After the 2nd day of qualification matches, some teams are on the verge of glory, others the verge of elimination
Saturday will be the first day that some teams will play to either go to the major or avoid elimination. Let's check out the main games that led to these scenarios and the expected outcomes of each match tomorrow.
HellRaisers > NiP 15-15 (4-2)
I've admitted that I was low on HR coming into this tournament, but I don't think anyone had them this high. Watching the Eastern Euro mix claw back from several match points, in several close rounds, on the T side of overpass to force overtime has to be one the most exciting moments in the tournament so far. This included a 1 v 2 clutch from DeadFox, the relative newcomer to the team and obvious pick for man of the match. Xizt had 37 frags for NiP, but it wasn't enough to get them to 2-0. The reprecussion for their loss is a match against OpTic, the closest ranked team to them. HR get to play GODSENT in a winner-goes-to-the-major showdown.
CLG > Renegades 15-15 (4-1)
The other overtime match today was more painful than enjoyable to watch, especially for the Australian fans out there. RNG had 10 match points to close out this map but utterly collapsed under the pressure. Credit has to be given to CLG for completely locking down the map on defense and for big individual performances in overtime, but most fans will admit this had more to do with RNG's strats being completely aimless and ineffective. Renegades now have to fight Cloud9 for survival, while CLG faces a dignitas team coming off a loss.
FaZe > OpTic 16-11
As the 2nd half of this game moved on, it looked like Optic was going to run away with it. They were up a round on T side and had Faze in an uncomfortable eco position. But after the wily vet Karrigan snuck up behind a gun fight and took down the 3 remaining Optic players, the momentum of the game swung completely in Faze's favor. They didn't look back after that eco win and went on to take the next 5 rounds to clinch the map. If these two teams have proven anything over the past month, it's that their rivalry is always something keep an eye on. They will be giving us many more exciting maps, especially if they both reach the major. Speaking of which, Faze has 3 chances to qualify now, starting with a map against Immortals on Saturday. Optic has no respite from their defeat, as they must play NiP in the next round.
G2 > Vega Squadron
Vegas couldn't manage to string anything together against a formidable Brazilian side. They now have to play a French team who is riding high after beating their intra-country rivals. If Smithzz can keep up his stellar play in this match, Vegas has no chance; if not, this one might be a little closer.
HellRaisers > GODSENT
These 2 teams were sitting on the bubble together coming into this tournament, and now one of them will definitely go through to the major. Flusha and DeadFox are both looking good in this qualifier so far, but HR as a whole have seriously impressed as well. I say their streak continues and they power their way to 3-0 in a nailbiter.
TyLoo > Mousesports
Tyloo has been a total wild card in this qualifier. Just as soon as they start looking lost, they pull out a brilliantly executed pistol round or site retake to get them back into the game. Not to mention Somebody is a fragging machine good for plenty of multikill rounds. Mouseports got their first win against probably the weakest team in the tournament, so they have some breathing room. But Spidii and denis are still bringing up the bottom of the scoreboard, and this Chinese team is too talented to not match up to each of their players. Tyloo rides their momentum, gets the upset here, and moves to 2-1
Cloud9 > Renegades
Can anybody find autimatic some teammates? Ta so far has dropped two 3 bombs and has 62 total frags in two map losses. Shroud and n0thing need to get going in this qualifier if C9 wants any shot of winning 3 in a row. As for now, though, they face a devastated RNG team who already has one foot out the door after blowing their game on Friday. As long as C9 bans mirage and plays like their backs are against the wall, they should convincingly win this match.
NiP > OpTic
These were the consensus two best teams at the start of the qualifier, and they are so evenly matched that it's hard to pick a winner. I give the edge to NiP here because their veterans have been here before, but this game will be close, especially with each sitting at 1-1.
Dignitas > CLG
CLG might have rallied today, but you should bet the house on Dignitas if the Danes go up 15-5 on Saturday. CLG will need to play lights out defense again to win, which I just don't see happening against a much more organized dig side.
EnVyUs > Spirit
Hopefully the Russians enjoyed their stay in Atlanta. Maybe they went to see the pandas in city's famous zoo, or got to watch the Hawks game on Friday night. Because they will be on a plane back to the motherland tomorrow after losing to an NV team desperate to survive in this qualifier.
FaZe > Immortals
The resumes speak for themselves here: Faze has beaten Cloud9 and Optic, while Immortals have wins over NV and Vegas. The Brazilians look great so far, but Faze looks like the best team in this tournament. The Euro mix qualifies for the major at the end of this one. Immortals, holding true to their name, still live to see another day.
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