VCT EMEA Playoffs: Acend and SuperMassive Blaze qualify for Masters Berlin
The last couple of days at VCT EMEA Challengers Playoffs saw four teams fly out of contention for Masters Berlin. August 16 finally saw some Upper Bracket matches play out. With that, the very first two out of four teams received their tickets to Masters Berlin next month.
August 16 saw the following teams play for the first two slots in Berlin:
The premise for those matchups was simple. Win and go to Berlin. Lose and get dropped to the Lower Bracket.
The first matchup saw the European Acend squad face the fierce CIS team that is Gambit Esports as the matchup went the distance.
The opening map saw an all-out first half brawl unfold. Gambit took the first two rounds on defense to get rolling. The first rifle round for Acend saw them snatch their first round as the Polish boys, Patryk “starxo” Kopczyński and Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt got a joint 4k to put their side up on the board. From then on out the two teams were constantly trading round-for-round. The last two rounds saw Starxo shine as he got an ace followed by a 4k 1v3 clutch for Acend to square it up at 6:6 at the half.
The defensive side saw Gambit lose their mojo. Acend was this time successful on the pistol, the anti-eco, as well as two more rounds to put them up 10:6. Gambit managed to retaliate with one round after Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin 3k Viper play finally saw the CIS side find some light on attack. This was short-lived success, however, as Acend retaliated with three straight rounds, ending the affair on Bind with a 1v1 clutch by Vladyslav “Kiles” Shvets. Acend took Bind with a comfy 13:7 score.
It was time for Gambit to return the hit on Ascent. Despite Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek 3k on the pistol, Gambit managed to bag the victory on the opening round and following it up with the anti-eco win. The duo of starxo and cNed continued menacing the attackers to get themselves three straight rounds and pull ahead. Another 1-for-1 round brawl emerged until Acend put together two straight rounds to gain a slight lead of 6:4. Gambit was quick to disrupt the streak with a 3k from Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov. It was Acend, however, that had the last say in the half as zeek clutched out a 1v1. Acend was up 7:5 at half time.
The second half was all Gambit. On defense, a phenomenal defensive setup guaranteed the CIS squad three straight rounds to pull ahead by one round. Acend got in one round to square it up at 8:8, but Gambit retaliated with 4 rounds in a row. Then at match point, Acend decided to try mount a comeback. They succeeded with two straight rounds, but Gambit finally ended things on round 23 on the back of a 3k from Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov. Gambit took Ascent away from Acend with a 13:10 score to force the decider map.
Icebox was left over as the decider. The stakes were sky high as the winner of this map would book themselves the first spot from EMEA at Masters Reykjavik. It was once more Gambit that started off on the right foot with a pistol and anti-eco win on defense. Acend took back one round before Gambit took one in return. A joint 4k from cNed and zeek saw Acend take a round before zeek was red hot to get another 3k and square off the match at 3:3. The round trading continued as neither team was letting the other pull ahead. Finally, Acend rode a wave to bag the last three rounds of the half as cNed was getting warmed up for the defense side with the Operator.
Little did Gambit know that their attack would be in misery. Acend kicked off the pistol with a thump to get going. After two secure rounds, zeek sealed the third round in the half after a 1v1 clutch to continue the stride. The European medley kept fragging on all cylinders throughout the half as Gambit was struggling to break through the defences. A phenomenal stance on defense saw Gambit fail to get even one round on attack. This led to a blowout win for Acend at 13:5 on Icebox and 2-1 in maps.
Acend are the first team from EMEA Challengers Playoffs to qualify for Masters Berlin. Gambit fall to the Lower Bracket and have one more chance at an entry to Berlin.
The last Upper Bracket matchup of the day for a ticket to Berlin saw the European G2 face off against the new hot team from Turkey, SuperMassive Blaze.
Once more we were greeted with Bind as the first map. G2 opened things up on the pistol on attack, but were traded instantly on the anti-eco. G2 managed to claw back one round right after that with Cista “keloqz” Wassim’s 2k opener. It was, however, SMB that got the next three straight rounds as Baran “Izzy” Yılmaz was warming up on Raze. G2 finally got one round back, but that was only met with once more three straight rounds from SMB as their defense looked stellar. The final two rounds were shared, but it was SMB that came out on top in the half with a nice lead of 8:4.
G2’s defensive half that followed was one to forget for Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho and company. After a successful pistol on attack, SMB run with the flow for the remainder of the half. Everyone on the Turkish side was fragging lights out, leading to five straight rounds going their way. And wit that, a 13:4 victory on Bind over G2 Esports.
G2 Esports had a relatively quiet game on Bind and had to bring it big here on Ascent. SMB, however, were relentless on attack in the first half of Ascent. Eight straight rounds went their way as G2’s chances of winning their opponent’s pick were dwindling. Finally, G2 put up one round on the board, yet that was met with 1 more from Blaze. In the end, mixwell and co. edged out the last two rounds of the half on defense to give themselves a chance.
And so they did. The pistol went G2’s way, as well as the anti-eco as nukkye and mixwell were putting in work. That, however, was it for G2. SMB got to work on their first rifle round following Turko‘s 2k and never looked back. The rounds kept piling up and finally, Izzy‘s 3k was the final nail in the coffin as G2 lost Ascent with a dominant 13:5 win for SuperMassive Blaze.
SuperMassive Blaze secure the second spot in Masters Berlin. G2 Esports will have to fight their way out in the Lower Bracket of VCT EMEA Challengers Playoffs.
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