Hades powers ENCE to a win over Astralis while, Vitality and Heroic continue their win-streaks. [Image Courtesy: Viola Schuldner and ESL]
Group A of the ESL Pro League Season 14 continued with another set of Bo3s that delivered great matches despite all ending in a 2-0 score line. Vitality and Heroic’s wins see them top the group tally, while Spirit and Bad News Bears suffered defeats. The big story of Day 2 was ENCE overpowering Astralis.
Vitality Outlast Bad News Bears
After a terrible performance against Heroic yesterday, Bad News Bears had a much better showing against the French squad. Still, they eventually fell short of the mark as they ended up at the receiving end of a 2-0 loss. The game started on the NA team’s pick of Inferno where Vitality started with a 6-0 streak. But BnB managed to find their footing, closing the half out with 6 rounds to their name. The second half saw the two teams trading rounds as both fought to gain control of the economy. Vitality eventually won 2 rounds in a row and used that momentum to secure the map win 16-9.
Next up was Vitality’s pick of Overpass and Kévin ‘misutaaa’ Rabier took the spotlight on the second map. Bad News Bears’ pistol round success was quickly shut down as Vitality won the next 5. The Bears still managed to end the half with a 9-6 lead as Alan ‘Shakezullah’ Hardeman popped off.
Vitality however wasn’t interested in continuing this series much longer as they won 10 rounds in a row to close the map. The Bears barely got 6 kills in the entire second half and were absolutely decimated by misutaaa and Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut. Still, the performance overall was quite positive for the North Americans and showed great improvement. For fans of Vitality, ESL Pro League Day 2 was a confidence booster but not a guarantee of future success.
ENCE Take Down Astralis
After their win over Team Spirit in the opening game, Astralis have fallen at the hands of ENCE. The international squad managed to show their true potential as they defeated the Danes 2-0. The game kicked off on ENCE’s pick of Ancient and right off the bat they showed their strength on the map.
They consistently read Astralis well and controlled their rotations using fakes and utility. Their tactical prowess along with massive numbers from Joonas ‘doto’ Forss and Olek ‘hades’ Miskiewicz put the team on a strong 10-5 lead. The second half started well for Astralis as they won the first 3 rounds, but ENCE closed the game out 16-9 as Hades continued his strong showing.
The game continued on Nuke, where ENCE picked up right where they had left off, winning the opening 5 rounds of the game. Astralis eventually answered back and closed the half out 7-8. Marco ‘Snappi’ Pfeiffer’s crew once again started the half well, quickly reaching 14 rounds. Astralis tried to bring the game back but Paweł ‘dycha’ Dycha caught fire and shut them down with multi-kill rounds. The game ended 16-11, giving ENCE their first win of the group stage.
Heroic Defeat Team Spirit
Casper ‘cadiaN’ Møller’s Heroic managed to beat Team Spirit comfortably in a 2-0 win, with star Ismail ‘refrezh’ Ali and Martin ‘stavn’ Lund putting on solid performances. With the win, Heroic continues their win streak in ESL Pro League, where they won the previous season without losing any games. Spirit’s pick Overpass started off with the CIS squad picking up 5 out of the first 6 rounds. But Heroic managed to respond with 8 rounds on the trot, securing a 9-6 lead going into the second half.
The second half gave Heroic a good start, as they converted the pistol round into 3 points on the scoreboard. Spirit tried to respond and won 2 back to back rounds before a miraculous eco round win put Heroic on the top and allowed them to secure the map 16-8.
Lucky Successfully Debuts Against Spirit at EPL Day 1
EPL's first day comes to a close with Vitality, Astralis, and Heroic all walking away with wins. Group A continues to heat up!
Heroic’s pick of Inferno started off as a back and forth affair with both teams struggling to win a solid streak of rounds. Eventually, Heroic’s T-side money built up to the point where they could consistently buy and thus were able to win the half with a closing 5 round set. In the second half, the Danes quickly extended their 10-5 lead to a 13-5 as they managed to fend off Spirit’s force buy. Spirit put up a solid haul of rounds winning 4 in a row after an eco win of their own. But eventually Heroic closed the game out 16-9.