Groups C and D were here to once again not only bring the winners of the two major tournaments so far but also one former top team trying to win back their former status. With Virtus.pro, Fnatic, Titan an more waiting, the games only got got get better!
Group C: A champion in freefall?
Virtus.pro vs. Fnatic was more than just the winners match of group C - these teams are not just any contenders, but the winners of Katowice and DreamHack Winter 2013. Starting in the third appearance of Overpass, Virtus.pro took the first round, with TaZ being the last man standing. Two more rounds went to the hands of the Polish before KRiMZ secured the first round for Fnatic. However, VP once again showed that they really have trained for Overpass, giving a solid defense and allowing only small chances for JW and his team to score. Only single rounds were picked up by Fnatic before they managed to gain two in a row before halftime, bringing the score to 10-5 in favor of Virtus.pro.
Despite bringing down two Fnatic players early, pronax and his team managed to take the pistol round, picking out VP players one by one. VP twice tried to bring Fnatic down with some guns bought in their eco but didn’t manage to turn this tactic into any positive outcome. It was 10-8 when VP had their first real equipped round as T, but Fnatic did a good job at keeping their spots safe, using the following anti-eco to equalize the score to 10-10. After those five rounds in a row, VP came back to finally bring an A push to success, but were unable to start a streak. Fnatic once again locked down the A spot, with VP forced to play on with very limited equipment but still taking the game to 12-11 in their favor and leaving Fnatic with another eco round. Back and forth the game went, with VP pushing the score to 14-12 with Fnatic left without much money, resulting in them giving VP the 15th round as well as three match points. After defending the first, VP decided to put all their money on the 29th round, which they then lost, allowing Fnatic to bring the score to 15-15 and the game into overtime.
As with most overtimes so far, the first two rounds were split between the teams, with Fnatic able to finish the third and thus gaining the advantage. Going into the second half with one more round on their back gave Fnatic a good start, taking the score to 18-16 with two match points to the Swedes. In the final round, Fnatic did not let the game slip, advancing to the playoffs as first team of their group.
Virtus.pro vs. iBUYPOWER was a crucial match for both teams. While the Polish had to win in order to keep the dream of defending their Katowice title alive, the Americans didn’t want to drop out in the group stage yet again. Cache was the randomized map, which saw Virtus.pro taking the CT site and winning the pistol round followed by five more. Even when iBP came into a round with an advantage, Virtus.pro found a way to take them down. After seven rounds in VP’s favor, iBP were able to take their first, but lost the following to see their economy get even worse than before. At 10-1 another round was won by iBP, but once again they were left with only this one, leaving them with few options for the last two rounds of first half. With a 13-2 scoreline in favor of Virtus.pro, the game looked like it had been decided already.
With the T side pistol going to VP as well, the game was just about done for iBP. The Americans tried their best by buying everything they could but Virtus.pro earned their 15th round as well as 13 match points. In the final round, Snax ended the match in style, a knife kill and 16-2 scoreline marking the end of iBUYPOWER’s next attempt to demonstrate their home turf strength at a European event.
Group D: Three favorites clash for only two spots
Team Dignitas vs. Cloud 9 was another clash of the “Legends of Katowice” for the first spot in their group. On Mirage and starting as CT, Dignitas took the pistol round by storm, but Cloud 9 replied with a strong eco, bringing the score to 1-1, as well as picking up the following two. With the Dignitas’s following equipped round being won by C9 as well, the Americans extended their lead to 5-1 before the Danes struck back. Dignitas managed to bring their defense to the level they are known for on Mirage, taking the score to an all-even 5-5 and beyond. Even though C9 managed to get the opening frags in some rounds, Dignitas stood strong and made the game go 10-5 in their favor at halftime.
Making it ten rounds in a row, Dignitas won the pistol round only to see Cloud 9 once again winning their eco round with seM picking up three frags with the scout. Breaking the Danish streak, the US boys started a streak of their own, taking the game to a close 11-10 in favor of Dignitas before device and his mates won their 12th round. Two more rounds went to the Danes while C9 seemed to be unable to find the right way to stop Dignitas’s offensive, when all of a sudden seangares took them out almost on his own, bringing C9 back into the game to take two more rounds. The 28th round, with a scoreline of 14-13 in favor of Dignitas, was another crucial one, with both teams fully equipped. Cloud 9 almost fell for a well-played fake by Dignitas, but was able to bring the score to 14-14. A very big round by both teams, which saw dupreeh bring down three C9 players, was turned around hard by a risky defuse by Cloud 9 before they managed to bring the game to 16-14 in their favor, sending Dignitas down to face Titan in the final decider match of the day.
Team Dignitas vs. Titan saw two favorites face off in a do-or-die situation. With the Cloud 9 match on their backs, it was a big question as to how Dignitas would handle this huge loss - could they draw motivation from it or would we see broken Danes take on Titan? Kicking off on Nuke, Dignitas, starting as CT, picked up the pistol round to get an uncontested 3-0 lead. Starting with the first equipped rounds for the French, Dignitas once again underlined their reputation of being a pain to play as CT on Nuke. A few kills per round was all that Titan achieved, while Dignitas really played hard to make their recent loss forgotten. Time and time again, FeTiSh and his mates managed to take the French down, even if Titan succeeded in turning the round to their favor. A time-out before the 11th round gave Titan some new swing, which won them their first round. However, Dignitas were still on a roll, taking all the remaining rounds to set the scoreline at 14-1 for halftime.
With Dignitas taking the pistol round, the match was over. Titan tried to respond to keep their very small chance alive, but device and his team put a stop to any French hope, bringing the map home 16-1 and sending Titan away empty-handed once more after they dropped out in Katowice’s group stage. NiP’s former contestant for the number one spot in the world now has to cheer LDLC and Epsilon to keep the French flag flying in the tournament.
All CS:GO wrap-ups so far:
- French Friday for ESL One Cologne's groups A and B
- Did groups C and D go according to plan at ESL One Cologne?
- The first surprises in groups A and B of ESL One Cologne
- More CS:GO on ESLGaming.com
Check the ESL One homepage for all the results as well as our ongoing wrap-ups and more. Are you excited about the quarterfinals tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!