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Monday, March 27, 2023

SK advances to finals over Virtus.Pro

The first semi-finals of ESL One Cologne 2016 between Virtus.pro and SK were vetoed from a quite robust though as the maps were cobblestone, nuke, and cache which nobody going right on the prediction. SK won the best of three series (17-19 on Cobblestone, 16-5 on Nuke, and 16-12 on Mirage) by beating consecutive on the last two maps.

The first half of cobblestone where Virtus.Pro started as counter-terrorists, the less favorable side of the map, they lost the first three rounds straight after falling down to the Brazilian side in the pistol rounds and followed by the anti-eco’s. TaZ, however, showed how it is done when he took down 4 of the SK side in a buy round followed by an Ace in the next round when they were eco. A total of 10 kills in 3 rounds on the connector side. Regardless of aggressive plays by SK, FalleN failed to create an impact as he was missing important entry kill, which was covered by TACO 2k’ing into the B bombsite and winning the round making it 6-4.

Virtus. Pro took a decent win in the first map.

Regardless of aggressive plays by SK, FalleN failed to create an impact as he was missing important entry kill, which was covered by TACO 2k’ing into the B bombsite and winning the round making it 6-4, approaching the further rounds SK dealt with a good cleanup equalizing it to a 6-6 scoreline even though pasha gets a 3K from nowhere.

TaZ, however, assisted a couple of more kills making it his 18, closing down the half at 9-6 favoring the Polish on the CT side of a T-favored map. SK made their way back to the dominating side after taking the pistol round once again making the score 10-9 in their favor with the following gun round. Pasha, in no mood for taking the defeat whatsoever completely, crushes the CT’s and getting a quick 3K taking the scoreline to 13-11. The next round where FalleN and his men were able to win it, forcing VP to call a timeout which ironically favored the Brazilians as they were able to bring it back from 11-14 to 14-14, all thanks to the massive performance by FalleN where he takes 4 of the Polish side single-handed. NEO, however, keeps the dream alive by cutting a 1v2 clutch and persuading SK to play overtime where VP strikes strongly with 2 rounds only to be denied by Coldzera’s unbelievable ace, making it 2-1.

The second half of OT equalizes the scores and followed by an unfortunate miss-jump from Coldzera, the game goes out 18-17 in favor of the Polish side and a 19-17 strong win over the world’s best Counter Strike: Global Offensive team.

The second map, Nuke, of which the existence was questionable where VP started on the terrorist’s side, with fer buying a dualites and unable to make a difference but an unfortunate turn of events where pasha, unable to hit the shot on the defusing Coldzera loses VP a round with another followed round making it 0-2 and 0-3 in the following round. The guns round was also a disappointment as NEO misses a shot in the upper bombsite on fer which makes fer pickup his AK and gets a couple of more kills, securing the round for his team with a 4-0 score and VP on eco which further extends their lead and makes it 5-0 on the CT-side. VP takes a very early timeout just before their next buy round.


TaZ stepping up with once again with a massive 3 kills which helped VP to get a round on the board, SK came back quickly with their sheer dominance and took back the charge of ticking the scoreboard with a clean round, strengthening the scoreline to 6-1 and the following round making it 7-1. Lost in the pressure, VP wasn’t able to come back any stronger and the scoreline for SK advanced to 8-1 with an additional round coming post-plant retake by Coldzera making it a 9-1 commanding lead. The second win by VP comes too late as they win their second round when the score was already double-digit for the Brazilian side, VP progressed to the next rounds but SK denied their comeback and closed the first half at 12-3.

VP were the one to sprint the scoreboard in their favor at the start of the second half with two quick rounds, the scoreboard was decent to watch with the Polish side claiming 5 rounds in total against 12. But SK not giving VP any chance to gain momentum and winning the next round of the anti-eco and destroying their economy, also making the scoreboard 13-5. The later rounds also didn’t bring feasts for VP as they lose the map 6-16 falling apart heavily on Nuke.

The third and final map started with VP playing on the favorable side of the map and doing exactly the things which regulates the ordinary procuring. SK calling a pause after being down 3-5 and forced the round led them with unfulfilled desires once again as  TAZ opens up and the round goes in favor of VP making it 6-3, SK goes a full buy after getting a full losing bonus being down 6 rounds in a row. Pasha picks up the first kill by taking down FalleN 1v1 at B apartments. NEO gets an almost impossible shot during the final seconds of the round making it another round for VP, a 7-3 strong lead, but TACO keeps the dream alive as he picks an important couple kills to win a round for the Brazilian side.

NEO however in the following round goes to defend the site completely naked on guns. Pasha showing his strength with the MAG7 getting three amicable kills to win the round for his side and getting his side a 8-5 lead. Interestingly, TaZ over commits in the next round to a player lurking in underpass and burns himself in flames which later leads to the round going in favor of SK. Virtus.Pro closes the half in a 9-6 lead. The next half started with the Polish side relying on the utilities with couple of smokes and tec9s and unfortunately pasha kiling byali loses them the round and force them to force-up in the second round.

Things tied up at 9-9 as VP went full eco to be able to buy rifles for the next round. Things went worse in the next buy round inspite of pasha getting the first pick as VP failed to capitalize on the advantage; SK took the lead 10-9, and a regular 11-9 on the following eco. The twenty-first round had its importance and VP let it slip away from them which got behind the league 9-13, forcing them to use their available tactical pause. But FalleN, completely misplays the Polish and takes an important triple kill to win the round for his side and forcing VP to an tensed eco which worsen the scoreline to a 10-14 for the Polish side. NEO took the responsibility in the following round by claiming triple kills and securing their existence in the series and gluing SK at 14. The following two rounds were clinched by SK as Coldzera and FalleN came alive and destroyed the dreams of VP. SK will face the winner of the second semi-final between Fnatic and Flipsid3.

Deepak Ojha
Deepak Ojha
Founding Editor, TalkEsport

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