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Fabio | 15. August 2020

DarkZero Upset SSG, TSM Succeed On R6 NA Major Day One

Yesterday was a day of upsets. DarkZero were expected to exit in last place, but instead they threw the tournament favorites into the Lower Bracket. Oxygen Esports dropped the ball and TSM played better than ever before. 

DarkZero Esports 2-1 SpaceStation Gaming

The DarkZero boys have certainly prepared well for this Major. They were regarded as the absolute underdogs by quite a margin, whereas SSG have been heralded as the eventual Major winners already. In their initial match, things couldn’t have gone worse. On Consulate, SSG narrowly got the win. This prompted the analysts, who had predicted a convincing win for Spacestation, to reconsider their pick. They eventually stuck to SSG, claiming that they only needed additional time to get going.

On Clubhouse, DZ quickly jumped onto six rounds. SSG attempted to mount a comeback, but at 6-4, DarkZero just decided to go for a rush. Running into the CCTV bomb site, they just gunned down all of the players in their way. Despite Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski’s best efforts, his team had to concede the map.

On Kafe, Spacestation finally appeared to be a lot more competitive. They tied the first half 3-3, but on the defense, DarkZero began piling up round wins. Again, SSG struggled to mount successful attacks. Four straight round wins gave DarkZero Esports the win, booking them a ticket for the Upper Bracket Finals. Following this incredible upset, Spacestation Gaming had to drop down to the Lower Bracket. Particularly Canadian struggled during this engagement, landing an abysmal 0.76 rating. With a 55% KOST rating, he only contributed in roughly half of the rounds.

TEAM SOLOMID 2-0 OXYGEN ESPORTS

All the teams in attendance have had weeks to prepare. Knowing their match-ups in advance, they’ve had plenty of time to counter-strat their opponents. TSM seem to have done a lot of work leading up to this event, whereas Oxygen came into this event seemingly with empty hands.

The Best-of-Three kicked off on Oregon. Davide “FoxA” Bucci and his companions won the first round on defense, but failed to string rounds together. At the end of the first half, TSM were leading them 4-2. Oxygen narrowly won one Kitchen attack, but that was all that they could muster on the map. Exiting on a 3-7 loss, they had to redeem themselves on Clubhouse.

There, unfortunately, they got off to an even worse start. At half-time, TSM were leading 6-0. OXG managed to acquire one more round to keep them from achieving the perfect sweep, but lost immediately after. Jason “Beaulo” Doty had an absolute field day, getting 27 kills and a 1.78 rating.

SPACESTATION GAMING 2-1 OXYGEN ESPORTS

Both teams had dropped the ball at this event, but Oxygen arguably did it in a much worse fashion. At the very least, SSG had remained competitive throughout their match. But Loviel “Velly” Cardwell was right on the analyst desk when he said that both teams just needed some time to kick into gear. As the two met in the Lower Bracket, they unleashed hell on each other.

Oxygen ramped up a 5-1 lead on their defense. Now, Spacestation were in the same situation that OXG had been in previously. But unlike them, SSG were able to reset and play a perfect defense themselves. Winning four rounds in a row and with the map going into overtime, Oxygen were unable to stop the momentum of their rivals. Despite such a decisive lead early on, they had to concede the map.

Granted, Oxygen were not blown out of the match, but the overtime loss must have hurt equally as badly. Still, they weren’t out of the tournament just yet. Going onto Consulate, the teams traded rounds, until OXG finally managed to pull themselves over the finishing line. A 7-5 win meant that they still had to go the full distance, but at least they now had a map victory to their name at the NA Major.

Indeed, it appeared as if the team had finally been activated and energized. They got onto a 5-4 lead on the last map of the series, Coastline. Unfortunately, SSG then ran away with the remaining rounds. Oxygen were yet again unable to close out the map, conceding the map on a 5-7 score line.

WILL SSG REBOUND?

OXG’s early departure from the NA Major was unexpected, but their performance against TSM was just not competitive enough. They’ll have plenty of time to revisit the VODs and figure out their mistakes. Still, this match doesn’t bode well for Spacestation. They might have gotten their win, but that was against an underperforming Oxygen Esports. TSM and DarkZero appear to be on a different level.

The action resumes today with the Upper Bracket Finals. Either TSM or DZ will make it to the Grand Finals and the losers will hope for survival against SSG.