Twistzz is en route to becoming the first player to win two Intel Grand Slams.
The first day of the ESL Pro League Season 16 playoffs saw both matches go the distance of all three maps. Team Liquid and tournament favorites, FaZe Clan survived their matches against Fnatic and Complexity respectively. The ESL Pro League continues for five days culminating in the Grand Finals on October 2.
A script followed across three maps
Fnatic and Team Liquid kicked off on Team Liquid’s map pick of Inferno. There was little separating the two teams with a 7:8 half with Liquid on the T-side. However, Inferno tilts slightly to the CT side and the advantage for Team Liquid was visible when they switched sides. There was very little separating the two teams, however, with the top-scorers on both sides - Nico "nicoodoz" Tamjidi and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski - claiming 24 kills each.
One particular round saw a complete breakdown of communication for Fnatic players as Elige could just flank them without any counter. The 26th round was at a very crucial juncture on the map and the result could have changed significantly with a different round-outcome.
The start to Overpass saw like seeing an Inferno reflection with an 8-7 half. But Fnatic’s map choice was clearly an advantage for them on their CT side, where they faltered only on two rounds. With a final score of 16-9, Fnatic bounced back quite impressively from their Map 1 loss.
Ancient followed a similar script as Overpass, however, this time, it was Team Liquid with a very dominant CT side. Team Liquid’s win will see them march on to the quarterfinals, but they will need to see significant improvements in performance if they are to overcome MOUZ in their next best-of-three series.
FaZe Clan: Keeping Intel Grand Slam Hopes alive
The Karrigan-led FaZe Clan are one of the contenders to secure their Intel Grand Slam at EPL 16. FaZe Clan went 4-1 in the group stage, losing only one match to G2 esports. However, judging by their performance and the confidence of the players on the team, the squad has potential to win the entire tournament.
With 71 kills across the three maps of the series, Håvard "rain" Nygaard’s performance was instrumental to FaZe’s victory. However, Complexity’s Michael "Grim" Wince actually had better statistic with 73 kills despite being on the losing side.
Complexity started strong on Overpass with a very dominant CT side. Grim’s 27 kills, most of them on the CT side, ensured Complexity’s strong start to the series. Complexity won the map with a 16-9 score, taking the series to FaZe’s map pick - Inferno.
Inferno could not have been closer. With a 10-4 start, Complexity looked to carry its Overpass momentum to close the series 2-0. However, FaZe Clan bounced back on their CT side, with some iconic individual performances and great opposition reads by Finn "karrigan" Andersen.
Grim had 32 kills on Inferno, but despite his best efforts the player ended up on the losing side on Inferno. With 12 and 14 kills apiece, Håkon "hallzerk" Fjærli and Ioannis 'Johnny' "JT" Theodosiou found a hard time finding their form on Inferno. Inferno was the best chance for Complexity to secure the series 2-0. Unfortunately, they fell short losing 14-16.
The win motivated the FaZe players to turn up their aggression on Nuke. They started on the CT side and marched their way through the third map to secure the series.
What’s next ?
ESL Pro League will continue with the other two quarterfinal matches involving Heroic and NAVI, and FURIA esports and Outsiders.
The ESL Pro League Season 16 is the final tournament before teams dive into preparation for the upcoming CS: GO Major. The Brazilian Major will feature a live audience across the group stages as well as the playoffs.