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StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 - Round two recap

CS:GO Aleksei “Aleksei.L” Louchnikov

Day two of the group stage has concluded, with a mixed bag of results across the board.

Day two of the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 LAN finals saw some interesting developments on the leader board. Eight teams have reached the extremes of the bracket, whereby four are looking at entering the playoffs by securing another victory, whilst four are looking at the prospect of packing their bags early for a disappointing journey home. A few surprises were seen over the course of the day, the most astonishing of which was indefinitely a 16-2 victory for SK Gaming over Virtus.pro. Amongst other unexpected results was North upsetting the world's #1 CS:GO team Astralis in a match that saw overtime. Finally, G2 Esports absolutely dominated their match-up against HellRaisers, whereby the French roster allowed but two rounds to slip into the European mix's favour.

Following are the standings for all sixteen teams:
 

Win/loss: 2-0 Win/loss: 1-1 Win/loss: 0-2
Denmark North Kazakhstan Gambit Esports China TyLoo
France G2 Esports United States Counter Logic Gaming China UYA
CIS Natus Vincere Europe FaZe Clan Brazil Immortals
Brazil SK Gaming Denmark Astralis Korea MVP Project
  Europe HellRaisers  
  Sweden Fnatic  
  Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas  
  Poland Virtus.pro  

 

Below are the match-ups for tomorrow's round 3:

10:00 - China TyLoo vs. Korea MVP Project
11:30 - Brazil Immortals vs. China UYA
13:00 - Kazakhstan Gambit Esports vs. Europe FaZe Clan
14:30 - United States Counter Logic Gaming vs. Europe HellRaisers
16:00 - Denmark North vs. CIS Natus Vincere
17:30 - Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Poland Virtus.pro
19:00 - Brazil SK Gaming vs. France G2 Esports
20:30 - Sweden Fnatic vs. Denmark Astralis

Kazakhstan Gambit Esports vs. China TyLoo - de_Cobblestone 16:13 (8:7, 8:6)

The first match-up of the day saw the CIS representative wrestle down the Chinese underdogs in a close manner. TyLoo kicked off with the first pistol round, followed by the two following rounds to produce a 3:0 lead. Upon being able to go for a full buy, Gambit produced a victory that developed into momentum for the team, carrying it through six consecutive rounds. At this point the score was now in favour of Gambit at 5:3, which didn't seem too appealing to the roster of TyLoo. The Chinese surged back into the game, landing four consecutive rounds of their own, propelling the score to 6:7. Whilst the final two rounds of the half saw bomb plants from the Chinese side, these were successfully defused by the opposing team, to produce an 8:7 half time score in favour of Gambit Esports.

After switching sides the CIS mix was able to secure an absolutely crucial pistol round, followed by two consecutive round wins furthering their lead to 10:7. Essentially a mirror performance of Gambit from the first half, TyLoo secure a victory on their first buy round, followed by four consecutive rounds, causing sweat to trickle from the foreheads of Gambit. Despite an 11-12 score line, the experienced roster of Gambit re-composed themselves and started grinding out the rounds. Of the final six rounds the team was able to grab five, which turned out to be all they needed to secure the win and prevent the team from entering the dangerous 0-2 territory.



United States Counter Logic Gaming vs. China UYA - de_Cobblestone 16:3 (12:3, 4:0)

A comprehensive victory from the American side, utterly shutting down the Chinese underdogs. CLG kick off on the CT side of the map, where they are able to pick up the pistol round. As well as the initial boost, the match-up favourites were able to further develop the lead, as a total of five consecutive rounds were amassed prior to conceding one to UYA. Shortly after the domination continued, with UYA bringing their best attempts at aggression that, unfortunately, proved futile against their opponents. The Chinese side was able to grab but three rounds over the entirety of the initial half, placing CLG at a strong 12:3 lead. The second half didn't last long - four rounds to be precise, as the Americans grab the second consecutive pistol round, followed by three  further rounds, closing out the match with a 16:3 finish and a 1-1 w/l ratio.



Europe FaZe Clan vs. Brazil Immortals - de_Mirage 16:10 (9:6, 7:4)

The third match-up between the European and Brazilian side saw a bit of back and forth motion, followed by a convincing blow from FaZe Clan. The EU representatives commence on the CT side of Mirage, where they are unable to withstand the aggression thrown at them by Immortals. Further losses were sustained, up to a 3:0 deficit, however the first gun round saw a digit fall in favour of FaZe. In the following six rounds, both teams split the rounds evenly amongst each other to ultimately bring the score in favour of Immortals at 4-6. Bouncing back, FaZe manage to close out the final five rounds in their favour to produce a 9:6 half time score. During the second pistol round, the Europeans are able to outperform their Brazilian opponents, grabbing not only the initial round, but also the two following rounds to further their lead at 12:6. Immortals shut down FaZe during their first gun round and start developing much needed momentum to keep rolling in the rounds. The aforementioned lasted for a total of three additional rounds, after which FaZe went in for the kill and smashed four consecutive rounds into their favour, closing out the map at 16:10. 



