The first two encounters of the playoffs at the ESL Pro League Finals finished with G2 and Team Liquid advancing further to the Semis. The second Quarter-final perhaps featured the match of the tournament as Team Liquid outlasted Astralis on Vertigo after splitting the first two maps.
The French CS:GO At Its Best
The first Quarter-final of ESL Pro League Finals featured a duel between G2 Esports and FaZe Clan. Both G2 and FaZe had their moments when they were contenders for the biggest titles. However, both of them have been struggling recently as they lack significant results. Nevertheless, this matchup reminded us of the vintage French CS:GO scene when kennyS and shox were pulling off jaw-dropping plays.
The match kicked off on G2’s pick, Train. Neither team had particularly good results on Train recently, so this choice was kind of risky for G2. But, it paid off nonetheless.
The Frenchmen won a half on T side with minimal advantage. When one team manages to win T-half on Train, it usually means they have a big lead due to the fact that Train favors CTs. It was the case in this match as well.
FaZe had some chances to gain momentum in the 20th round when they had 4v2 post-plant situation, but kennyS basically stole that round from them with an incredible triple kill.
An Easy Ride For The Domestic Team On Dust 2
Throughout the whole match, the domestic esports crowd was passionately cheering for G2. It definitely helped shox and co. to perform at their best and beat FaZe Clan in a dominant manner. After Train, the action took place on Dust 2, the map where FaZe had a lot of success in the recent time. Also, considering FaZe’s outstanding individual potential, Dust 2 is the perfect map for them to demonstrate their individual skills.
However, G2’s players stepped up when it mattered the most and shut down any FaZe’s hope for victory. To begin with, at the early stage of the game when FaZe had a decent lead (4-2), G2’s IGL, shox, pulled off an Ace with only UMP in his hands. He fearlessly went through the smoke in FaZe’s Mid-to-B split and caught FaZe’s players off-guard. On the wings of this individual display, G2 won seven out of the following eight rounds.
An epic encounter between Team Liquid and Astralis
Astralis Was In Their Prime On Overpass
Whenever Astralis and Team Liquid meet, it ‘s a given that fans will watch a great game. Their duel in the Quarter-final of ESL Pro League Finals didn’t disappoint us. It was a rematch of EPL Season 8 and Season 7 Grand Finals. Although no one expected them to face each other early on, both teams failed to top their groups.
The first leg took place on Liquid’s map, Overpass. In the beginning, it looked like the old Astralis was back. They played furiously and smoothly, and were winning the majority of aim duels. Their trademark (utility) was working in their favor like it was the case in their prime. As a result, the Danes won the first half with a score of 12-3. Of course, no one expected that Team Liquid was going to give up easily. Indeed, they forced Astralis to dig deep in the second half to finish the match. The first map ended with scoreline 16-12.
What A Game By Liquid
Given that the second map was Inferno, many people already wrote off Team Liquid. Astralis’ results on Inferno have been astonishing in the past 7 months. However, Liquid shocked everyone.
The first half ended with a result of 14-1 in Liquid’s favor. That first half looked very odd. Astralis was so close to winning many rounds. They were dealing big amounts of damage and put a number of Liquid’s players on low HP. Also, they managed to plant the bomb seven times, mostly on the B site. However, Liquid’s post-plant game was just perfect. They were hitting every shot and they even managed to take a couple of through-smoke kills. They definitely had Astralis’ number on Inferno.
The Danes avoided a complete disaster as they won the second pistol round. In addition to that, they clinched another four rounds in the second half to make numbers look somewhat better for them. The final score was 16-6.
Liquid Finished Off Astralis On Vertigo
Surprisingly enough, the Danes wanted to conclude things on Vertigo rather than Dust 2. Truly, Liquid beat Astralis on Dust 2 a few times this year, so a decision to avoid Dust 2 against Liquid was reasonable. Vertigo was unknown ground for both teams as they haven’t faced each other on Vertigo before. Moreover, Astralis played on Vertigo for the first time against Heroic in Group Stage of ESL Pro league Finals.
But, this game showed us all the downsides of this unusual map. In the post-match interview, NAF even said that he didn’t feel like he played a competitive CS:GO on Vertigo.
Astralis kicked off on T-side, which is much more favorable on Vertigo. Consequently, they secured the first half with scoreline 11-4. Analysts at the host desk said they don’t think that 11-4 lead is actually enough for Astralis to win the game on Vertigo. Their concerns turned out to be correct.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 21, 2019
Liquid’s T-side was even more dominant. They abused tightness of A site so much. It was so easy for them to plant the bomb and then defend it in post-plant game. On top of that, all Liquid’s players were performing at a high level. Stewie2k took 11 entry frags, which is insane. EliGE ended the game with 28 kills, 10 assists, and 100 ADR.