Infinite was unstoppable as Lazarus fought to hold on to their EPL slot
Lazarus have won the ESL Pro League Season 9 Pre-Relegation tournament, securing themselves a spot in the next season of EPL. Singularity have been cast down to the Relegation tournament, where they will fight against ATK, Envy, and INTZ for one additional spot in the league.
The day began with Lazarus taking on the Brazilians from INTZ in the consolidation final matchup. Having mustered only eight rounds on the defensive side of Nuke to open the series, Lazarus looked to be in a tight spot as they swapped over to the offense; however, Yassine "Subroza" Taofik and company made short work of their opposition, flawlessly securing another eight rounds to take INTZ's map pick 16-7.
The Brazilians fared no better on Lazarus' pick of Dust2 as Gage "Infinite" Green helped to power his side to a 9-6 T-side half. Lazarus mirrored their efforts from the first map as they gave up just a single round on the road to another 16-7 victory, earning themselves a best-of-five matchup against Singularity for a spot in ESL Pro League.
|2 - 0||
|de_nuke||16 - 7||de_nuke|
|de_dust2||16 - 7||de_dust2|
Singularity entered the grand finals with a one map advantage, and began their run with a 4-0 start on the T-side of Train. Lazarus replied with one of their own, with Infinite securing an ace in the ensuing round to help propel his team to an eight round streak for a 8-4 scoreline. Singularity managed to battle back towards the end of the half, notching six rounds to keep themselves competitive as they swapped over to the defense.
A pistol victory for Singularity was immediately responded to by a triple kill round from Jaccob "yay" Whittaker, but Lazarus were unable to spring off the round victory and found themselves immediately eco'd back by the CTs. Infinite helped his side take their second round with three kills of his own, but a reply back from Singularity kept them in control.
Three kills by Cameron "hydrex" Kern in a 2vs5 helped to deny a bomb plant from Lazarus, leading to yet another round win for Singularity. The team pushed up to attain match point, but Lazarus remained resilient as they pushed the map into overtime. The two teams remained locked as they pushed their way into a second overtime, where Lazarus reigned supreme by taking four uncontested rounds to secure a 22-18 victory.
The situation began to look grim for Singularity on Lazarus' pick of Inferno, with yay and Infinite continuing to put up numbers for their side as they pushed up to a 6-0 lead. A back-and-forth trade saw Singularity notch four rounds of their own on the defense, thanks in part to a four-kill round by Ryan "ryann" Welsh, but they were unable to close the deficit as Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro stepped up alongside his teammates to take an 11-4 lead at the half.
A pistol win for Singularity helped them take a trio of rounds for an 11-7 scoreline, but once Lazarus had rifles in their hands, they had a chance to turn the tables. One gun round went their way, with the team putting themselves in position to win the ensuing round as well; fortunately for Singularity, a 2vs5 recovery by hydrex and Josh "oSee" Ohm allowed for them to continue their comeback effort, chaining two additional rounds for a 12-10 scoreline.
Another round win for Lazarus was immediately replied to by Singularity, with ryann finding four frags with the P250 to continue closing the gap. Zellsis took three kills of his own in the next round, allowing for Infinite to follow-up with a 3k of his own to push the map over the line for their side, snatching away their own map 16-11.
Vertigo, the third map in the series, saw Singularity get off to a strong start, winning four of the first five rounds on the offense. Their lead didn't hold for long however, with yay, Subroza, and Infinite all contributing for Lazarus as they fought back for five rounds of their own before Singularity could post their fifth. An immediate reply by Lazarus allowed for Subroza's side to push up to a 9-5 scoreline, with Singularity scraping a sixth to keep themselves competitive at the half.
The side swap saw Singularity fall further behind as Lazarus moved up by two rounds, with Ricky "floppy" Kemery helping Singularity take two of their own. A back-and-forth battle between the two sides was quickly shut down by Lazarus, who gave up just two final rounds on the road to a 16-10 finish.
|1 - 3||
|de_train||18 - 22||de_train|
|de_inferno||11 - 16||de_inferno|
|de_vertigo||10 - 16||de_vertigo|
With their victory, Lazarus have retained their spot in ESL Pro League Season 10. Singularity still have a chance to qualify as they now proceed to the Relegation tournament, where ATK, INTZ, and Envy await.
The first round of the Relegation tournament will take place tomorrow, with both of the following matchups kicking off at 2 PM EDT:
The tournament will utilize the same system as the Pre-Relegation stage, with the four teams duking it out in a double-elimination bracket for a single spot in ESL Pro League Season 10, while the remaining teams will be cast down to MDL Season 32.