Optic India took down Entity over 3 maps (Nuke 16-9, Dust2 12-16, Cache 16-11) to move into the Grand Finals of the DIQ and become the first team to qualify for the Indian Regional Finals as part of the qualifiers for Zowie eXTREMESLAND ASIA 2018.

Optic started Nuke on the CT side, with Entity opting to start on the less favoured side. Entity’s attempt to hit the Inner site was stopped dead in its tracks by Optic India. Marzil and Forsaken then came up with 3k each on respective rounds to ensure Optic India get all three rounds.

Optic India decided to continue with their weaponry and pushed the Inner area to gain map control. Their push was not anticipated by Entity, who conceded the round quickly. The Optic India aggression was relentless.

Antidote pushed lobby to secure a 3k for himself and Optic’s sixth round in a row. A couple of Outer attempts by Entity were foiled by Optic India, with the second one seeing a brilliant double push by Optic India from Secret to shut down Entity.

It looked like Entity would finally get a round to their name as they got two early picks. But, Marzil came up huge with 3k to demolish all hopes. As the half neared towards a 15-0 scoreline, Amaterasu ensured Entity will not be blanked on the half, converting a 1v2 at A on the last round of the half.

Nuke is often a map with lopsided CT halves. And it looked to be heading that way, with Entity securing the pistol round and the two anti-eco rounds that followed. Optic chose to fall back to the strategy that worked wonders against Invictus, with Outer smokes.

But, Huntr made sure Entity had a counter, with the AWPer landing a 3k. Optic were being countered by Entity in an admirable manner as the scoreline reached 14-8. Finally, the outer control play paid dividends for Optic India and they managed to reach map point.

Huntr though, showed up bid again to deny Optic India the B site. A 2v3 afterplant on the A site though, proved to be the undoing of Entity as Optic closed out the map 16-9.

Not much can be said about it, except the fact that Entity made a mistake by choosing to start on the T side. They may be confident on their playbook. But, with Nuke being chosen by Optic India, they should have anticipated their opponents to have a good setup on the CT side.

Nuke is a map where it can be difficult to get T rounds if you come unstuck. And that was the case on the day for Entity. Had they started on the CT side, things would have gone differently.

Optic chose to rush A long on the CT pistol round. Antidote’s 3k ensured the pistol win. Marzil secured a 3k of his won in the round after. A patient B hit on the Force buy saw Entity open their account on Dust2.

They chose to execute a B split, which yielded them another round win. Entity tried to change up things and went for A long control. But, Forsaken stood strong, ending the round with a 4k. Excali responded with a 3k in the following round. The score soon read 4-3 in Entity’s favour.

Consecutive B hits by Entity saw Antidote save the map on both the rounds. Optic India chose to bring out the Double awp setup. While the AWPers did not do much, Optic India’s change saw them draw level at 6-6.

Forsaken came up huge again with a 4k to propel Optic India into the lead. Antidote shutdown the A short hit with a 4k on the AWP and Optic India secured the final round of the half to go into the  T side with a 9-6 lead.

Entity’s CT side proved too strong for Optic India though. Before Optic India could get a sense of what Entity are doing, Entity raced to an 11-9 lead. Hellranger and Excali shut down a quick B attempt to add another round.

Optic India soon responded with two rounds to their name, the highlight being their ability to switch up the pace of their attack. Amaterasu put a stop to the Optic India juggernaut before it even began, with a 1v1 on the B site.

 

Entity soon reached map point. But, Optic India’s hit on the B site compelled Entity to go for a save. The saved weaponry was essential as Entity succeeded the A retake attempt to close out the map 16-12 and push the series to Cache.

Entity’s CT side on Dust2 is perhaps the best in the Indian scene. Their synchronized plays along with the individual skill level they have in their arsenal makes them a dangerous team on the map. The 6 rounds they got on the T side proved more than enough. But, Optic India’s B defence needs some improvement, judging by the constant successful takes by Entity.

Entity chose to go for an A take in the pistol round. Optic India though, managed to retake in time despite some brilliant positioning from their opponents, with Marzil shining through with the pistol.

Entity decided to force buy and used brute force to execute a B split, which resulted in Optic India going for a 2-man save. Two consecutive plays leading to the B site saw Entity put up 3 rounds on the board.

With Optic on the full buy, they decided to show some aggression towards A, which yielded two rounds. An A take in the 8th round of the map saw Antidote fail to convert a 1v2 and Entity drew level.

Optic then went on a 3-round streak before Entity’s hit at the B site saw them secure their fifth round on the map. Optic India shut down an attempt at A subsequently. A 3k each from Marzil   and Forsaken in the respective rounds that followed ensured a 10-5 lead for Optic India going into the second half.

Optic India raced to a 14-5 lead in a streak that saw Haivaan clutch a 1v2 in the second round of the second half. Entity made the Quasi buy work before another 3k from Marzil saw Optic move up to map point.

With Entity facing the prospect of moving down to the Lower Bracket, the individuals stepped up. There were some brilliant holds by Entity while a 3k each from Huntr and Excali saw Entity reach double figures.

A 4k from Amaterasu provided Entity with a glimmer of hope of taking Cache into overtime. But, Optic India chose to take the A bombsite and their success left Excali in a 1v4, which he was unable to convert as Optic India became the first team to qualify for the Regional Finals.

A map that started in a back-and-forth manner, Optic took charge during the mid game and it could again be chalked down to their willingness to go for aggression during the round to either make plays or gain information.

More often than not, Entity’s executes or hits on either bombsite were telegraphed. There weren’t many mistakes made by either side over the 3 maps. There were some missed shots but in terms of mid-round calling, this was perhaps the best series of Zowie eXTREMESLAND so far, as was expected to be.

Entity will now face 2ez Gaming, with one spot left in the Regional Finals.