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ESL One Katowice: who found their form when it mattered most?

Philipp Saedler
Senior Editor
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The second part of group stage wasn’t any less promising as reigning Katowice champion and Virtus.pro played their first matches in front of their home crowd, while while other fan favorites such as Ninjas in Pyjamas, now fielding allu for his first event in the new jersey, or Team SoloMid as well as the US teams of Cloud9 and CLG joined their stage. Did the big names succeed or were the smaller teams able to make themselves a name?

Group C: are the Ninjas back in shape?

1st Ninjas in Pyjamas Advancing to the playoffs
2nd Keyd Stars Advancing to the playoffs
3rd Counter Logic Gaming  
4th HellRaisers  
GAME ONE
HellRaisers found a good start on Counter Logic Gaming, winning the CT pistol on nuke and building a strong lead. It was eleven rounds of a strong defence by HellRaisers, before CLG were able to break it and catch up in score. But only two rounds went the way of the US team, before HellRaisers closed first half by 13-2.

For the second half, CLG had to find into the game very soon to not lose the game early on. After taking the pistol round, CLG was able to stand their ground with a solid defence as well, picking up rounds against HellRaisers, who were still looking for a hole to sneak through. Closing in on the score of HR, CLG showed some well coordinated moves and a solid CT side overall. At match round for CLG, HellRaisers came back to take another round, but this was only one last point scored before CLG closed the game by 16-14, advancing to the Winners Match.

GAME TWO
Ninjas in Pyjamas met Keyd Stars, the former KaBuM team, on de_inferno. After taking the T pistol round, NiP were able to start a run, extending their lead over the underdog Brazilians. After five more or less clear rounds for the Swedes, Keyd got their defence up, taking the first round against the winners of ESL One Cologne. NiP kept the control to themselves, before Keyd scored another round to bring the score to 9-2. The remaining rounds went to the Ninjas as well, taking the score to 13-2 by half time.

With pistol round going to Keyd Stars, hopes were high to see some more of the Brazilians. Five round went to their site, before NiP came back into their game. After taking the game to match point, Keyd found another round, breaking NiPs economy. This gave them another chance to score rounds but the game ended 16-9 to the Swedes, who advance to meet CLG in the Winners Match.

GAME THREE
Moving into the Winners Match were NiP and CLG, this match could give another idea of how good CLG can do against the top teams of Europe. Ninjas in Pyjamas kicked of Mirage by winning the pistol round starting as T and building a lead on CLG, who took only one round in the meantime. With friberg and Xizt stepping up, the American side looked lacking chances but being outplayed in many rounds. At 8-1 for NiP, CLG scored another round reestablishing their eco and being able to take the Swedes on fully equiped again. Things didn’t work out as planned and NiP were able to extend their lead even further and end the first half by 13-2.

After losing the pistol round, CLG were able to stop the Swedes once more to keep the game still in reach to be won by them. The Americans made use of NiP saving up and brought the game to 14-5, before NiP picked up the big guns once again. However, NiP were not able to profit from this and losing another round as well as seeing their eco being broke once more. Put after CLG closed by to 14-7, NiP took the 15th round and the match round right after to move on to the playoffs.

GAME FOUR
HellRaisers and Keyd Stars met in the Losers match to decide the first team to get packing in group C. After losing the pistol round the Brazilians were able to set up a small lead, before HellRaisers found into the game and turned things around again. They extended their lead to 6-3, before Keyd were able to take another round. But HR came back with a strong set up once again to bring the game to a 10-5 half time scoreline seeing Keyd only taking one more round.

Even though winning the T pistol round, HR lost the following equipped round against Keyd on an eco. Another back and forth fight started with rounds going to both sides, seeing well played rounds from the two teams fighting to make it to the Decider Match. The forth and back continued with Keyd Stars being able to pick up in score. After a break, Keyd Stars came strong into the game, not dropping any single round and winning the match 16-12 to advance to the decider match.

GAME FIVE
Keyd Stars and Counter Logic Gaming met for the chance of being the first non European team to make it to the playoffs. On Dust2 Keyd found into the match better, winning the pistol round as T and scoring the two follow up rounds as well. The Brazilians stood strong on this good start and extending their lead on and on. CLG looked like not finding a way to put the Keyd offense to a stop, falling further and further behind. 13-0 was Keyd Stars lead, before CLG took the last two round and going into the second half by a 13-2 scoreline.

CLG was able to pick up the pistol round and the following two before Keyd were able to reply well equipped. But CLG took the game to 13-7 before Keyd scored another round. However, CLG were able to strike back right in the following round and keeping the tension up. Keyd were able to score the next two rounds to take the score to 16-8, sending CLG packing while we will see Keyd Stars joining the playoffs as the first South American team in the history of the CS:GO majors.
 

Group D: another landslide series from Virtus.pro?

