NRG edge out Evil Geniuses to move on in Lower Bracket
NRG’s pick of Bind raised more than a few eyebrows, given their recent losses to The Guard, 100 Thieves, and XSET, alongside EG’s excellent record on the map which included wins against OpTic Gaming and Luminosity Gaming. Sure enough, Kelden "Boostio" Pupello and co's quality was on full display early on, a clean pistol round execute that the opposition had no answers to. Alexander "jawgemo" Mor was the man to watch, his four kills in the round very much an omen for things to come. NRG’s first chance to strike back came in their rifle round, where they found themselves in a very favorable 4v2 situation, but James "hazed" Cobb and co. squandered it, allowing EG to convert the bonus gain yet more momentum. The jawgemo train continued to barrel through the NRG camp, and the latter were only able to pick up one of the first ten rounds. Eventually, a couple of nice site holds allowed NRG to stay in the game with a 9-3 scoreline at the break.
NRG had a much better time on Ascent, kicked off by a much better start, as they managed to pick up their first pistol of the series. EG’s double initiator composition with Sova and Fade looked shaky at first, as hazed and co. found their way to a dominant 7-2 lead. jawgemo certainly wasn’t having as good of a performance as he was on Bind, with the likes of tex being able to shut him down. Some good reads by Boostio allowed EG to salvage a few rounds towards the end of the half and keep their opponents humble at 5-7.
NRG were on the front foot in the second half early on, winning the pistol and anti-eco with ease. Up next was an all-important bonus, and that went the way of hazed’s squad, and now EG were truly back against the wall. A couple of solid B executes put them in the conversation, but NRG made sure things didn't get out of hand and they closed out the map with a 2v3 win to take Ascent 13-8 and tie up the series.
Split, the last map of the match, began with a half of two halves. EG struck first, claiming the pistol round with a C0M clutch. The anti-eco was too close for comfort, but it went the way of EG, and they pulled off an incredible bonus round win with just pistols to go 3-0 up. The alarm bells were ringing in the NRG camp at 1-5, and the tables turned on the back of a timeout. An unbelievable round with just Classics and a rifle saw hazed and co. come right back, stringing together four rounds of their own. The teams traded rounds towards the end of the half to keep it level at 6-6 at the break.
If things were close in the first half, it was about to get a lot closer in the second. Yet again it was EG with the pistol round, but NRG’s firepower was too much for them to handle and hazed’s side took back control with a thrifty. Just when it looked like NRG might run away with it, EG threw a spanner in the works with a ridiculous thrifty of their own, and they pulled the lead back at 10-9. From then on the rounds were ever so close, but tex found form when his team needed him most, leading the charts with 26 kills and a 1.50 rating and put his team on match point, 12-11. He opened the last round up and s0m was the one to close it, as NRG won Split 13-11 and won the series 2-1.