ESL Pro League Season 5 - G2 Esports are your first grand finalists
An exciting semi-finals series between two legendary teams, SK Gaming and G2 Esports unfolded in the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, TX. Ultimately, the Frenchmen came out victorious, becoming the first grand finalists of ESL Pro League Season 5.
de_Cache - 12:16 (8:7, 4:9)
The highly anticipated semi-finals series started with SK Gaming on the T side and G2 Esports on the CT side. The Brazilians started off strong, taking the first pistol round. But the pistols of CS:GO proved to be fatal once again and the G2 Esports snatched the second round anti-eco from the Brazilians. G2 moved on to have a 5:1 lead until SK decided it was time to put an end to the streak. But that round win wasn't as successful. All but two players of SK did not survive the round, as Nathan "NBK" Schmitt picked up a few exit frags in the post plant. Though clearly trailing behind, SK managed to bring their deficit to an advantageous score line. The first half was quite the tug of war, with both teams consistently exchange in picking up rounds and it ended with a 8:7 score in favour of the Brazilian side.
Coming into the second half, SK were in the lead. The pistol round was quite the brawl and it ultimately boiled down to a post-plant 1v1 situation between Joao "felps" Vasconcellos and Richard "shox" Papillon. The duel was played perfectly by Richard "shox" Papillon, as even though he lost the duel, Joao "felps" Vasconcellos did not have enough time to defuse the bomb. SK's lead didn't last long and the pistol round went the way of G2. Afterwards, SK Gaming had nothing to counter the next level Counter-Strike the Frenchmen were serving and the first map ended with a 12:16 victory for G2 Esports.
de_Overpass - 12:16 (10:5, 2:11)
The second map of the first semi-finals game started with the Brazilians on the CT side and the Frenchmen on the T side. SK Gaming took the first pistol round thanks to a group effort, as most members of SK contributed to the pistol round win in one way or another. In the follow up anti-eco, Joao "felps" Vasconcellos mollied off three players of the French side, denying the possibility of the infamous eco-round, pistol win. In the third round of the map, G2 had racked up enough economy to buy out a few AK-47s and Galils, which ultimately led to their first round win on the map. The fourth round proved to be quite the crucial one, as both teams' economies were close to peril. SK lost the round, but Marcelo "coldzera" David managed to save a rifle into the next round. The Brazilians force bought right into the next round, but was immediately denied by the Frenchmen. However, G2 Esports got the few victories to their head and lost the following anti-eco. Humbled, they immediately snapped back and took the next pair of rounds. In the ninth round however, SK barely snatched away a round win, which was followed with a crucial case where if they were to lose the following round, SK's economy would be reset and they would enter a double-eco territory. SK Gaming escaped the hypothetical nightmare, as Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo executed two insane AWP shots. SK then went on to win a chain of rounds until the Frenchmen made the decision to time-out, reset themselves and put a pause to the momentum the Brazilians had started building. Their efforts were empty and the Brazilians, though looked shaky in the first few rounds, ended the first half with a strong score of 10:5.
With a clearly disadvantaged score line, the Frenchmen walked into the second half with no room to make mistakes. Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro made sure the two-time major champions of SK Gaming did not stretch their lead and won the second pistol round of the map. G2 Esports successfully secured themselves the anti-eco and ultimately the opening three round wins that typically follow a pistol round win. In the first gun round of the second half, SK Gaming came out victorious but was immediately reset in the next round as Kenny "KennyS" Schrub ninja defused the bomb amidst a cloud of smoke. The lucky ninja defuse by Kenny "KennyS" Schrub sparked a series of round wins by G2 and the Frenchmen brought their 5 round deficit from the first half to an even 11:11 score. Superhero Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo came to the rescue again with two other insane AWP flicks. But just as SK finally seemed to get up on their foot in the second half, G2 Esports immediately denied it. TEC-9 force buys, gun rounds, aggressive strats, SK tried it all but the Frenchmen were too skilled to overcome. Thus, SK's run in the fifth season of ESL Pro League was cut short by none other than the French super team, G2 Esports.
Image courtesy of ESL.