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Fabio | 7. September 2020

ESL Pro League EU: Spirit Upset Vitality

What an epic match! Vitality, Grand Finals participants of ESL One Cologne, had to go up against the #20 in the world rankings. This should have been an easy feat for them, some quick 3 points for the EPL standings. But instead, the match grew into a lengthy duel between the two, with Spirit eventually coming out on top. 

NAVI 2-0 BIG

But first, let’s recap the other matches that have taken place. BIG Clan have had a solid start to the season so far. In OG, they have already defeated one of the stronger opponents in the league, but Natus Vincere were their first big test – one they unfortunately failed.

Despite their dominant statistics on Dust2, BIG were not prepared for the NaVi onslaught. The Russians secured 10 rounds in the first half and on the T side, the Germans were unable to close the gap. The first map went to NaVi in a 16-11 fashion, with Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev posting a 1.61 rating. Florian “syrsoN” Rische was unable to play a significant part with his 8 kills.

Nuke became the battleground of the CT sides. Both teams were able to win 12 rounds on the defense, bringing the two to overtime. But in the last rounds, s1mple was just too strong to overtake, securing the 19-17 victory for his team. With this, NaVi have compensated for their loss to ENCE and are now back at the top of the EPL standings.

OG 2-0 AGO

For months now, OG have suffered quietly. So many times they have failed right before the finishing line. In EPL, they have already been dealt 14-16 losses again. In AGO, they have finally found an opponent that should be taken down swiftly and decisively.

And the boys around Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski did just that. On Train and Inferno, they brought home 16-6 victories, each and every player receiving a positive rating for their efforts. Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså carried himself up to the top of the scoreboard. Surprisingly, the usually quiet Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt got a 1.54 rating as well. AGO couldn’t find a way into the match at all and can only look back at the points they have received for their victory over Heroic.

SPIRIT 2-0 VITALITY

The best match of the day actually came at the very start of the day, but we wanted to leave it until last here. Fans and analysts had already predicted a one-sided outcome. It was pretty obvious that Vitality would be running away with a swift victory, securing another 3 points in the standings. At the start, it actually looked like they would be able to do just that. The Frenchmen secured 11 rounds in the first half of Mirage. With the second pistol round and some follow-up rounds, Spirit got somewhat back into the game. But overall, Vitality still held a firm grip on their Mirage efforts. It was business as usual for Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, who brought home a first map victory for the team.

But that wasn’t the end of it. After the first half of Inferno, Vitality were already back in the lead again. This time around, however, Spirit didn’t give up the match. ZywOo did ZywOo things, but Nikolay “mir” Bityukov played similarly great. The Frenchmen were unable to defend their bombsites. Again and again, Spirit broke through, managing to reach overtime. Finally, Vitality succumbed to the pressure. Aside from ZywOo, no Vitality player was able to get any important kills on the board, handing the 19-16 victory to Team Spirit.

On Dust2, Vitality couldn’t keep up the pressure. The Frenchmen had to take a beating in a 4-11 first half, and even ZywOo was unable to secure these vital multi-kills for his team. In the second half, Spirit were quick to jump onto a 15-5 lead. They should have ended the match then and there, but their inexperience set in. Just like OG, they struggled massively to close out the game. 9 rounds in a row, they were unable to get onto the bomb sites, let alone defend the afterplant. In the last second, however, they got their final point on the board for a 16-14 victory. Ending the comeback of the Frenchmen, they secured the series win and achieved the perfect upset.

Today, the teams can take a break and relax. On Tuesday, games between ENCE/GODSENT, G2/Heroic, and FaZe/fnatic are scheduled for our viewing pleasure. Can Heroic finally get their first win on the board?