Two more quarterfinal matches to go in the ESL Pro League S18.
The ESL Pro League is currently underway and despite Valve releasing CS2 mid-tournament, Pro League has continued without much of a problem. We are in the final stage of the tournament and the top teams are making their presence felt in the playoffs. Yesterday, Monte and NAVI won their respective matches to set up a clash. The two teams will meet in the ESL Pro League Season 18 Semifinals for a spot in the Grand Finals.
Monte ends Vitality’s 17-map Nuke streak
The first quarterfinal was between Monte esports and Vitality. Team Vitality - the BLAST.tv Paris Major winners - are one of the favorites of ESL Pro League. Unfortunately, Team Monte were having none of these ‘favorites’ as they 2-0ed them to move one step closer to the Grand Final. What’s even better is that Monte defeated Vitality on Nuke, a map on which Vitality is widely considered one of the strongest.
Vitality had already beaten Monte twice in the ESL Pro League Season 18 and were clearly the favorites to win this match as well. The first map of Anubis was Monte’s map pick. They had to win this map if they were to have any hopes of winning the series.
Monte won the pistol round and the subsequent two before Vitality were able to claw back three. At a score of 3-3, it looked like the two teams were pretty even, however, Monte proved everyone wrong with eight straight round wins.
DemQQ was one of the best players on the server. He was a big reason for Monte getting inroads into the Vitality defense on this ESL Pro League map. He ended the map with 30 frags and an ADR of 107.
Nuke - The French Dominance shattered
Vitality came into this series with a 17 map win-streak on Nuke. Nuke is one of their favorite maps and it is not only due to their dominance on the CT side. The team has cultivated a playstyle that inculcates the former Astralis playstyle and adds the French element.
You add players like Zywoo to the mix and Vitality is often, an unstoppable force. But not today.
First of all, the culture is different from the Danish teams. I'm also speaking English on a daily basis now, it's very different. And the precisions, the dynamic, everything is different. But I think I've done 110%, all that I could. Of course, I have big shoes to fill, but I'm a different player, a different person, and I think that the team can also feel that. And I think there's not a big difference in firepower. I just play a little bit more safe and passive.
Monte won the pistol, but once they got proper guns in their hands it looked very favorable for them. The Danish roster was able to thwart almost all attempts by Vitality in this series. The map ended up going the distance but ultimately, Monte secured the 16-14 victory.
With this win, Monte are now in the semifinals, where they will face NAVI.
NAVI extinguishes the Eternal Fire
On the other side of the bracket were NAVI and Eternal Fire. NAVI are undoubtedly the favorites in this matchup and today they showed us why.
Winning seven rounds straight off the bat meant NAVI were always in the dominant position in the series. For the most part, Eternal Fire was playing a comeback and it wasn’t enough.
iM and b1t led NAVI’s charge on Anubis where they carried the CIS org to a 16-7 victory. The Anubis victory was still a respectable score for Eternal Fire considering their abysmal start to the map.
However, Nuke didn’t fare too much better for Eternal Fire either. The team, once again, off to a 0-7 start was simply playing catch-up. On Nuke, coming back from such a harsh score can be quite a task. Monte’s T-side had a promising start, but the huge backlog in the first half was just too big to overcome for the Danish roster.
With this victory, NAVI are off to the semifinals, where they will match up against Monte who surprised everyone with a 2-0 victory over Vitality.