With OG and Vitality, the two remaining playoffs spots for ESL One Cologne have been filled. While OG had a comparatively easier time going up against MAD Lions, Vitality had to fight hard for their two map wins against FaZe. The event is about to kick off its playoffs portion and soon, we will see the teams battle it out for the trophy.
OG 2-0 MAD LIONS
The Danes are still reeling from their recent roster change. Unfortunately, their fans’ doubts regarding the addition of Paweł “innocent” Mocek have only been fueled by their display at this event. Following the departure of Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen, the organization apparently had too little time to settle for domestic talent.
While MAD Lions got a quick and impressive Group Stage win at Malta Vibes yesterday, they were now subject to the wrath of Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså and his colleagues. On Nuke, the Danes actually got into the match quite well and achieved a convincing 8-7 half on the T side. Usually, such a score should prove sufficient in order to run away with the match on the CT side of Nuke. Instead, OG led into a fantastic terrorist half, where Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen and valde spearheaded an almost perfect offense for their team. Giving up only two rounds, they found their 16-10 victory.
On Dust2, the individual talent of OG took center stage. With all his might, Asger “Acilion” Larsen barely managed to hold onto his neutral KDR. On the other side, meanwhile, valde ran away with the match. This time he even earned a 1.70 rating. Unfortunately, the Lions’ newest addition, innocent, was hit hardest. With a meager 7 kills he was unable to contribute to the match in a meaningful way. A 16-9 victory eventually netted OG the playoffs spot.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) August 26, 2020
VITALITY 2-0 FAZE CLAN
This overall match score is deeply misleading. Unlike MAD Lions in the first game of the day, FaZe were in it for the most part. Bitterly fighting until the end, they never gave up. This mentality helped them get incredibly close, but unfortunately they were unable to secure any of the maps for themselves.
Everything started on Dust2, where the top performers were free to roam and get kills on the board. Vitality made a strong showing in the first half, getting 9 rounds on the CT side. To their disadvantage, FaZe were able to post a similarly strong defense. Eventually, the map transitioned into overtime, where Vitality finally sealed the deal on a 19-16 scoreline. Surprisingly, it was Cédric “RpK” Guipouy on the top of the scoreboard with 37 kills, even topping Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut.
On Nuke, the two teams turned this match on its head. Despite the map being heavily CT-sided, Vitality quickly got a 10 round lead as terrorists. The biggest surprise, however, was FaZe clawing their way back into the match with a great terrorist half. Working themselves out of the 5-10 deficit, they gave away crucial kills in the last round, conceding the match on a 14-16 scoreline.
Enough with the hate on my team and @KjaerbyeCS, we had 5 days of practice and we nearly won against nr 2. team in the world who has been bootcamping over 2 weeks. Give us some time to work on our mistakes before judging, we are doing everything we can to improve asap. #FaZeUp
— NiKo (@fazeniko) August 26, 2020
The star player couldn’t have said it any better. The team just hasn’t had enough time to grow together. On the basis of a handful Best-of-Three matches, we can’t possibly make any sensible judgement on the validity of their roster move. Sometime in the future, we will see what these players are really capable of – hopefully in an offline setting!
LET THE PLAYOFFS BEGIN!
OG are bound to meet G2 Esports soon. In the Single-Elimination bracket, there are no second chances – every map and every moment counts. In Sprout, Vitality may have found a comparatively easier opponent. Still, the Germans have swept through the Group Stage. Should they maintain this level, Vitality will be in for a hard time.
Complexity will meet Heroic in their Quarter Finals engagement and Astralis will enter into a classic duel with the Ninjas in Pyjamas. At 15:00 CEST, ESL One Cologne will transition into playoffs. Over the course of the weekend, the playing field will slowly be decimated, until the winner of the mega-event is finally crowned.