Vitality knock out Cloud9 to secure playoffs in Washington
The Russian squad's tournament campaign ends before playoffs for the second time in a row, with a tragic map point loss adding insult to injury.
Vitality secured a quarter-final spot at BLAST Premier Spring Final 2023 after defeating Cloud9 2-0 in Group A's lower bracket. The reigning Major champions started off the event cold against Imperial, but managed to bounce back against Konstantin "groove" Pikiner's men to clinch a spot in the knockout stage. The Russian squad was looking good to at least force the decider map, but two team kills at map point allowed Vitality to close it out in two.
This latest defeat means Cloud9's spring campaign is officially over. The Russian quintet enters the off-season after a disappointing three months, in which they failed to qualify for the last CS:GO Major and to take any silverware from IEM Rio, IEM Dallas, and their latest adventure in Washington.
The series began on Cloud9's pick of Overpass, and the Russians initially cruised on the offense as Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov and Timur "buster" Tulepov powered their team to a 6-0 start. Vitality struggled to defend the B bombsite in the early rounds and their opponents took full advantage of the situation, constantly attacking the lower site. The European mix took some time to get going, but eventually Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut and company stabilized their CT side, taking six rounds on the bounce to bring the scoreline even. Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov and buster then combined to bring a 2 vs. 4 situation home and claim a narrow 8-7 lead going into the break.
Vitality started off the second half in much better form with ZywOo now fully operational after a relatively slow start. The European combine fought their way through the second pistol round before continuing their aggression through their T side. Cloud9 failed to keep up with Vitality's offense and only claimed five CT rounds before conceding their pick 13-16.
Anubis' first half was also closely fought as Vitality cruised early on their T side to claim a 4-0 lead on their map pick. The Europeans were poised to blast through the remaining rounds, but consecutive aces from sh1ro and Ax1Le halted their offense on the spot and allowed Cloud9 to claw back at the scoreline. The rifler recorded a 1.59 rating while his team came back to claim an 8-7 advantage before halftime.
Cloud9 quickly extended their lead after switching sides and were on the brink of a decider on Vertigo, but a couple of failed attacks on the B site allowed Vitality back into the game. Adding insult to injury, round 29 started off with two catastrophic team-kills for the Russians and the Europeans were more than happy to run with it and force overtime before closing the map 19-17 and the series 2-0.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|54 - 35||+19||84.7||1.37|
|49 - 45||+4||85.8||1.14|
|38 - 43||-5||63.6||0.95|
|37 - 48||-11||72.4||0.91|
|38 - 47||-9||60.4||0.79|