PGL Major Kraków Qualifier – Day One Recap
The offline qualifiers for PGL Major Kraków kicked off with the first round matchups of Swiss system.
Eighteen sides gathered up at PGL studios in Bucharest, Romania to determine the challengers of PGL Major Kraków. A total of eight best-of-one matches were played, giving slight advantage for qualifying to half of the participants.
de_Inferno – 22:20 (11:4, 4:11, 7:5)
In the opening match of the event, favourites G2 took on Immortals who hope to become the second Brazilian side to attend a Valve major. Starting the match as once-favourable CT side, Immortals secured the pistol round but G2’s force-buy in the third round gave the economical upper hand to the Frenchmen. Immortals were still in the game until the 10th round when the score was 5:4 in favour of G2. Starting from that round, Nathan “NBK” Schmitt rallied the troops and his team put on an impressive 6-round run to lead 11:4 at the halftime.
Once the teams switched sides though, it was a whole different story. Immortals completely dominated the second half until the last two rounds of it and were leading 15:13 at that point. But G2 won two rounds in a row and forced overtime as Richard “shox” Papillon picked up three kills in the 30th round. Both teams fought fiercely on two overtimes but in the 44th round, NBK’s triple kill won G2 the match 22:20.
de_Train – 14:16 (7:8, 7:8)
Following the two-overtime insanity of G2 – Immortals match was another intercontinental clash between OpTic and PENTA. Starting as the Terrorists on Train was OpTic and thanks to Spanish star Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas’ triple-kill, the Green Wall won the first pistol round. Two successful rounds gave OpTic an early 3:0 lead but once they had enough cash to purchase rifles, PENTA started dominating the half. Eight consecutive round victories meant 8:3 lead for the European mix who had been carried by its Finnish duo, Miikka “suNny” Kemppi and Jesse “zehN” Linjala. OpTic finally stopped PENTA in the 13th round and managed to melt the gap to a single round at the halftime.
After losing the second pistol round and an eco round following it, Keith “NAF” Markovic clutched a 1v3. OpTic won five more rounds in and were leading 13:10 but PENTA came back by winning six out of seven rounds remaining and stole away the victory 16:14.
de_Inferno – 22:19 (8:7, 7:8, 7:4)
The opening day of offline qualifiers was full of close matches and the American-Chinese clash was no different. Liquid, playing as the Counter-Terrorists, won the first two rounds but failed to establish a lead as TyLoo won three in a row to make it 3:2. Between the sixth and eleventh round, the bombsites weren’t reachable for TyLoo as Liquid jumped onto the lead 7:3. The Chinese side answered with three rounds before finally catching Liquid at 7:7 thanks to Ke “Mo” Lui’s 1v3 clutch. Liquid’s victory in the last round of the half meant little as TyLoo grabbed the second pistol round.
Mo and co. won two more before losing the 19th round which was the beginning of Liquid control over the map. Russel “Twistzz” Van Dunkel starred as Liquid won seven in nine rounds to make it 15:12 but they failed to close it out and suddenly the score was 15:14 and Hui “DD” Wu’s triple-kill gave TyLoo a chance of winning the match as it meant a 15:15 score line.
Liquid were the better team in the first overtime but HaoWen “somebody” Xu killed four to prevent Liquid from reaching 19 rounds. In the second overtime the North American team was able close out the map 22:19.
de_Overpass – 16:14 (8:7, 8:7)
The Scandinavian match was as intense as the previous ones with GODSENT taking the win over dignitas after thirty rounds. Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad’s dignitas started the match by winning the first two rounds. But their lead lasted short as Simon “twist” Eliasson and Markus “pronax” Wallsten picked up triple-kills in back-to-back rounds to even the things at 2:2. The remainder of the half went as close as it gets but in the end the score was 8:7 in favour of GODSENT at the halftime.
Jesper “TENZKI” Plougmann’s triple-kill secured the second pistol round for dignitas but GODSENT won four in a row to make it 12:8. Jorgen “cromen” Robertsen’s entry kills on A-hit won the 21st round for dignitas but the Swedes answered by winning two rounds, making the score 14:9. But there were no easy wins in the first day, at least in the first half of the matches and dignitas honoured the tradition, won five in a row to catch GODSENT at 14:14. Swedish mastermind pronax transformed to a superstar in the 29th round, got quad-kill while holding B and won the round for his team. After reaching map point, GODSENT went on to win one more to defeat dignitas 16:14.
de_Inferno – 16:1 (15:0, 1:1)
The first blowout came after four insanely close matches as mousesports destroyed heavy underdogs Tengri 16:1. Playing as the T side, mousesports easily rushed to the lead and found themselves 8:0 ahead. Czech AWPer Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný picked up triple-kill in two back-to-back rounds with his AWP to make it 10:0. Tengri failed to stop mousesports and went to the halftime without winning a round. Ramazan “Ramz1k” Bashizov’s team won the second pistol round but mousesports reached 16 by taking the force in the following round.
de_Mirage – 16:10 (5:10, 11:0)
After mousesports take their first win over Tengri, it was Eastern European matchup between HellRaisers and Vega Squadron. The first pistol round went HellRaisers’ way who started the match on the T side. Krilii “ANGE1” Karasiow’s team won two more rounds before losing five to Vega. In the 9th round, Vladyslav “bondik” Nechyporchuk clutched a 1v2 post-plant on bombsite A to make it 5:4 but in the remainder of the half it was all Vega Squadron. Five round wins in six rounds resulted with the Russians leading 10:5 at the halftime.
In the second pistol round, bondik picked up the victory almost single-handedly with four kills. Four more rounds made it 10:10. In the 21st round Martin “STYKO” Styk held bombsite B with three kills and gave his team 11:10 lead. HellRaisers continued to dominate, not letting Vega Squadron win a single round in the half and eventually clinching the victory 16:10.
de_Train – 19:16 (4:11, 11:4, 4:1)
Renegades started the map by winning the first pistol round and two rounds following it on the CT side. FlipSid3 got on board by winning the fourth round and went on to win three more to take the lead at 4:3. But Justin “jks” Savage’s team stopped F3 there and won all of the remaining rounds of the half to lead 11:4 at the halftime.
Second pistol round also went Renegades’ way but they were reset by FlipSid3’s victory in the second round of the half. Led by Denis “electronic” Sharipov, the CIS-based team forced overtime by coming back from 12:4. FlipSid3 won all three rounds of the first overtime half as Counter-Terrorists. Playing against match point, Nemanja “nexa” Isaković and Karlo “USTILO” Pivac killed four to keep Renegades’ hopes alive but FlipSid3 won the 35th round and grabbed the victory 19:15.
de_Cobblestone – 10:16 (3:12, 7:4)
The last match of day one saw an easier than expected win for Cloud9 against BIG. Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz picked up three kills in the first pistol round to take it for BIG but Cloud9 reset the CT economy by winning the second round. It was close until the 8th round with Cloud9 leading by just one. However, the latter parts of the half witnessed complete North American dominance as Cloud9 won eight straight rounds to determine the halftime score as 12:3.
Desperate for a comeback, BIG won six of the first seven rounds in the second half to melt the gap to four at 13:9. Unfortunately for tabseN and co. it was the closest they could get as Jake “Stewie2k” Yip’s Cloud9 secured their first win in the offline qualifiers with a 16:10 score line.
The second round matchups of major main qualifiers are:
Image courtesy of PGL