1st Virtus.pro Advancing to the playoffs
2nd Team SoloMid Advancing to the playoffs
3rd Cloud9  
4th 3DMAX  
GAME ONE
Team SoloMid and Cloud9 kicked off the group D with another match on Nuke. Starting as CT, TSM were the team to score a good bunch of rounds, setting up pressure on C9. Two early rounds for Cloud9 made the game look like one of the rare strong T sided matches, but TSM knew how to set up their defence and kept the score for C9 at two rounds for the rest of the half, taking the game to the second half at a 13-2 scoreline.

Cloud9 were able to have their CT setup in place right from the beginning, picking up round after round. TSM didn’t find a way to break the American lines. At 13-13 two rounds were split before C9 scored the 15th round, seeing TSM go into C9s match round with almost no equipment. Cloud9 managed to take the match round and finished an interesting match 16-14 to advance to the Winners Match.

GAME TWO
In their first match, returning as champion of Katowice, Virtus.pro faced 3DMAX on Overpass. The Finns didn’t really find their shape as Virtus.pro dominated the CT site. After winning the pistol round, only three round were won by the natu and his team. A 12-3 scoreline by the end of first half gave a good look at Virtus.pro’s will to bring take this tournament, as said by TaZ in the interview before the kick off.

The second half saw 3DMAX winning the pistol round and left a chance to them to turn things around. But pasha and his mates took the four rounds they needed to advance to face C9 at a scoreline of 16-5, sending 3DMAX to play TSM in the Losers Match.

GAME THREE
Virtus.pro got their first stage match this year against Cloud9, being cheered the second they set foot on stage. But the better start on Inferno was with the American. Cloud9 was able to take the pistol round starting as T, putting a short break to the cheering. One more went their way before the crowd was chanting “Virtus.pro” again as they picked up their first rounds. Taking over the lead, and extending it based on a great defensive play. TaZ and his team took the score to 10-2 before C9 were able to break their streak. The audience was not falling short in supporting their home team, pushing them to directly responding with their eleventh round scored and taking the game to a 12-3 scoreline.

With the pistol going to Cloud9, the game was looking like becoming more open once again. Cloud9 were able to gain ground and catching up to Virtus.pro. After five rounds in a row for the Americans, the crowd once again saw their team needing the support and cheering them going into a well equipped round. But C9 seemed unimpressed by this, catching up more and more. The score went to 12-10 before VP were to score again and turning the tides to score again in the following round. C9 were able to surprise the Polish side, scoring one more round only to see Neo and his mates striking back and making the crowd go wild as they earned themselves four match points. One one more round was needed as Neo once again stepped up to bring the score to 16-11 to secure their spot in the playoffs and keeping the chance alive to defend their title in Katowice.

GAME FOUR
TSM took on 3DMAX on another round of Nuke to stay alive in group D. Starting as CT they were not able to win the pistol round, leaving a chance for 3DMAX to pick up a few rounds as T. The following two round were picked up by the Finns, before TSM got their hands on full equipment and had their defence in place. It was 8-3 before 3DMAX were able to pick up their next round, which put a bit of pressure on TSM while still leaving them equipped and ready. This fact was used by karrigan and his team to take the score to 11-4 before switching sides.

Picking up the T pistol round, TSM continued their run and extended their lead even more. An almost won eco and a full eco later, TSM was leading 14-4 and already looking like making it to the Decider Match. Especially karrigans performance was outstanding as he was topping the scoreboard as the ingame leader. However, 3DMAX were able to come back from this after gaining enough money to run on full equipment. They took the score to 14-10 in TSMs favor, before the Danes scored the 15th round and the match round right after. Now it was them to face Cloud9 in the Decider Match to make it to the playoffs.

GAME FIVE
Cloud9 and TSM met for the rematch on Overpass for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs. TSM came out on top in the pistol round, starting on the favored CT side, but C9 were able to win the following three rounds, before TSM was back with another equipped round. Back on an equal level, Cloud9 were not able to continue their run and saw TSM pick up two more rounds and equaling the match again. The Danes were able to take another three rounds before C9 came back. They catched up to TSM, bringing the score to 6-6, but losing the remaining rounds, seeing TSM take the lead by 9-6 at halftime.

Cloud9 cane into the second half winning the CT pistol round and getting themselves a good spot to work on from. However, TSM struck back right away starting another small streak taking the score to 12-7. C9 was able to take another round, but got stopped there, as TSM extended their lead even more. No more round was won by Cloud9 as TSM took the game to 16-8 and advance to the playoffs as the final team.


Stay tuned for the playoffs starting tomorrow with the quarter finals. Check the ESL One website for all results and more. For the streams, check our Twitch.tv hub with all stream from IEM Expo in all available languages. Watch your favorite games of today as VoD on our YouTube account. Get even more updates from ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook!