-led squad, although the desk and casters put an emphasis on how IHC is one of the best teams trying to imitate the European style from another region.
A sloppy retake in the 11th round by paiN on the opening map, Inferno, foreshadowed a bumpy road for the Brazilians despite them leading 6-4 at the time. They let the clock creep up on them in a round they could have won if played a bit quicker. Then the half started to slip away from their grip.
Tuvshintugs "Annihilation" Nyamdorj, who had a rather slow start on the T side, then won a 1vs4 to tie things up and became activated as his team took an 8-7 lead at the half. The Mongolian sniper, taking over on the defense, went on to end the map as the highest-rated player with a surgical CT side in which he scored 100% KAST and over 100 ADR in his team’s 16-12 victory.
It was an even affair early on in Nuke, 4-4, until IHC sprung ahead with Baatarkhuu "Bart4k" Batbold and Tengis "sk0R" Batjargal stepping up for IHC to take control of a 10-5 half. Bart4k, the sixth player taking the place of Bat-Enkh "kabal" Batbayar while the 27-year-old tends to the birth of his child, put on a fantastic showing at the most important LAN of his career to date with a 1.23 rating on the map.
IHC obliterated paiN in the second pistol round to set themselves up early on although they were only able to win three rounds to paiN’s six, which made it look like the Brazilian team could mount a comeback to stay alive in the series. In the end, however, the Mongolians showed their prowess with default yet adaptable play to link the final three rounds needed to end the match 16-11.
Annihilation joined the desk after the series for a post-match interview in which he talked about Asian CS becoming stronger and his belief in the ability of teams from the region to now compete with their counterparts from the rest of the world. "I know FURIA are a very good team, but we don’t feel pressure," he said. "We’re just playing our game."
IHC will now face the top Brazilian side on Friday at 19:30 in the second and final round of the lower bracket for a coveted spot in the IEM Katowice group stage.
|IHC||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|46 - 35||+11||88.0||1.30|
|35 - 31||+4||65.3||1.13|
|39 - 38||+1||89.1||1.13|
|38 - 34||+4||74.4||1.09|
|38 - 38||0||71.5||0.98|
|paiN||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|42 - 40||+2||79.1||1.11|
|37 - 37||0||61.6||1.00|
|34 - 38||-4||69.9||0.92|
|35 - 45||-10||70.0||0.92|
|26 - 37||-11||63.8||0.83|