Heroic are through to the Champions Stage of the IEM Rio Major after beating Liquid in the 2-1 pool, securing victory in three maps.cadiaN in particular stepped up at the onset of the series to get an early win on Vertigo, but it was the the whole team that shone to take the Overpass decider over the line.
The Danes are the fifth team to secure their playoff berth and can breathe a sigh of relief having avoided playing in the do-or-die 2-2 matchup on the final day of the Swiss stage. Liquid, meanwhile, will be kicking themselves after not riding out the momentum from Mirage, and will need to recover swiftly if they hope to defeat Spirit in their final matchup for a playoff spot.
Heroic have advanced to the playoffs of the IEM Rio Major
Phenomenal teamplay from Heroic was the story for much of Vertigo, excellent flashing, trading, and expeditious rotations proving key in the Danes establishing a firm lead on the CT side. Liquid had little to offer in the way of an offense, an initial set of three rounds off the back of a pistol victory being the only moment they truly felt in control in a half that was otherwise dominated by cadiaN, whose AWP picked apart Liquid‘s attempts to garner control of the map repeatedly. It took the individual heroics of Josh “oSee” Ohm and Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis to add to Liquid‘s tally and reduce the deficit, but they were still left trailing by three rounds at the break as Heroic headed into their attacking effort with nine rounds on the board.
cadiaN‘s individual dominance continued after the side swap, pairing with entry fragging from the Heroic riflers to further extend their lead to 12-6. Liquid made an effort to defend their honor, piecing together two individual rounds, but the lack of a margin and no economy left them no room to complete a comeback, with Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard shutting things down with a triple kill to grant Heroic a 16-8 victory.
Heroic seemed to be in pole position to continue their run of form at the onset of Mirage, their utility work and teamplay remaining their strong suit in an early streak of three rounds. Their prospects quickly turned grim once Liquid were on rifles however, and attempts to crack into the North American team’s bombsites proved fruitless. YEKINDAR was a thorn in their side throughout the half, but the rest of Liquid were just as steadfast in maintaining a strong defense, winning eleven rounds in a row before Heroic edged out one last round toward the end of the half. Liquid wasted little time in ending any hopes of a comeback after moving over to the attack, sealing the map away 16-5 to move things on to the Overpass decider.
René “TeSeS” Madsen was the one to take firm control on the final map of the series, stepping up in his fragging output on the CT side and remaining deathless for the first five rounds eventually faltering when he had ten kills to his name with Heroic leading 5-1. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski took matters into his own hands to keep Liquid competitive in the half, finding four frags in one round and scoring entry kills in two others to help his team close the gap slightly, but Heroic‘s proactive defense and information gathering allowed them to remain firmly in the lead by halftime, 11-4.
Liquid scored a win in the final pistol round of the series and began to slowly claw back into things, the power of the CT side vesting in a seven-round spree, helped by a triple kill round from EliGE in the back lines.
Just when it seemed like Liquid could completely shut Heroic out however, the Danes found their footing, superb calling and individual plays allowing them to get their foot in the door and win five rounds straight to deny Liquid the chance to steal away the win.
Group Legends Stage