ESL One: Cologne 2017 – Day Three Recap
The final day of the group stage has concluded, confirming all eight contestants that have made it to the play-off stage.
de_Mirage – 3:16 (2:13, 1:3)
With both teams faced with elimination, the stakes were high. The match-up favourites, Fnatic kicked off to a CT start, where the team managed to claw the round their way, despite Space Soldiers securing a bomb plant. The following round was also under the belt of Fnatic, however the same could not be said about round three, as the Turks were able to buy full equipment, thanks to the monetary addition from the bomb plant earlier, and stole the third round away from the favourites. Unfortunately this proved to be one of the few rounds Space Soldiers would accrue not only in the first half, but in the entirety of the match, as we saw Fnatic totally dominate the defensive half of Mirage. Round after round went in the Swedes’ favour, with the first fifteen distributed 13:2 in Fnatic’s favour.
Space Soldiers gave it their best shot in the second half, as the team managed to stall further round development from Fnatic by securing the second pistol. Bursting with confidence, the Swedes opted for a force buy, given their incredible lead, and came through with it, upsetting the anti-eco equipped Space Soldiers. From here the shattered economy of the Turks was too large a factor to ignore, as the underdogs fell three rounds in a row, conceding the map at a disappointing 3:16.
de_Inferno – 16:14 (6:9, 10:5)
The clash of the Danes saw fiery competition between the two sides on a fitting map, de_Inferno. North managed to get the better of their compatriots in round 1 on the CT side, as well as the following two rounds. Despite securing a bomb plant in round two, Heroic were unable to pose a threat, however come round 4 they managed to secure their first round of the map at 1:3. Another successful round from Heroic was met by opposite motion from North, as the ex-Dignitas bunch doubled their opponents’ score at 4:2. This proved to be temporary, as in a heroic (pun intended) effort, the Ts were on a winning streak, clocking in no less than six consecutive rounds, going from a deficit to a 8:4 lead. North managed to scrape a couple of rounds in the closing act of the first half, producing a 6:9 score in Heroic favour.
The latter half was a continuation of close rivalry, and on a second occasion North were able to secure the pistol round, followed by an additional two, equalising the score at 9:9. Heroic’s first gun round proved to be fruitful, as the team won after a post-plant situation, however this was succeeded by further aggression from North, as the team scored three consecutive rounds, sprinting ahead with a 12:10 score. The following six rounds were distributed 2:4 in Heroic’s favour, leading to yet another stalemate at 14:14. Unable to show up in the final rounds, Heroic conceded the map to their fellow countrymen at a bitter 14:16 loss.
de_Train – 16:11 (10:5, 6:6)
In the battle of North and South America, Cloud9 proved to take the first step, as the Americans managed to secure the first pistol round of the map on the CT side. The opportunity was not missed, closing the following to rounds as well at 3:0. Round 4 signified Immortals’ first full buy, and the team brought the battle to Cloud9, dispatching their entire team and securing their first digit of the series. Contrary to their northern opponents, Immortals were unable to follow their success up with additional victories, instead conceding two rounds to allow a 5:1 lead to Cloud9. Despite the setback, the Brazilian roster then managed to buckle up and come through in the next three rounds, closing in onto their opponents a 4:5. A round exchange by both teams was then succeeded by a final four consecutive round victory from Cloud9, securing a formidable 10:5 initial half.
Having switched onto the defence, Immortals looked great. The pistol went in favour and they capitalised on the early momentum to produce a strong comeback. Following their pistol round success the team successfully deflected four additional rounds, equalising the score line at 10:10. To the dismay of Immortals, however Cloud9 had seemingly woken up, smashing three rounds to regain the lead at 13:10. A successful attempt to upset their opponent was seen from the Brazilians, grabbing a round in their favour, however ultimately the team was incapable of securing a single additional round in the conclusion of the map, with Cloud9 securing the final three needed to proceed further into the tournament at 16:11.
de_Mirage – 16:4 (11:4, 5:0)
With a quarter-finals placement on the line, both teams were pumped and ready to go. Natus Vincere were the ones to start off on the aggressive side of Mirage, where the team managed to outshine the mousesports defence with little issue. Elaborating on their early success, the team kept on giving, securing a further four rounds to leap into a 4:0 lead. Round six marked mousesports’ first round on the map, one that was attained only after sustaining a 0:5 deficit. A round victory proved to be a rare occurrence for the European mix, as Natus Vincere persistently knocked the defence out of its lane, leading to an initial half conclusion of 11:4 in the CIS mix’s favour.
Not much could be said about the latter half, as Natus Vincere simply dominated their opponents in all ways conceivable. Mousesports were unable to produce a single round over its entirety, instead they spent the time watching Na’Vi secure the final five rounds needed to proceed to the quarter-finals of the tournament, and doing so with a monstrous 16:4 score.
de_Inferno – 11:16 (9:6, 2:10)
Two teams from the top five in the world clash for a placement in the quarter-final of ESL One: Cologne 2017. SK Gaming got the better of G2 Esports in the first round of the map, as the CTs scored a team ace. Much of the same was seen in round two, however round three was G2’s time to shine, as the team managed to upset the better equipped opponents. In light of this development the team was able to further their score from a single digit, getting a slight lead at 3:2. Unwilling to concede too many rounds on the CT side, SK Gaming struck back with fury, destroying the Frenchmen on five separate occasions prior to them being able to retaliate, producing an 8:3 lead. The loss streak simply didn’t affect G2 Esports, as the team went on to secure three rounds to SK’s one in the closer of the half at 9:6 in favour of SK Gaming.
