Movistar Riders fend off KSCERATO brilliance to best FURIA in Malta
The Riders managed to keep a potent Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato at bay to record their first win at ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta.
Movistar Riders picked up their first win in ESL Pro League Season 18's Group A following a 2-0 victory over FURIA, striking first on Overpass (16-8) before narrowly wrapping things up on Nuke (16-13) after almost letting a lopsided 11-0 scoreline slip.
Movistar Riders will be breathing a sigh of relief after their win over the Brazilians, which notably coincided with Tiago "JUST" Moura and Adam "adamS" Marian's LAN debut with the squad. The duo put pen to paper and signed with the organization back in July, with adamS being a key piece in his new team's victory after topping the Riders' charts with a 1.27-rated performance. The Spanish-majority troupe will play GamerLegion in their next fixture in Group A, where a win would already guarantee the team a spot in the playoffs, set to run in four weeks' time on September 26-October 1.
FURIA, meanwhile, fall down to the lower bracket in Malta, where they will play Grayhound on Thursday at 12:30 to avoid a trip down to Group A's last chance stage. A positive takeaway from FURIA's loss was KSCERATO's solid performance. The Brazilian, who recently had to sit out part of his team's Pinnacle Cup V grand final match due to food poisoning, looked far from under the weather as he ended proceedings with a superlative 1.72 rating, 62-34 K-D differential, and 116 ADR to his name.
The series began on the Riders' pick of Overpass, a surprise choice given they sported a dismal 0% win rate over three outings in the past three months heading into the fixture. Regardless, the majority-Spanish roster clearly had a specific game plan in mind when it came to their T-side effort, planting the C4 11 times throughout the half to sport a comfortable 9-6 lead by the side swap.
From there, it was simply a case of Movistar Riders taking care of business on their map choice. The Alejandro "alex" Masanet-led roster conceded just two rounds once on the CT-side, with KSCERATO, who finished the map with 27 kills to his name, being the only real threat despite only recently recovering from a bout of food poisoning.
Movistar Riders continued to pile on the pressure once Nuke rolled around, with Antonio "Martinez" Martinez's AWP ringing out round after round to power his squad to a commanding 11-0 lead on the CT-side. It was at this point, however, that FURIA began to show signs of life. The Brazilians won four rounds on the bounce to reduce the deficit to seven at the break before continuing this spree once on the CT-side.
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's troops, brimming with confidence thanks to continued heroics from KSCERATO and his 35 kills by the map's end, brought things back to a dead-even 13-13 stalemate. Nonetheless, FURIA lacked the stamina to close out their miraculous comeback attempt, with Movistar Riders winning three rounds on the bounce in the dying stages of Nuke to close things out, 16-13, and set the stage for an upper bracket fixture versus GamerLegion on Thursday.
|FURIA||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|62 - 34||+28||116.1||1.72|
|33 - 39||-6||68.3||0.96|
|32 - 40||-8||69.8||0.83|
|23 - 33||-10||52.9||0.82|
|24 - 40||-16||58.1||0.73|
|Movistar Riders||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|41 - 36||+5||86.5||1.27|
|38 - 35||+3||80.9||1.15|
|38 - 32||+6||70.9||1.04|
|35 - 38||-3||75.8||1.00|
|33 - 34||-1||63.7||0.98|