Cologne 2015: Day 3 recap
The thrid day of ESL Cologne 2015 has come to close; check out the results of todays quarterfinals matchs.
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The first day of the playoffs opened with a bang, as the winners of the groups played out the quarterfinal brackets. Up first in the Lanxess Arena was Team EnVyUs and Natus Vincere, a matchup that many predicted to be the closest of the day. The first map of the series was de_inferno, a map the former nV lineup thrived on. The first half went well for them, considering it was T side of de_inferno, ending it 8:7, but the map still turned out to be a close one with Na'Vi managing to bring their score up before nV finally closed out the map at a 16:13 scoreline.
The Ukrainians looked to be back in the drivers seat on their signature map, de_mirage, on their T side as they managed to win the half 8:7. However, nV retaliated, and refused to let the series go to three maps, and put out an incredible T half of their own, finishing the map 16:10 and match 2:0, eliminating Na'Vi from the major.
The second match of the day was between Team Solomid and Team Kinguin -- with the latter team coming in as underdogs despite their win in groups against Cloud9. The first map of the series was de_dust2, where the pistol round came down to the wire, with device narrowly defeating Kinguin's "fox" in a one on one, and opening up the match for his team. The Danish squad kept the pressure up after first three rounds on their CT side, and continued to shutdown Team Kinguin's pushes for five more gun rounds, until their opponents finally answered back in the ninth round, allowing an entry back into the map. Kinguin were able to chain the rest of the rounds of the half together and ending it 9:6, in favor of the Danes. In the second half, TSM brought their A-game, winning the second pistol round and every round there out, finishing de_dust2 with a clean 16:6 scoreline.
The situation only seemed to continue to deteriorate for the multinational all-star team, Kinguin. On de_overpass, Kinguin lost their CT pistol round, under the pressure of TSM's karrigan pushing aggressively through the B site. Kinguin turned things around in the ensuing round however, with a force buy that allowed them to regain economic control of the match and string together five rounds, only before TSM recovered and pulled back the half 8:7, in favor of the Danes. Kinguin ran out of steam in the second half, and TSM managed to clean up quickly for a final score 16:8, winning them a spot in the semifinals against EnVyUs.
NiP vs Virtus.pro was almost definitely the highlight of the day, with both teams having a huge presence of fans in the crowd. The Ninjas started out on de_train with a great showing and a strong half, much to the pleasure of the audience. Starting with a 5:0 lead, the Swedes stumbled for a period before putting control back in their hands and ending the half 9:6 for NiP. Virtus.pro looked poised to win their CT pistol after taking out the bomb carrier in tunnel, but NiP's allu and Xizt managed to clutch the round when down 2v4, allowing the team to climb to 12:6. Their run was halted for a number of rounds, allowing the Virtus.plow to begin again. When NiP finally got to 13:12, the Poles quickly took the following round, and breaking the Swedes' economy. NiP sensationally won the eco-round and the follow-up round, but VP proved to be too strong in the end, ending map 1 with a final scoreline of 16:14.
VP showed their prowess on the second map, de_inferno, with their stellar CT side against NiP, shutting them out for the majority of the half and looking to go for a nearly flawless side. However, the Swedes managed to narrowly wring out several rounds in the last seconds, a lá Na'Vi, to bring the halftime score to 11:4 for VP. Virtus.pro showed no mercy in the second half, only allowing the Ninjas to take one round and ending the map 16:5, the series 2:0, and NiP's streak of appearing in the grand finals.
The final quarter-finalists match featured reigning champions fnatic up against the Brazilian underdogs, Luminosity Gaming. The first map was fnatic's choice, de_train. The pistol round saw a slow start, with no players taking a single point of damage until nearly 40 seconds left on the clock. The Brazilians, despite great entry frags, were not able to finish out the round, and fnatic won 2v3. fnatic used that momentum to win the next three rounds, before fnatic's Krimz lost a fantastically-played 1v1 to LG's Boltz. fnatic, however, were able to win the following round, resetting LG's eco. From there on out, LG were only able to get two gun rounds, and first half ended 12:3 in favor of fnatic. Some clean pistol play allowed the LG to take the second pistol round. Using the momentum, LG was able to win the follow-up round, thanks to some incredible play from LG's fer. However, that's where Luminosity Gaming's luck ended, and fnatic closed out map 1 with a 16:5 score.
Map 2 was LG's choice, de_mirage. The pistol round was quick and painless, with no one from fnatic dying. The Swedes continued their momentum and wonthe next four rounds swiftly. On the sixth round, the Brazilians retaliated and decided to take a page out of Cloud9's playbook, pushing up mid aggressively, and winning the sixth round without dropping a player. There on, the two teams traded rounds, thanks to some fantastic individual plays coming from both teams, including an ace from LG's fer and a 1v3 by FNC's pronax. Finally, the first half ended 8:7 in favor of the Swedish fnatic. The second pistol round saw fnatic's Krimz step up phenominally, getting three kills and bringing the score to 9:7. LG, on the follow-up round, struck the A site quickly and taking the round. From there, the two teams once again traded many close rounds, until it finally ended 16:14 in favor of fnatic. Something worth noting is that de_mirage was the map where Luminosity Gaming, back when they were under the name KaBuM.TD, had their breakout international performance, beating fnatic 16:7 at ClutchCon 2015 back in February.
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