Evening things out, G2 Esports secured the second pistol round after SK Gaming unfortunately ran out of time in the round. No resistance was felt by the Frenchmen in the following two rounds, allowing them to equalise the score line at an even 9:9. SK’s first gun round was successful, as was another in the half, however these two were all she wrote. Every round outside of the two aforementioned were dominated by the French roster, producing a bitter 11:16 loss for SK Gaming, whilst G2 Esports rejoiced at their acquisition of a placement in the quarter-finals.
de_Train – 10:16 (3:12, 7:4)
OpTic Gaming were faced with the task of taking down a team widely considered to be one of the best in the world, FaZe Clan, and the outcome was surprising to say the least. In what was apparently a solid start, FaZe managed to secure two of the initial rounds, both in after-plant situations, meaning that the economy for OpTic was optimal if the team opted for an early full buy. So they did, yielding an amazing result to say the least, as the Green Wall started consistently running away with rounds, constricting their opponents. This continued till round 10, where FaZe were finally able to have their way. Unfortunately for the Europeans this would be the final round of the first half, as they’re blown away by OpTic with an initial 12:3 stomp.
Despite the appalling start FaZe were determined to give the comeback their best shot. The T side pistol went in their favour, coupled with the following two rounds, giving the team a much needed mental boost if they were to win the map. OpTic returned fire on their first full buy, as the team managed to put a dent in FaZe’ momentum at 13:6. Completely disregarding the previous round the European mix pushed onwards, grabbing another three rounds under their belt, closing the score to a not-so-unmanageable 9:13 deficit. Fed up of giving their round cushion away, OpTic resurge with a two round winning streak, bringing the Green Wall to a single round away from sweet victory. Round 25 was clawed by FaZe Clan, but the OpTic boys proved stronger in round 26, as they managed to dispatch all members of the opposition with five upgraded pistols, securing their placement in the quarter-final of ESL One: Cologne 2017.
de_Mirage – 16:6 (10:5, 6:1)
A clash of titans was seen on Mirage, where the Swedish roster got the upper hand right from the start, able to secure the pistol plus two on the T side of the map. Not a single sweat from the experienced Brazilians yielded, as they composed themselves in round 4, shutting down the aggressors of Fnatic at 1:3. This proceeded to be the case for the following two rounds as well, equalising the score at an even 3:3. The Ts secured round 7 after dispatching the entirety of the defence, however immediate retaliation from the Brazilians meant two rounds were lost by Fnatic. At 5:5 this would be one of Fnatic’s final rounds, due to the immense ability of SK Gaming to show up on demand and wreck. The initial half concluded on a five round winning streak for the Brazilians, doubling their opponents’ score at 10:5.
SK were not willing to let the second pistol slip, as they made sure to get as many rounds as practically possible. Dominance was demonstrated over the succeeding two rounds, largely thanks to a stronger economy and equip, however when things were even, Fnatic managed to send one back over, winning due lack of times on the Brazilians’ part. This round would be the final the Swedes saw in the tournament, as it turned out later, due to the Brazilians beasting three in a row, closing the map at an incredible 16:6.
de_Inferno – 20:22 (8:7, 7:8, 5:7)
Cloud9 commence the map by securing a bomb defuse against mousesports. The following round was also accrued by the American team, however the same couldn’t be said about round 3, as mousesports had a working economy which they employed against Cloud9, to seemingly great avail, as the team placed themselves on the scoreboard at 1:2. No such luck was found in the following round, as time had run out on the European mix, granting the Americans an additional digit. Mousesports were able to secure a leap ahead of their American opponents, as the team focused up and started grabbing rounds. With three consecutive victories and a single loss afterwards, the teams were tied at 4:4. Deciding to speed ahead, mousesports managed to crush four rounds, leading to a doubling in score of 8:4. Hot on their heels, Cloud9 accrued the final three rounds of the half, sustaining an insignificant single round deficit ay 7:8.
Another successful pistol round for Cloud9, as the team dispatched the entire roster of mousesports. The following two rounds were absolutely explosive, as the Americans capitalised on their equipment advantage, securing successful bomb plants and furthering their economic situation. Come round 4 mousesports were able to finally get a word in, securing two rounds in their favour with a decent buy on their hands. Following polarised performances, the team entered somewhat of a brawl, sharing two rounds each, leading to a 12:12 score line. Cloud9, determined to secure the victory, were able to devastate the opposition in the following three rounds, landing the team map point. Mousesports decided that the match was not over yet, as the team managed to secure a post-plant victory, with the defuser donning 1 HP, followed by two rounds where the Americans were working with an inferior buy due to consecutive losses, forcing the map into overtime.
Overtime saw an equal performance in its first iteration, with neither team able to secure a massive lead, however the latter, second overtime was were the fate of the series was decided, as Cloud9 managed to spring two rounds ahead of mousesports, securing the series, as well as a placement in the quarter-finals.
de_Inferno – 16:7 (9:6, 7:1)
The final match of the day would decide the final quarter-finalist of the tournament, as FaZe Clan and North faced off on Inferno. The start was favoured towards FaZe Clan, as the mix convincingly dealt with the aggression from the Danes. The economic advantage inherited from the early success was capitalised on, as FaZe pluck two additional rounds at 3:0. North were capable of grabbing their full buy, however this was succeeded by a further two rounds from the European mix, leading to a 5:1 surplus in their favour. Dissatisfied with their run so far, North mounted a resurgence, copping four consecutive rounds at the expense of their opponents, bringing things back to equality at 5:5. Equality was, quite apparently, not a term FaZe Clan were willing to accept, as they grabbed four of the five remaining rounds, culminating the first half at 9:6 in their favour.
Contrary to the prior half, it was the FaZe show on their T side. With the pistol round in the bag, the team snowballed hard, constricting the Danes in any way conceivable. With an astonishing performance the European mix had conceded but a single round to their opponents, securing their quarter-final placement with a dominant 16:7 score.
Image courtesy of ESL