Virtus.pro win Liquid rematch to qualify for ESL Pro League playoffs
Dzhami "Jame" Ali and company locked in third place in Group D after coming back from the brink of a two-map loss.
Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis and company fall to the Last Chance bracket, where they will need two best-of-three wins to secure the final playoffs spot on offer.
|ESL Pro League Season 18|
Although the deciding Vertigo was a one-way street, Virtus.pro had to sweat to earn the chance to go to three maps in the first place.
They got off into the series with a tough loss on Inferno, where a full eco win at 12-12 swung the map in Liquid's favor. Virtus.pro then faced a 10-14 deficit on Ancient but went on a six-round streak to force the decider off of superb play from Jame.
The round that turned the match
The comeback began with a close retake situation on B, where the Russian AWPer's late molotov ensured Virtus.pro's survival. Jame went on to put up seven more crucial kills in a much more comfortable final five rounds to complete the comeback.
"It felt like everything was under control, but anyway it was very stressful inside, so much pressure. When it was 14-14, it was full pressure, but we won the round and killed their economy," Petr "fame" Bolyshev added.
A swift win on Vertigo followed, ensuring Virtus.pro's second series victory over Liquid at the tournament, one that had special meaning to the team given their former teammate was sitting on the other side.
"It's nice that we won, because against Mareks [YEKINDAR] it's always a very important match for us. It's always a super motivating game for us," dastan shared. "Mareks knows how we play. We are like good guys, with structure, strats, and Mareks a bad guy — push, finding information, screaming, always focused, extra motivated, he will fight until the end."
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|60 - 34||+26||67.5||1.29|
|54 - 43||+11||72.3||1.13|
|55 - 51||+4||78.9||1.12|
|42 - 50||-8||69.5||1.00|
|43 - 50||-7||64.0||0.92|