First Strike Europe Day 2: SUMN and FPX battle on
The first day of First Strike Europe Regional Finals brought us Team Heretics and G2 as the first semifinalists of the grand event. Today we saw battles for the final semifinal spots between SUMN FC and Purple Cobras, and FunPlus Phoenix and nolpenki.
This was the first battle of the tournament between two unsigned teams. Both had a good run in the qualifier but now was the time we said goodbye to one of the two unsigned rosters.
The first matchup of the evening took us to the teleporter-filed Bind. Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s SUMN was quick to pick up steam and get rolling by grabbing the pistol and two following rounds. The Cobras retaliated with one round, but SUMN would take five in return after a stride of great retakes and outfrags on their defensive side. In the end, SUMN FC closed out the half with a hefty lead of 9:3.
The defensive side was not much of help for Purple Cobras, as a combined effort from James “Mistic” Orfila and Muhammad “Moe40″ Hariff propelled SUMN to win the pistol. Boaster’s side looked dominant on their attack on Bind too, as they carried over their mojo from the first half to end Bind with a convincing 13:4 scoreline, only letting the Cobras grab one round on defense.
While Bind was a blowout, Haven came much closer than SUMN FC would have liked at first. After another successful pistol from SUMN, Purple Cobras managed to end the half at all square, 6:6, after the two teams traded round-for-round the whole half. The Cobras’ attack was where it all fell apart on Haven. SUMN took the pistol yet again, as Liam “fanCy” Ebanks’ side failed time and time again to penetrate onto the bombsites successfully. SUMN showed great resilience on Haven’s triple site defense setup, making the Cobras’ time living hell. The lied to another relatively easy victory for SUMN and closed out the series with a 13:8 win on Haven.
The final match before the semifinals pitted FunPlus Phoenix take on the last unsigned roster, nolpenki.
Following last game’s pattern, the two European medleys met on Bind. FPX got to work right off the bat as Killjoy controlled by Johan “Meddo” Lundborg got the 3k for his side to get going. nolpenki got themselves together quickly to snag three rounds after their eco period, making it 3:2 in their favor. The half was all downhill for them from then onward, as FPX was recklessly breaching bombsites while nolpenki failed to find their stride. This led to a dominant half for FPX, making it 9:3 in their favor.
The second half brought a lot of excitement back into the match. Mehmet “cNed” Yağız İpek‘s nolpenki went on a rampage to string seven rounds in a row, getting a temporary lead in the match. It was at that moment that Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow’s side woke up to shatter nolpenki’s comeback dream by getting four rounds in a row and close out Bind with a 13:10 score.
The second map brought us to Split, where we’d see a much stronger nolpenki initially on the defense, challenging FPX’s plays on attack on the regular. Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt shined on Raze for his nolpenki side, propelling them to a close 5:7 deficit, as ANGE1’s side still prevailed on attack. Interestingly enough, no bomb was planted the whole half, as the two sides simply engaged in a team deathmatch instead.
The second half would be the ultimate doom of nolpenki. Despite planting the Spike on the first two rounds, two retakes by FPX made them get an already solid lead at 9:5. cNed and co. now had some catching up to do. They managed to win two back-to-back rounds to bring it within reach at 10:7 but that would be all she wrote as fantastic performances from all of FPX got them the last three rounds to take them to the semifinals. Split went in favor of FPX with a 13:7 score.
After today’s matchups, FunPlus Phoenix will take on SUMN FC in the second semifinal of First Strike Europe Regional Finals.