Denmark North vs. Denmark Astralis - 19:16 (11:4, 4:11, 4:1)

Duking it out next were two Danish teams - North and Astralis. Despite being considered the current #1, the major champions were unable to surpass their compatriots, falling down to the 1-1 bracket in overtime. The match started with Astralis on the CT side, where the team conceded the pistol to the aggressors from North. The tournament favourites did manage to redeem themselves in the second round, however, as a force buy surprise produced positive results, bringing the score to an even 1:1. Following a fairly even start, things got progressively worse for Astralis, as North absolutely dominated the T side of Inferno. Round after rounds MSL and co. were able to outsmart and out-aim their opponents. This continued for a whopping seven consecutive rounds, leaving very little space for a comeback at 1:8. Four rounds was all she wrote for Astralis in the initial half, placing the team in quite the predicament. Having transferred to the T side, the major title holders started accruing rounds. The pistol went in Astralis' favour and the momentum of the team was incredible, so much so that the team was able to run away with seven consecutive rounds prior to North kicking back. After losing the 22nd round, Astralis' economy was broken, which gave North the opportunity to exploit the opponents' weakness and strike. Strike they did, managing to grab three consecutive rounds. Resurgence from Astralis came swiftly after, as the team pushes the map to its limit at 15:14, with everything on the line. Emil "Magisk" Reif pulls off a spectacular 4K to secure his team the 30th round of the map, pushing the best-of-one into overtime. Overtime didn't take long as North were determined on winning the match - initially on the CT side, the Danes snatched a 2:1 lead and after switching to the T side, a flawless 2-0 score meant a victory. 



France G2 Esports vs. Europe HellRaisers - de_Cobblestone 16:2 (13:2, 3:0)

The group stage of the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 LAN finals has seen some fast matches, but this particular best-of-one beat them all. G2 Esports show a monstrous performance, absolutely stomping HellRaisers into the ground. Having started on the T side, the Frenchmen get ahead by securing the pistol round. A further four rounds fell in favour of G2 prior to retaliation from the European mix, however it wasn't very long lived, as a total of two rounds were accrued by HellRaisers, proving to be all the team was capable of during that time. The remainder of the rounds skew in favour of an extremely dominant G2, culminating in a 13:2 half. Hopes were high for HellRaisers coming back into the game, but these were shattered, as the French were able to grand another consecutive pistol round, followed by the obligatory two, closing out the map with an astonishing 16:2 score line.



CIS Natus Vincere vs. Sweden Fnatic - de_Overpass 16:9 (12:3, 4:6)

The CIS mix of Natus Vincere pleases the home crowd by securing a victory over the Swedes on de_Cache. Na'Vi kick off on the CT side of the map, where they are able to secure the first pistol round, along with two subsequent ones. Fnatic produce a round in their favour on the buy round, only to concede the follow-up. The CIS representatives snowballed from this point onwards, consistently shutting down the offence thrown at them. This was true until round 13, where Fnatic decided to grab a couple prior to switching sides. The Swedes found themselves in a 3:12 predicament at half time. On the CT side the Swedish roster was able to secure exactly twice as many rounds as in the initial half, however this was simply insufficient to rebound back into the game for the team. Natus Vincere grabbed the pistol and the follow-up, coupled by rounds 24 & 25 to tuck away the series at 16:9.



Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Korea MVP Project - de_Cobblestone 16:9 (8:7, 8:2)

The Ninjas secure their place amongst teams with a 1-1 record as they are able to take down the Korean underdogs on Cobblestone. The Swedes kicked off on the T side of the map, commencing with the pistol round. Three digits were scored prior to MVP going on a five round win streak, securing a 5:3 lead on the match-up favourites. This did not dishearten the Ninjas, as they proceed to secure five of their own, landing an 8:5 score line. The final two rounds of the half went in favour of the Koreans, producing a rather close 8:7 score in favour of the Swedes. Contrary to the close nature of the initial round, Ninjas in Pyjamas excel on the CT side of the map. Off the get-go the team grabs the second pistol round, followed by four, bringing the team's round aggregate to 13. All attempts were made by MVP Project to secure rounds, however the efforts were futile, as Ninjas in Pyjamas grabbed the final three rounds needed to close the series at 16:9.



Brazil SK Gaming vs. Poland Virtus.pro - de_Mirage 16:2 (13:2, 3:0)

The final match of the series saw an unexpectedly fast match between two powerhouses, only one of which would prove to be victorious. SK Gaming kick off on the T side of the map, where they are able to grab the pistol round. After this point, it was almost as if the defence was non-existent. Round after round the Polish defence fell through, developing a worrying pattern that was seen throughout the initial half. In an astonishingly poor performance Virtus.pro are able to secure but a single round to fourteen, severely hindering their chances of a 2-0 win record. In an attempt to pull themselves back into the game, Virtus.pro manage to secure the second pistol round, despite a fairly sloppy execute onto A site. A force buy from the Brazilians in round seventeen produced a positive result, shutting down any chances of further momentum development from the Polish side. Round eighteen further falls in favour of SK Gaming, cutting the game at an astonishing 16-2 score line.


Image courtesy of StarLadder Flickr

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Aleksei “Aleksei.L” Louchnikov
<p>Former CS:GO Section Editorial Lead at GosuGamers.net. Contact - @Aleksei_Lushni/[email protected]</p>

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