Virtus.Pro started strongly on Mirage, wiping the floor with BIG as they stole their map pick. BIGs T side was toothless as they struggled to get onto the sites and plant the bomb. Virtus.Pro were able to hold them off with ease and held a near insurmountable 13-2 lead going into halftime. In the second half it was a valiant attempt to come back from BIG, but the damage had already been done and Virtus.Pro only needed to eke out three rounds to clinch the first map 16-9.However, BIG showed no signs of shellshock as it went into Vertigo, the map pick choice of Virtus.Pro. They wasted no time in displaying their incredible mental fortitude to come back with a vengeance. Led by an incredible performance from Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch they stormed to a 12-3 half-time lead. Virtus.Pro picked up the pistol round and the subsequent two rounds as BIG saved their money, but as soon as BIG could buy everything they needed they were able to pick up the next four rounds and secure the map to level the series at 1-1 and take it to Overpass.
Despite winning the opening rounds on Overpass BIG looked like they were running out of steam. An 8 round streak for Virtus.Pro on their CT side followed as they kept BIG at bay and finished the first half with a 10-5 lead, largely thanks to the performance of Alexey "qikert" Golubevwho picked up 17 kills in the half. In the second half it started to look worrying for BIG when Virtus.Pro got themselves in sight of the finish line at 14-5, but once again BIG showed their resilience and went on a 7 round streak to bring it back to 14-11. There was controversy though as the following round was reset in the middle of a site take where BIG were a man up. It could be argued that this killed the momentum that BIG had built up, but Virtus.Pro took advantage and picked up the two rounds they needed to claim the map and the series to advance to the Upper Bracket final.
Map 1 (Mirage)
On Virtus.Pro’s CT side they won 8 rounds in a row with BIG only managing to plant the bomb three times in the entire half.
Dzhami "Jame" Alidominated with 22 kills, 10 of which were AWP kills.
Map 2 (Vertigo)
Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch was utterly dominant with 27 kills, 123.6 ADR and a 1.93 rating. 22 of his kills were in the first half.
Sharing is caring. BIG shared the spoils in the second half as every player picked up 5 kills each, only Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş had 6.
Map 3 (Overpass)
Timur 'buster' Tulepov and Alexey 'qikert' Golubev were the dream duo for Virtus.Pro with 25 and 24 kills respectively. Qikert led the server scoreboard with 9 assists, 102.5 ADR and a 1.46 rating.
In the battle of AWPers, Florian 'syrsoN' Rischedominated with 12 AWP kills whilst Dzhami 'Jame' Ali had an unusually poor game for Virtus.Pro, with only 16 kills in total putting him at the bottom of the scoreboard for his team.
Virtus.Pro were excellent throughout and the most significant aspect was their diligence and discipline. They left little to chance by using their utility well and trading frags consistently. It was a complete team performance across the series for Virtus.Pro, with no one player really standing out as an MVP of the series. Even when star man Jame didn’t perform on Overpass they managed to pull off a convincing win which really shows how much of a solid unit the team is as a whole. Based on today’s performance, a case could easily be made for them going all the way and winning this tournament .
On Mirage and Overpass it was the T side where BIG let themselves down. They kept making unforced errors and were a little sloppy and undisciplined in their play, particularly in post-plant situations they were making unnecessary peeks and allowing Virtus.Pro to retake the sites too easily. Their best T side performance came on Vertigo where they hyped themselves up to blow Virtus.Pro out of the water with sheer aggression and insane plays from Tizian, but it’s hard to sustain those levels of energy. Coming into this tournament as favourites it’s surprising to see them drop into the lower bracket so early, but they’ll now be favourites to make it through the lower bracket to the Grand Final.
Virtus.Pro will face the winner of Fnatic vs MiBR in the Upper Bracket Final, whilst BIG drop down into the lower bracket to play against MAD Lions in what will surely be a hotly contested match after MAD Lions swept Envy aside in only two maps yesterday. Fnatic play MiBR this evening with the loser facing OG in the other lower bracket game tomorrow after BIG vs MAD Lions. It’s all to play for, so get your bets in at Midnite.com!
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