Complexity best 9INE to earn first EPL win
The American-majority squad will play Cloud9 on Thursday for a chance to earn a spot in the playoffs.
Complexity are through to the ESL Pro League Season 18 Group D upper bracket semi-final following a 2-1 win over 9INE. The majority-American side struck first on Anubis (16-11) but were unable to upset the Poles on their home turf of Vertigo (12-16), instead requiring a hard-fought win on Ancient (16-13) to seal the win and wrap up the series at close to 01:00 local time.
"I think we've been playing our best CS since we made the team," said Michael "Grim" Wince in an interview with HLTV on Group D's media day, and it's fair to say that his comment has some weight behind it. The Johnny "JT" Theodosiou-led roster were dominant on the CT-side of Anubis and showed a high degree of mental fortitude to stay alive on the Ancient decider despite staring down the barrel of a 10-16 deficit at one point.
Complexity will now start preparing for their upcoming bout versus Cloud9 on Thursday, where a win would earn the American side a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. 9INE, on the other hand, fall down to the lower bracket, and will duke it out with Eternal Fire in a bid to avoid being sent all the way down to the Last Chance Stage.
|ESL Pro League Season 18|
The action began on Anubis, Complexity's pick, but it was the Poles who got off to the better start. Wiktor "mynio" Kruk and company refused to give the North American roster much room to work with, with the Polish captain even pulling off a stylish quad kill in his team's sprint to a 9-6 half on the notoriously difficult CT-side.
You'd be forgiven for thinking, therefore, that 9INE's victory on the Egypt-inspired map was a foregone conclusion, but Complexity came alive on the defense to justify their map choice. Spurred on by 23 and 25-kill performances from Ricky "floppy" Kemery and Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli, the North American side conceded just two rounds on the CT-side, winning 10 of their own to convert their map pick, 16-11, and send the two teams to the Poles' choice of Vertigo.
There, 9INE immediately sought to remedy their earlier shortcomings on Anubis. The Polish quintet bullied their American-majority counterparts consistently, with a superlative showing from Kamil "KEi" Pietkun being the driving force in gifting 9INE a 10-5 scoreline heading into the intermission. Complexity were menacing in the second half and reduced the deficit bit by bit, but 9INE, again being carried forward by KEi, held on just long enough to close the map out, 16-12, and force a trip to the Ancient decider.
Complexity started slowly on the Ancient decider, going 1-6 down to kick things off, but slowly grew into the game. The majority-American troupe stabilized with a seven-round spree to end their T-side campaign up by one, and were particularly ruthless in their treatment of Olek "hades" Miskiewicz, forcing the Polish AWPer, who is one of 9INE's better players, to go 0-10 before he finally earned his first kill in round 13.
9INE again hit their stride when it was their turn to go on the offensive, but ran out of steam once in the dying stages; Complexity won six in a row on the CT-side to pull off the win, 16-13, and send the Polish squad to the lower bracket.
|Complexity||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|75 - 47||+28||83.6||1.37|
|65 - 53||+12||92.5||1.28|
|56 - 58||-2||77.1||1.03|
|54 - 56||-2||72.2||1.01|
|35 - 58||-23||50.2||0.64|