CeRq leads his team to a dominant Group Stage run
The first day of the Esports Championship Series Season 5 Finals has wrapped up with the first two teams seeded into the playoffs with each from a different region.
Astralis started off Group A with a weak first half 3-12 against Cloud9 on Inferno, before bouncing back with a dominating comeback, going all the way to a 16-13 victory for the Danes, proceeding to the Winner’s match and knocking down the North Americans to the lower bracket.
A similar story nearly happened in the other Group A match, where Liquid started off strong against Fnatic, finishing the first half 12-3 on Inferno. Fnatic, on the other hand, had plans for the second half, attempting a comeback with a six-round win streak. However, thanks to a strong performance from Keith "NAF" Markovic, the North Americans stayed in the game, just edging out the Swedes with a 16-14 scoreline and proceeding to the Winners’ Match.
In the Group A Winners’ Match, Astralis continued their domination of the North Americans in their group, with the Danes going on a 13 round streak before Liquid were finally able to gain their first round in the 14th round. Despite Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken’s best efforts and Liquid winning a pistol round in the second half, Astralis were too strong for Team Liquid to overcome and the Europeans proceed to the Playoffs with a strong 16-6 victory.
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In Group B, NRG Esports dominated the new G2 Esports roster on Mirage headed by an extremely strong performance from Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov followed by Ethan "nahtE" Arnold and Jacob "FugLy" Medina, proceeding to the upper bracket with a strong 16-4 victory.
FaZe Clan featured a similarly dominating performance against Luminosity Gaming, with Luminosity only able to muster one round from the European powerhouse. The Brazillians were unable to shutdown Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, with the Bosnian raking in a 2.41 rating with 27 frags. A near-perfect match, FaZe proceeded to the Winner’s match after a 16-1 win.
In the Group B Winner’s match, NRG managed to overcome the FaZe superroster with a strong CT-side on Cache headlined by nahtE and CeRq. NiKo still remained a large obstacle for the North Americans, but NRG were able to power through and upset FaZe, winning Cache 16-8. The North Americans will proceed to the Playoffs, where they will wait for their opponent from Group A.
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The second day of competition begins again tomorrow at 3:15 AM CDT with Cloud9 facing off against Fnatic in the Group A Elimination Match and with G2 and Luminosity facing off at 6:15 AM CDT in the Group B Elimination Match.