The day of surprises continued in Berlin as AVANGAR eliminated Vitality against all odds, scoring convincing victories on Mirage and Dust 2 sandwiched between a loss on Inferno. Once again, the French team couldn’t muster much resistance beyond ZywOo’s heroics – with NBK- notably ending the series with a -25 K/D –, which meant that either AVANGAR or Renegades will make it to the final of the fifteenth CS:GO major.
The second series of the day began on Mirage, with the veto seemingly quite favorable for the Frenchmen. Starting out on what is arguably their best map, followed by the fairly neutral Inferno and Dust 2 as a decider meant that they managed to dodge both Vertigo and Train, plus all three maps lined up well with ZywOo’s big green weapon of choice. What looked like a straightforward affair quickly turned into a nightmare as Vitality simply couldn’t get going, posting a decent T side only to run into a brick wall – or lack thereof – on the defense, only winning the first two rounds before losing eight in a row to end with a 9-16 scoreline.
The Frenchmen did manage to bounce back on Inferno but mostly off the back of an incredible individual performance by ZywOo who was largely absent on the first map, finishing with a 28-12 K/D while the rest of his team ended on +2. AVANGAR looked like they were running away with the series at one point with a 6-2 lead on the T side, only to lose the remaining seven in the first half and failing to put up a consistent defense in the subsequent half.
It was finely poised going into the third map of the series and it looked like ZywOo’s resurgence would be enough to close out the series, but it was the CIS side and Jame who found an extra gear, roaring to a 12-3 lead on the T side. To their credit, Vitality didn’t surrender, and they began to mount a comeback off the back of ZywOo’s 1v3 ace clutch in the pistol round – however, the hole they dug for themselves in the first half turned out to be too deep, and even though the Frenchmen managed to reduce the deficit to a mere four rounds as they hit double digits, quick back-to-back victories by AVANGAR ensured that they’ll be the ones who meet Renegades in the semi-finals of the major.
The StarLadder Berlin major continues tomorrow with what’s undeniably the tougher side of the bracket, featuring quarter-final matchups between Na’Vi and NRG alongside Astralis and Team Liquid.
(Photo credit: HLTV)