Brutality swept away the threat posed by Invictus with a straight 2-0 series win (Cache 16-7, Overpass 16-12) to become the fourth and the last team to earn a spot at the Regional LAN Finals of ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND ASIA 2018.
The series started with Invictus opting to start on the T side on Brutality’s map pick, Cache. Venom shut down an A rush attempt through the middle with a 3k. Invictus managed a plan on the A site in the following round.
A 4k from Rix at the B bombsite ensured Brutality started with a 3-0 lead. Invictus hit back immediately on the first gun round with early mid control, which culminated into a 2v2 and ultimately a round win for the T side.
Invictus almost pulled off a successful post-plant scenario at A. But, spy defused the bomb, which was not planted for Ribbi. who was stationed at A mains. An A shutdown and a failed B split later, Brutality climbed to a 6-1 lead.
Invictus were facing another round loss but a 1v2 from BinaryBUGG on the B offence enabled them to land their second round and go on a mini-streak of sorts. With the score at 7-3, Invictus attempted a Fast A split, which was shut down amicably by Brutality.
Rix then channeled his inner beast with two beautiful kills on the B defence, the second of which was a lightning quick flick, to propel Brutality to an 8-4 lead.
Invictus though, pulled back two rounds to force Brutality on a weak buy for the last round of the half. As has been the case for Brutality throughout the event thus far, they made the weak buy work, ending the half with a 9-6 lead.
Brutality chose to hit the B site in a fast rush, bagging them the second pistol round and the two rounds that followed to push through to a 12-6 lead. With the score now reading 14-6, a successful retake of the B site to get back one round.
It was merely a consolation though, as Brutality closed out Cache 16-7, with Rix leading the scoreboard on 24 kills.
Overpass started on a different tone, with Invictus winning the pistol round. Brutality though, responded with a brilliant force. Rix converted a 1v2 to level the scoreline and break Invictus. Brutality raced to a 4-1 lead and it seemed like they would heap more misery on Invictus, with Ribbi & co. on upgraded pistols.
Invictus though, made it work, with Manan landing a 3k. Another 3k, this time from BinaryBUGG made sure Invictus maintained the momentum. They took the lead for the first time, with their B hit paying dividend.
A few back and forth rounds saw the scoreline pumped to 6-6. Brutality though, shut down Invictus on the last three rounds to go into the second half with a 9-6 lead.
Blackhawk ensured Invictus won the second pistol, thanks to a nutty ace near the WC area. Invictus converted the two rounds that usually follow the pistol to level the scores at 9-9. Brutality though, soon began their charge towards the B site.
Invictus were unable to hold the bombsite despite some good initial duels. Rix clutched at B soon to push the scoreline to 13-9 and a patient A hit in the following round saw Brutality come to within 2 rounds of landing a spot in the Regional LAN Finals.
Invictus shut down two attempts from Brutality before the Mumbai-based stack successfully took over the A site on a quasi buy. Invictus defended the B site successfully in the following round to prolong the tie.
It looked like they would come within 2 rounds of forcing an Overtime. But, some technical error saw Brutality land the round, closing out Overpass 16-12 and the series with a 2-0 scoreline. With the win, Brutality join SRA, Entity and Optic India as the contenders for a spot at ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND ASIA 2018.
The individuals on Brutality were just on point, especially the legendary Rix, who was a constant feature towards the top end of the scoreboard. The chemistry on the CT side was just not there on the day for Invictus, which ultimately, was the difference between the two sides.
Brutality would be delighted to be able to make it to the Regional LAN Finals, especially after a recent roster change saw astar depart the roster. They will now face SRA in the Grand Finals of the Qualifiers to confirm the seeding for the Regional LAN Finals.