Group G – Balkan
SKADE 2-0 FATE
The day started out well for SKADE, who found themselves locked in a derby match against one of their most notorious rivals – FATE Esports. These two teams have faced each other many times, but on this occasion it was SKADE that came out on top with a quick 2-0 victory to start the day. FATE put up a good fight on the first map of Inferno and were able to get 13 rounds, but on Vertigo it was a whole different story. SKADE were able to win 9 out of 12 possible full-buy rounds showing their dominance the whole way through the game to take a swift 16-7 win and close the series.
ONYX 2-1 Nexus
It was a different affair in the second Balkan game of the day. ONYX had to battle it out with top-Romanian side Nexus in order to make some kind of success from their series. The first map started out with Nexus taking a 16-12 win on Mirage, but it was all downhill from there. ONYX knuckled down and won out on Inferno and turned the entire series round, as Train fell in their favour with a very quick 16-4. Despite having to use a stand-in on the first map, Nexus tried to keep their heads high but the energy dipped in the third map and ONYX took over.
SKADE 2-0 ONYX
Moving onto the Winner’s Game of the bracket, SKADE kept the fire underneath them and made sure the energy was high going into the second game. They never really gave an opportunity for ONYX to battle into the late-stages of either map, while they were able to reach 10 points on both of Mirage and Vertigo, their opportunities were few and far between to make it any further. SKADE proved they were the best Balkan team and thanks to a huge performance from Duplicate, SHiPZ and dennyslaw all dropped 43 kills across the series to make this one of the best collaborative efforts to win the game.
FATE 1-2 Nexus
It was do or die for both of these teams as a place in Friday’s decider match was on the line. Nexus no longer needed to use a stand-in and had their full squad back in action. FATE picked into Inferno once again, a map they didn’t have much luck on against SKADE but this time the tables turned and they were able to take a victory to start the series, with a 16-10 win to open it up. On the next two maps though it was all one-way traffic as Nexus were able to spring a comeback with a 16-8 and 16-7 spree giving FATE only 15 rounds across 2 maps. On Dust2, Nexus converted the first kill of a round into a round victory 9 out of 10 times.
Lyngby Vikings 2-0 Astralis Talent
The Danish group’s first match saw one of the highest-ranked Danish teams of Lyngby Vikings taking on the academy team of major player Astralis. With the consistency of the last couple of month’s behind them, the Vikings looked set to win this game and that is absolutely what they did. The first map was no competition with Astralis Talent getting only 4 rounds on Nuke. More of the same was to follow on Mirage too, with Lyngby getting a very quick overall series win as they closed the second map 16-6. With big players like NaToSaphiX and birdfromsky leading the charge, Astralis Talent had no chance of slowing down their raging momentum.
Tricked 2-0 Copenhagen Flames
It was a bit of an unfortunate upset here for the Flames who were touted as one of the main contenders to make it out of this group with a clean run, as they met their match in the form of Tricked during this opening game. A close slog of a game on Train saw the match head into double overtime with Lucky turning up to help his side close out the match. After such a high-energy game, it was only natural that CPH Flames would feel disappointed with the result and sadly that showed in their second map, as Tricked were able to put the match to bed with a much more simple 16-7 victory on Overpass to advance to the Winner’s Match against Lyngby Vikings.
Copenhagen Flames 2-0 Astralis Talent
Despite taking a bit of a tumble in the first match, Copenhagen Flames didn’t let their heads drop going into the second game, and like Lyngby Vikings went up against Astralis Talent with the intentions of getting out of the series victorious. The first map started bright for the Flames, picking up 11 rounds in the first half. The young Astralis boys did make a bit of a comeback in the second half but the more experienced CPH squad rode out 16-11 winners. The second map seemed to be too overwhelming for the young Astralis team, and they let their guard down. They barely got started on Vertigo and CPH galloped to a quick 16-4 victory, with jabbi having an absolutely insane match, finishing with 115.1 ADR.
Lyngby Vikings 0-2 Tricked
In the final match of the day, Tricked continued to impress everybody as they faced one of the teams set to guarantee their place out of the group. Sure, it was the winner’s match of a long day of games for some of these teams, but that didn’t stop Tricked putting in a smashing performance against their fellow countrymen. Two very close games entailed, with twists and turns around every corner. A 16-14 for Tricked on Train saw them get the edge moving in to Map 2 of Nuke. This is where it got even spicier. Despite birdfromsky being 8-1 in duels against kiR, the whole Tricked team kept on pushing and eventually, like on the first map, scraped a very narrow 16-14 win to seal the 2-0 on the series and advance in the #1 place out of the group.