The ESEA S31 Global Challenge has ended with FURIA Esports winning the trophy in Dallas. Excluding their loss at the Group Stage, FURIA dominated the field to win the first LAN title this year.
Group A – An easy ride for Vitality
Group A of the CS:GO ESEA S31 Global Challenge saw a dominant run of one of the best teams at the moment, Team Vitality. The Frenchmen stepped in the Group Stage in the perfect way. They easily bested a relatively unknown team, Party Astronauts on Inferno (16-7). In another Opening match, Team Spirit defeated Singularity on the same map with a scoreline of 16-11. Hence, they booked a meeting with NBK and co. in the Winners match of Group A.
There, however, we saw another dominant showing by Vitality as they topped Spirit on Train (16-8) and topped Group A. In Decider Match, Team Spirit edged out Singularity in another meeting as the NA team previously beat Party Astronauts. The Russians (Spirit) didn’t have problems to best Singularity once again as they were the better team on Mirage (16-9) and Nuke (16-7). So, they secured their spot in Play-offs.
Group B – Convincing display by Sprout
Just like Group A, Group B also featured the domination of one team. The German squad, Sprout lost only 15 rounds in the first two matches against ATK and FURIA. They defeated ATK on Mirage (16-7) in Initial match, and then bested FURIA in Winner’s match to join Vitality in Play-offs. On the other side, FURIA also had an easy task to accomplish in the Initial match of ESEA S31 Global Challenge. They conceded just six rounds against Chiefs in the opening game on Nuke.
However, the second time these two teams faced each other, we saw slightly more intense fight. The first map (Train) almost saw a comeback by Chiefs’ side. Thanks to the fact that Train favors CTs, FURIA won the first half with big lead (11-4). However, after the side switch, Chiefs started playing better. They allowed only four rounds to FURIA on T side and even had one map point. Regardless, FURIA saved the map point and took the game to Overtime. There, Chiefs lacked energy and skills to complete a comeback. FURIA concluded the first map in their favor (19-16).
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On the second map (Nuke), we saw a similar situation. One team was exploiting the favorable CT side and eventually won the first half with decent lead (10-5). This time, FURIA was in an inferior situation after side switch. But unlike Chiefs, the Brazilians achieved a comeback. After they lost the second pistol round, they won 11 rounds in a row to advance further and join other teams in Play-offs.
Semi-finals – FURIA upset Vitality
Prior to this event, Team Vitality was arguably the biggest favorite for lifting the trophy. Considering their great run at last event, ESL One Cologne and considering that Vitality already defeated FURIA in the Grand Final of ECS Season 7 in dominant fashion, all odds were on side of NBK and friends. However, odds are there to be beaten and that’s what FURIA did.
On the first map (Train), FURIA had a very comfortable result after T side half (7-8). Even though they lost it, seven rounds were a lot on such a map. It turned out to be true as FURIA won 9 out of following 11 rounds. After the triumph in the first leg, the second map appeared to be a one-way road, where FURIA was in driver’s seat. They absolutely demolished Vitality as they allowed them to barely win four rounds throughout the whole map. The part of the reason for Vitality’s bad result at ESEA S31 Global Challenge might be ZywOo who underperformed. He finished the event with a negative K/D difference for the first time since 2017.
In the other Semi-final, we saw seemingly bigger battle and perhaps one of the biggest comebacks so far this year. On the first map (Mirage), Sprout had six map points but failed to realize a single one. Spirit saved all these six points and enforced Overtime where they didn’t concede a single round. This unexpected turn of events definitely affected Sprout mentally. However, they put significant effort on the second map (Dust 2) as well. They were actually very close to enforcing another Overtime but failed. Spirit prevailed after 30 rounds to reach Grand Final.
.@Team__Spirit defeat @sproutGG 2-0 in a tight series with a 16-14 win on Dust2 to advance to the Grand Finals of the #MDL Global Challenge vs @furiagg @chopperisCS@somedieyoungCS@dimasotf@PavelVeklenko
Certus (coach) pic.twitter.com/QsayzsvJMi
— ESEA (@ESEA) July 14, 2019
Grand Final – Dominance of FURIA on Vertigo
In the Grand Final, we had an opportunity to watch Vertigo on big scene one more time. However, before Vertigo, teams crossed their guns on Nuke first. FURIA came out as victors as they secured the first map in a very convincing manner (16-10). When things moved to Vertigo, the situation looked even worse for Team Spirit. Although teams have been struggling on Vertigo’s CT side, FURIA definitely knows the best way to handle the situation on the less favorable side on the new map.