ESL One Cologne 2017 – SK Gaming overpower OpTic Gaming
SK Gaming secured the last semi-final spot at ESL One: Cologne 2017 after defeating OpTic Gaming 2-1.
de_Mirage – 10:16 (2:13, 8:3)
The last quarter-finals matchup began with OpTic winning the first pistol round and two rounds following it. Keith “NAF” Markovic’s triple-kill in the first gun-round gave the Green Wall an early lead of 4:0. The North American dominance seemed never-ending, as OpTic won three more to make it 7:0. Losing patience, SK forced with a galil and four pistols in the eighth round but that only yielded them a bomb plant. Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s three kills with the AWP, two of which were entries, finally gave SK their first round at 8:1. Unfortunately for the Brazilians, James “hazed” Cobb denied the plant and reset the T economy. SK’s two-AK47 force in the tenth round proved to be nowhere near enough to win the round and OpTic secured their tenth round out of eleven played. Two more OpTic rounds made it 12:1. SK won their second round when Epitacio “TACO” de Melo killed two to turn a 2v5 into a 2v3. After planting the bomb on A, FalleN killed one and TACO killed two more, winning the round for his team with a quad-kill. However, OpTic managed to win the last round of the half and entered the half-time 13-2 up thanks to their textbook CT performance on Mirage.
Switching to the CT side, SK had a hard job ahead on their map pick: a comeback from 13:2. The pistol round went their way as João “felps” Vasconcellos killed three while defending bombsite A. Two flawless anti-eco rounds made the score 13:5 before the first gun-round of the second half. In that round, OpTic hit A, planted the bomb but eventually it was a 1v1 between Tarik “tarik” Celik and Marcelo “coldzera” David. The Turkish-American rifler won the clutch against coldzera to make it 14:5. SK had enough cash to put on a full-buy and they managed to win the 20th round to reset the T economy. The Brazilians could only win an anti-eco round before NAF grabbed three kills on post-plant situation to give the initiative back to OpTic at 15-7. Having less-than-ideal money, SK couldn’t afford a full-buy, nevertheless they denied OpTic reaching the 16 round threshold. The two-time major winners clawed back to 15:10 but in the 26th round OpTic’s default A hit barely succeeded and won the Green Wall their opponents pick, Mirage with a 16:10 score line.
de_Cache – 16:9 (13:2, 3:7)
OpTic’s pick, de_Cache began with SK winning the first pistol round thanks to Fernando “fer” Alvarenga’s quad-kill on the defence at bombsite A. Two anti-eco wins put the Brazilians 3-0 ahead early on the first half. OpTic finally got on board as NAF killed four after losing two additional rounds. In the following round, TACO killed three in a 2v3 situation to prevent OpTic from building up their economy and made the score 6:1. Fer’s flank with MP9 on the following anti-eco earned him four kills and $2,400, as well as putting SK up by 6 rounds. The 9th and 10th rounds were split by the teams with TACO holding bombsite A while picking up three kills on the latter. Three more round losses forced OpTic to call a timeout after the 13th round when it was 11:2. Coming back from the pause, OpTic force-bought and managed to enter bombsite B while killing three. Playing against four OpTic players, TACO and FalleN clutched the round and picked up SK’s 12th round against OpTic’s two. The last round of the half also went SK’s way and the half-time score was determined: 13-2.
OpTic won the second pistol round and an anti-eco following it to start their CT half but losing to SK’s eco on the third round of the half both put them 10 rounds behind and damaged their economy. Playing to prevent SK from reaching map point, OpTic failed to defend bombsite B and decided to save with four players still alive, as SK had the same amount of players as well as the bomb plant. At 15:4, OpTic had three rifles, a scout and a Five-seven to use against SK’s full arsenal and it worked, leading to a 15:5 score. SK were just one round away from winning the map but they failed to do so on three rounds in a row before taking a timeout. In the end it was Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas who came back from it pumped up, picking up three frags to melt down the gap to six rounds. Finally, on the 26th round, coldzera clutched a 1v2 on bombsite A post-plant to secure the map for SK.
de_Cobblestone – 16-7 (11:4, 5:3)
The decider map for the last quarter-final matchup was Cobblestone and it started with OpTic’s quick pistol round win. Much like their performance on Cache, SK replied by winning the second round with upgraded pistols and armour. After SK won two anti-eco rounds, the first gun round arrived. On the gun round, SK hit B full force, cleared the defenders and won the round to further their lead to 4:1. But this time around, the Green Wall managed to win an eco round with hazed clutching a 1v1 versus FalleN. OpTic won two more to even the things out at 4:4. The 9th round marked the beginning of SK dominance as FalleN and co crushed OpTic defence for the remainder of the half and went to the half-time break 11:4 ahead.
Hazed’s triple-kill opened up the second half with OpTic gaining the early economical advantage as the T side. Better equipment carried OpTic through two more rounds before SK won the first gun round of the half to make it 12:7. In the following three rounds, felps grabbed a total of six frags to lead SK to the match point. In the 23rd round, as a result of losing majority of the prior rounds OpTic were barely able to get a decent buy and apparently that wasn’t nowhere near enough as SK added one more round to their run to close out the match 16-7 and win the series. The Brazilians will face FaZe Clan tomorrow at the semi-finals.
Image courtesy of ESL