yay ensured a swift victory for Lazarus in their matchup
The Quest and Lazarus have secured spots in the ECS Season 8 Pinnacle Cup following wins over ATK and LiViD, respectively, in the semifinals of the first open qualifier.
ATK took on The Quest in the first series of the day, with The Quest narrowly edging out a 2-1 victory following overtimes in the second and third maps. The series opened on The Quest's map pick of Inferno, where a strong performance by Ryan "Snakes" Amann helped the team to a 3-0 start on the T-side. ATK managed to put three on the board themselves, but a 1vs3 clutch by Gabe "Spongey" Greiner swung momentum back in the favor of The Quest.
Although ATK immediately replied with a round of their own, it was the last one they managed in the half as two additional 1vs3s by Logan "Voltage" Long gave The Quest an 11-4 lead as the sides swapped over. ATK kept themselves in the running with two rounds at the start of the second half, but were unable to forstall Snakes and company for much longer as the first map went the way of The Quest 16-7.
Four kills by Ian "motm" Hardy at the start of Dust2 gave ATK control of the second map of the series, with the team pushing up to a 3-0 lead before a deagle 4k by Michael "Grim" Wince in a 2vs5 gave The Quest their first round. ATK continued to find opening picks to put themselves in winning positions, but were unable to convert a majority of the rounds that they opened up as The Quest remained resilient on the road to a 9-6 half.
The side swap saw The Quest immediately push up to a 12-6 scoreline off the back of a pistol victory, with ATK replying with five of their own to narrow the deficit to 12-11. A trio of rounds saw Grim and company attain match point, but the team were unable to close out the map as ATK forced overtime. There, the South African side made up for their lost advantages in the first half, giving up just one round on the road to a 19-16 victory to push the series to the deciding map of Overpass.
ATK took a four round lead to kick off the third map of the series, with The Quest replying in kind for a 4-4 scoreline. A renewed effort by ATK saw the team give up just one additional round in the half as they pushed up to a 10-5 halftime scoreline, which they quickly extended into a 12-5 lead with a pistol victory following the side swap.
The Quest managed to reduce the deficit to 12-9 as they won four rounds in reply, but it was ATK who claimed match point with three rounds of their own. Despite the considerable lead, the South African side were unable to close out the map in regulation, with The Quest fighting back for six rounds of their own to force overtime. The two teams remained neck-and-neck as a second overtime ensued, and it was here that The Quest reigned supreme as they won four straight rounds to secure a 22-18 map win and close out the series.
|1 - 2||
|de_inferno||7 - 16||de_inferno|
|de_dust2||19 - 16||de_dust2|
|de_overpass||18 - 22||de_overpass|
Lazarus made short work of LiViD in their own semifinal bout, putting up a 7-0 scoreline on their own pick of Mirage before LiViD got on the board. Although a trio of rounds went the way of the French Canadians, they didn't add another to their tally until the second half, where Lazarus gave up just one single round before closing out Mirage 16-4.
An almost identical scenario unfolded on LiViD's pick of Inferno, this time with Lazarus attaining eight rounds before LiViD put up three of their own. Only one additional round in the first half went LiViD's way, with Lazarus wasting no time in closing out the series following the side swap as they gave up just three final rounds before securing themselves a 16-7 map win.
|0 - 2||
|de_mirage||4 - 16||de_mirage|
|de_inferno||7 - 16||de_inferno|
With these victories, Lazarus and The Quest are the first two teams to earn spots in the ECS Season 8 Pinnacle Cup. Eight teams will receive direct invites to compete in the cup, while six additional teams will join them through three upcoming qualifiers, for which the dates and signup links can be found on the Dust2.us Calendar.