BIG move past Complexity in EPL S17 Group B opener
BIG earned their first victory of ESL Pro League Season 17 after taking down Complexity in Group B, sending the North American roster down to the lower bracket in the triple-elimination group stage following a laborious three-map series (Ancient 8-16, Nuke 16-12, Vertigo 16-14).
The Germans' victory came in part from a strong and in-your-face performance from hyped. The German marksman, who was recently promoted to the main roster as a replacement for Florian "syrsoN" Rische and is making his LAN debut with the lineup, topped the scoreboard with a 1.25 rating and 84 ADR. The 21-year-old also took the time to speak on stream after the game, where he touched on his first few weeks as a member of BIG's starting lineup.
"I mean it's amazing to be here, to be in this sick environment," hyped said in a post-match interview. "It's my first time, and especially against tier-one opponents, it was a bit hard to adapt at first for me, especially in practice. But yeah, [I'm learning] a lot."
BIG now advance to the upper bracket semi-final, and will lock horns with Heroic on Thursday at 19:30 for a chance to guarantee a spot in the playoffs. As for Complexity, they will now fight through the lower bracket in Malta, with their first test being against Movistar Riders on Thursday at 12:30 .
A 1vs3 clutch from Karim "Krimbo" Moussa in the pistol round got BIG's pick of Ancient underway, but Complexity were quick to steal away the momentum by adding five CT-side rounds on the trot completely unopposed. The Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz-led roster continued to face stiff opposition throughout the remainder of the half, with the German lineup's utility-heavy executes often failing to crack through Complexity's stalwart defensive lines. Alas, BIG finally made headway in the final two rounds of the half, four kills from hyped being enough to cut the deficit down to five rounds at the side swap.
Déjà vu struck at the outset of the second half; BIG nabbed the pistol round to start their time on the CT-side, but once again were unable to convert their advantage and Complexity soon capitalized, inching to 13 rounds on the back of strong performances from Ricky "floppy" Kemery and Justin "FaNg" Coakley. BIG got back on the scoresheet with successful back-to-back retakes of the A bombsite, but ultimately couldn't fend off a first-map defeat as Complexity soon posted the three rounds they needed to lock in a comfortable 16-8 victory.
Complexity continued their winning ways at the outset of Nuke, renewed brilliance from FaNg (six kills and 150 ADR) enabling the multinational lineup to cruise to a 4-0 lead on the T-side. This initial advantage was built on a house of cards, though, and soon came crashing down once BIG stabilized their economy. Spurred on by a strong 18-6 K-D showing from hyped, the Germans cut into Complexity's offensive strategies like a hot knife through butter and put up an unblemished eight-round spree to sit on a comfortable 10-5 buffer by the half's end.
Complexity refused to down without a fight, beginning their time on the CT-side with a six-round spree despite losing the pistol round to bring the game all the way to 11 rounds apiece. Regardless, this effort to claw their way back into contention proved to be in vain; a chaotic round 23, which came down to a 1vs1, narrowly went the way of BIG, shifting the momentum into the Germans' favor and allowing the ensemble to waltz to a 16-12 victory to force a Vertigo decider.
The hard-fought nature of the series thus far showed few signs of dissipating on Vertigo. Neither side was able to win more than three rounds in a row, giving way to a 4-4 split midway through the opening half. In the end, it was Complexity who broke the deadlock, shoring up their defensive line and racing to a 9-6 half by the interval. floppy notably had a standout performance, sitting atop the scoreboard with 20 kills while also winning a 1vs1 in round 15 to ensure his side enjoyed a much-needed three-round cushion by the break.
BIG wasted little time in closing the gap at the start of the second half, picking up the first three rounds with ease before continued prowess from hyped enabled the Germans to regain the advantage, 11-9. The Germans maintained their upward trajectory as the half dragged on, being within two rounds of closing out the series.
It was at this point that a 1vs3 clutch from Michael "Grim" Wince on the B bombsite came through, a play which in turn propelled the North Americans to a 14-14 stalemate. Nonetheless, Johnny "JT" Theodosiou's troops faltered in converting their new-found momentum, first dropping a round to pistols to gift BIG map and series point, before the squad closed things out one round later, 16-14.
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 53||+12||83.9||1.25|
|62 - 54||+8||79.5||1.14|
|58 - 56||+2||74.5||1.08|
|46 - 62||-16||66.2||0.92|
|44 - 62||-18||63.8||0.86|