Swole Patrol and cantwinalan have advanced to the grand finals of the MDL playoffs, and are set to square off at ESEA Global Challenge Season 29 to determine which team will secure a moveup to ESL Pro League Season 8. The losers of today's matchups, Vireo.pro and Singularity, are set to play tomorrow to determine the third place team who will also head to the Global Challenge and play for a chance at EPL Relegation.
The first semifinal saw Swole Patrol secure a 2-0 win over Singularity, performing two stellar comebacks to narrowly edge out Inferno 16-14 and Train 16-13.
The first of those comebacks was spearhelmed by Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir, who dropped 40 kills to secure Swole Patrol Inferno. Singularity put up a stellar opening offense to kick off the map, granting the muscle men just one of the first ten rounds as they worked they way up to a 9-1 lead. Swole Patrol battled back as their CT side came to a close, giving themselves a fighting chance by securing the infamous 11-4 scoreline as they swapped over.
Singularity seemed set to deny Swole Patrol the comeback chance as they pushed onward to a 13-4 scoreline off the back of the second pistol round, but freakazoid had other ideas once his team's economy stabilized and they took a trio of rounds. Averaging 1.33 KPR, freakazoid combined with his teammates to allow Singularity just one additional round in the match, putting up a nine round streak to close out the match.
Swole Patrol faired even worse in the starting half of Train, managing only a single round on their T side while Singularity put up ten of their own. It was Brandon "Ace" Winn who put Swole Patrol back on the board with two kills on the AWP, allowing his team to rally back and pick up an additional trio of rounds before Singularity closed out the half for a 10-5 scoreline.
Victor "food" Wong found four frags in the second half pistol round, allowing Singularity to extend their lead to 11-5. Edgar "MarKE" Jimenez replied back with three of his own in the following round, swinging the economy firmly into the favor of Swole Patrol at the start of the half. Swole Patrol went on a seven-round winstreak, their team coming to life as Ace continued to find opening picks in brown halls with the AWP while MarKE locked down ladder.
Singularity attempted to regain control after winning a 2vs4, and further stabilized by tying up the score in the ensuing round. Once again Ace's AWP rang out to give Swole Patrol the opening pick, allowing the team to lock down the remaining rounds of the map, and edging out a win 16-13.
|2 - 0||
|de_inferno||16 - 14||de_inferno|
|de_train||16 - 13||de_train|
Vireo.pro continued the day's dominant opening half trend in their matchup against cantwinalan, kicking off Overpass with a 7-1 lead on their CT side. With their own map pick of Cache up next, things seemed set for Vireo.pro to make the series a 2-0 after they reset cantwinalan after their second round was won, but Zack "XotiC" Elshani and co. fought back for three of the last five rounds to give themselves a fighting chance on their CT side.
Vireo.pro continued their winning ways with the second half pistol win on their T side, pushing forward for a 12-5 lead. Sebastian "seb" Bucki and XotiC combined their efforts to allow cantwinalan to rally back, bringing themselves just one round from tying up the lead at 11-12. Ricky "floppy" Kemery helped to keep Vireo.pro narrowly ahead with another round win, but the team were unable to maintain control as cantwinalan took five rounds straight to win out their own map pick 16-13.
cantwinalan were the ones to get the hot start on Cache, opening up their CT side with a 5-1 lead. Vireo.pro battled for control as the teams traded blows, with floppy's team coming out on top to almost even the score at 5-6 for his side. cantwinalan kept that lead just out of reach as the teams traded rounds for the remainder of the half, with cantwinalan edging out an 8-7 advantage.
After winning a slow and labored pistol round, cantwinalan cruised forward for a 12-7 lead over Vireo.pro. Josh "PwnAlone" Pigue kept his side in the running by finding kills with the AWP, allowing Vireo.pro to push back for three additional rounds. The comeback wasn't to be however, and cantwinalan ensured the map came to a swift end as they grabbed the final four rounds to close out the map 16-10.
|0 - 2||
|de_overpass||13 - 16||de_overpass|
|de_cache||10 - 16||de_cache|
After the match, Donovan "zNf" Froid took to Twitter to say that the team's coach, Rustun "Rustun" Lusk, would play in his stead in the third place decider matchup tomorrow, set to kick off at 9:30 PM EST.
.@RustunL will be playing for me tomorrow in our decider unless you hear otherwise.— zNf (@zetNf) November 15, 2018
Swole Patrol will have the chance to play for a slot in ESL Pro League for the second time when they face cantwinalan at MDL Global Challenge Season 29 in the grand finals.