The last day at the Group Stage of IEM New York CIS ends with no surprises, as Virtus.Pro and Team Spirit push through 2-1 series to keep their perfect runs. At Group A, Natus Vincere eliminates ESPADA to face Gambit in the play-offs. ForZe and Nemiga will duel it out on the other side of the bracket.
The main match-up of the day would be Natus Vincere fighting for a spot at play-offs against ESPADA. Last few weeks have been quite troublesome for Na’Vi, as Ilya ‘Perfecto’ Zalutskiy has recently tested positive to COVID-19.
All eyes were on them, as a Group Stage exit would be strongly disappointing. The first steps were taken on Mirage, as Na’Vi secured the first map 16-5, with Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev bailing out the team when it was needed.
Their momentum carried on to Nuke, grasping a good number of rounds on attack. Switching sides, they would concede some rounds to ESPADA but eventually take the series with a clean 2-0, keeping their run at IEM New York CIS alive, and stealing the last qualifying spot from ESPADA.
Natus Vincere left the first RMR event, ESL Road to Rio, on the Group Stage. This time, they survived
On the flip side of the coin, the two teams that were yet to win, K23 and Cyber Legacy were trying to secure at least one win at the event. Dust 2 would start with Cyber Legacy jumping into the lead at the first half, but slowly draining it all the way to overtime, before scraping a 19-17 victory.
In spite of that, K23 would get back on Overpass, with a commanding 16-2, signalling a complete change in the momentum of the series. In the decider map of Inferno, a Nicolas ‘Keoz’ Dgus powered effort would seize a great advantage in the first half, with K23 converting the series in their favour with a 16-11 scoreline.
At the top of Group A, it would be the undefeated Virtus.Pro to face ForZe. Starting the series on Mirage, it quickly became clear that ForZe wouldn’t make things easy for the boys of Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali.
Starting as a back-and-forth match where teams took turns at stringing rounds together, it would be Bogdan ‘xsepower’ Chernikov to stop VP dead on their tracks at 14-12 with two AWP kills through a smoke, handing the first map to ForZe.
But Virtus.Pro wasn’t going to let this series stray any further, putting the work on the defensive side of Dust2 to crawl away with the win from an otherwise balanced match.
Train would decide the series, and with Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov popping off and getting eleven rounds in the first half, it was only a matter of time until Virtus.Pro assured that they would be getting through the Group Stage without dropping a single series.
Virtus.Pro took two penalties at the Regional Major Rankings for roster moves. Both of these involved buster
Team Spirit was looking to mimic the flawless run of Virtus.Pro over at Group B, with Winstrike being the only thing between them and top seed. Following the tradition of very close maps on Dust2, it would be Winstrike to come on top out of neck-and-neck 16-14 score.
The reply was sure to come, and Team Spirit made to sure to go all out and smack Winstrike on Nuke, with a hefty 16-5. Team Spirit would start the third map of Train with a 10-2 lead on CT side, but a power outage from Aidyn ‘KrizzeN’ Turlybekov would finish the series earlier, as Winstrike would forfeit the map.
It was up to Nemiga and Gambit to fight over the second and third place, trying to get the best seed possible for play-offs. A valiant offensive effort from Gambit would lend them the first map on a 16-10 score.
Nemiga seemed to have their map-pick locked in, as they secured a five round lead in the early stages of the second half. However, the three rounds necessary to take it to a third map would never come and it would be Gambit mounting a comeback and sealing the series 2-0 by the skin of their teeth with a 16-14.
Gambit will finish at the second place, with Nemiga falling to the last qualifying spot
Hellraisers and Ethereal were at rock-bottom in the standings and unable to advance any further in the event. Unable to get a series under their bag, Ethereal was hoping to escape the last place on their last match. The first map didn’t start well, with Hellraisers closing in for the kill at 13-6.
Somehow, the map ended going all thirty rounds, with Ethereal capitalizing on their lack of resolution to seize their second map in the whole tournament.
Nuke would follow, with Aleksandr ‘KENSI’ Gurkin going colossal for the side of Ethereal, assuring that the team would leave the tournament with at least one series in the bag, as they closed the map 16-8.