After beating Virtus.pro 2-1 in the top bracket of ESL Pro League Season 18, G2 qualified for the playoffs by winning Mirage 16-6 and Ancient 16-5 before losing on their own pick of Inferno 10-16.
With this win, G2 advances to the Group D final against Complexity to determine who advances directly to the playoff quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Virtus.pro have been relegated to the lower bracket and must now face Eternal Fire in order to avoid the Last Chance round.
Hooxi and M0nesy’s strong fragging on all three maps, along with the help of NiKo and Hunter, helped the team overcome the fact that despite early-series dominance, he slumped significantly on Inferno and Ancient.
On Mirage, the IEM Cologne champions seemed unbeatable at the start of the match, keeping Virtus.pro out of bombsites and forcing several save scenarios. HooXi’s team just needed six rounds to seal the victory and advance to Inferno, while the Russian team only managed to win two.
After falling behind CT by a score of 3-8, G2 had little wiggle space in their map selection. Despite this, they managed to go within one round of Virtus.pro at the break, and for a short time in the second half they were in a position to steal the momentum, winning a force-buy on round 17 and turning it into a tie game at 9-9, but strong retakes by VP locked G2 out from picking up a 2-0 victory and forced an Ancient decider.
HooXi held a master class on the T side of things there. Even if he was unable to recoup his individual performance, it was not necessary because m0NESY and the rest of G2’s riflers had already done so much damage to Virtus.pro in the first half. As a result of G2’s 11-4 lead at halftime and quick finish immediately after the side switch, 16-5, Virtus.pro were left scrambling defensively for the rest of the match.
With a 2-0 win over Cloud9 on Anubis (16-13) and Ancient (16-6), Complexity has clinched a berth in the ESL Pro League playoffs.
Floppy’s stellar performance throughout the series was a major factor in Complexity’s victory over Cloud9, but every member of the team contributed to the victory. Cloud9 seems to have trouble coming up with strategies on the T side, with their defaults doing particularly poorly. The Russian team’s problems were exacerbated by the poor play of its individual members, with the exception of Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov and Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov, who both had good halves.
Now guaranteed a playoff berth, Complexity will advance to the grand finals of the upper bracket and await the victor of the playoff seeding match between G2 and Virtus.pro. Cloud9 will be playing Liquid in the lower bracket.
The series began with Complexity’s selection, Anubis, and the Americans quickly found themselves playing from behind. With sh1ro particularly on point, Cloud9 were able to take a 7-2 lead after winning the pistol round on the CT side. Late in the first half, floppy made a huge difference for Complexity, but his side still lost, 6-9.
Complexity, despite their disadvantage, began to grind their way back into the game with the help of their fragging support. As the first half progressed, Cloud9’s defaults became increasingly ineffective, allowing Complexity to pull away for a 16-13 victory.
Cloud9’s poor defaults carried over to their map of choice, Ancient, handing an early 7-1 advantage to Complexity. A stronger showing from Johnny “JT” Theodosiou helped his team take a 9-6 lead into the second session, despite Cloud9’s increased risk-taking in taking space and finding duels, which helped them string together a few rounds.
Complexity started the game by stepping on the gas on offense and never letting up, resulting in a 16-6 victory and a sweep of the series to advance to the postseason.
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