Apeks earn Legends Stage berth over paiN
Apeks have secured passage to the BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage after besting paiN in the 2-1 pool, striking first on their Ancient pick (16-11) and conceding defeat on Vertigo (13-16) before closing out the series comfortably on Anubis (16-9).
The current team list for the Legends Stage is as follows:
STYKO was candid about how he feels his team has been performing in Paris so far, which has included victories against squads that sit considerably higher in the world ranking.
"It was our goal to get to the Major; everything else is a plus and this is a huge plus," the Slovak rifler said on stream in a post-match interview with James "BanKs" Banks. "I also believe this wasn't a fluke, the scoreline and the performance we showed here; we're at the peak of our game right now."
Apeks put up a 3-1 record en route to a spot in the Legends Stage, picking up an upset over Liquid (16-12) and a 16-0 trouncing of Grayhound to be a best-of-three away from progression to the next phase of play. Alas, an 0-2 defeat to a well-oiled G2 ultimately forced the side to postpone their celebrations, with Apeks instead needing to move past paiN before their spot in the Legends Stage was secured.
Apeks got off to a flying start on their Ancient pick, leaving paiN little room to work with as they raced to a 9-6 lead by the end of their T-side effort. The Brazilians were able to keep Damjan "kyxsan" Stoilkovski's troops honest with brief two and three-round sprees, but were otherwise no match as the European troupe closed things out, 16-11.
Apeks had the potential to close the qualification series out in two maps, with a stellar 31-kill performance from Tim "nawwk" Jonasson, who has easily been his team's highest-rated player in Paris so far, keeping the Brazilians honest. Regardless, paiN's Vertigo picked eventually paid off, 16-13, to force an Anubis decider.
Much like Vertigo, the two teams were neck and neck for most of Anubis' first half, with considerable impact from kyxsan (two 1vs3 clutches) proving paramount in gifting Apeks a slender one-round lead. That all changed once it was the European roster's turn to defend, however. Apeks conceded just two rounds for the remainder of the half, with their bellowing cheers growing in volume as the rounds ticked ever closer to 16.
|Apeks||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|64 - 56||+8||83.8||1.23|
|60 - 48||+12||76.1||1.17|
|61 - 51||+10||82.2||1.16|
|60 - 59||+1||81.1||1.14|
|50 - 54||-4||67.9||1.02|
|paiN||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|62 - 52||+10||73.7||1.12|
|59 - 58||+1||79.4||1.02|
|59 - 61||-2||80.8||1.02|
|45 - 64||-19||75.4||0.90|
|41 - 63||-22||56.5||0.72|
paiN will look to earn their own BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage berth on Thursday, with their opponent in the must-win game set to be determined later on Wednesday.
The standings of the Challengers Stage so far are: