Vitality survived what was at times a gruelling series against OG to secure their berth for the Legends Stage, winning Vertigo in overtime, getting trounced on Inferno, before securing the series win on Dust2.
It took everything Vitality had in the tank to secure this win, their excellent form from ESL Pro League seeming ages ago considering the troubles they have had at the RMR, at the BLAST Showdown, and here in the Challengers Stage. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut was ultimately the difference maker, particularly on the first half of Dust2 where he kept Vitality in the game.
ZywOo produced several magical moments on Dust2
As for OG, they had chances to win this series, and will feel had they managed to convert their match point on Vertigo, they would have taken the 2-0. Still, they showed some great Counter-Strike at the organisation’s first Major, and Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar in particular produced some highlight moments throughout their campaign.
Vertigo kicked off with NEOFRAG on a heater, and he powered his team to a 5-0 lead with several multi-kill rounds. A couple of up-tempo site hits got Vitality‘s offense on the board, and this revitalised the squad to drag the score back to parity. Rounds were traded at the back end of the half, with OG taking a slender 8-7 advantage into the second period.
Vitality opened the second half by grabbing six of the first seven rounds, but often they came down to close late-round scenarios and retakes. Eventually OG were bound to find more success and they did, breaking the Vitality economy and getting themselves to 13-13. The match became scrappy with the pressure building, OG even losing to an eco, but Abdul “degster” Gasanov and ZywOo traded 1v1 clutches in the final rounds to send the game to overtime.
Vitality‘s immense experienced shone through in OT as they ramped up their level, sweeping their CT half and grabbing the solitary offensive round needed to secure a 19-17 victory.
Inferno opened with a Vitality CT-pistol victory, but Nemanja “nexa” Isaković rampaged up banana on the force-buy to wrestle the momentum back in his side’s favour. The ravaged CT economy took time to recover, allowing OG‘s potent site hits to rack them up a convincing 7-1 lead. A ZywOo clutch earned his squad a couple more rounds, but couldn’t prevent Vitality from falling to a 5-10 half.
On Dust2 OG continued their trend of starting strong, getting four CT rounds on the board before Vitality answered. Answer they did through some ZywOo heroics, but the Frenchman was having to put rounds on his back to keep Vitality close in the early part of the half. This gave the rest of the squad time to wake up, and Vitality managed to squeak an 8-7 half victory.
The second half began in frantic fashion, NEOFRAG winning the pistol with a 4k before Emil “Magisk” Reif answered with a Deagle 3k to win the force-buy. Vitality began to stabilise and march staunchly to a map victory, with OG unable to gain any real traction on their offense; the map ended 16-8.
Group Challengers Stage