NRG stand alone as America's team in Berlin
NRG have advanced to the semifinals of StarLadder Berlin Major after overcoming Natus Vincere in a 2-0, while Liquid have shockingly fallen to Astralis in a 2-0 loss.
The series between the American understudies and Na'Vi began on Dust2, with NRG battering Na'Vi, winning five out of the first seven rounds. Following this, Na'Vi claimed the next three rounds before NRG cruised to a 10-5 half.
After switching sides, NRG climbed up to thirteen rounds before Na'Vi finally found double digits after winning the next five rounds. Following this, Na'Vi went on to find two more rounds their comeback ran out of steam, with a perfect forcebuy hold by NRG securing map point, before the Americans closed out Dust2 16-12.
Moving onto Mirage, NRG won three of the first four rounds on the defensive before Na'Vi finally got into their rhythm, winning the next seven rounds in a row to climb up to 8-3. The last four rounds of the half were split evenly with Na'Vi up comfortably 10-5.
On their T-side, NRG managed to quickly rebound, thanks to a pistol round 3k by Ethan "Ethan" Arnold paving the way for NRG to win the next three rounds. The majority of the second half saw NRG continue to out-play Na'Vi, with NRG finding map point first at 15-12. However, Na'Vi were not ready to concede just yet as they found the last three rounds in regulation to force overtime.
In overtime, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov fought well, nearly forcing a second overtime, however a massive performance from Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov was enough to tip the scales in NRG's favor, seeing them take Mirage 19-17.
|2 - 0||
|de_dust2||16 - 12||de_dust2|
|de_mirage||19 - 17||de_mirage|
Moving onto the second series of the day, Liquid squared off against long-time rivals Astralis on Vertigo and Overpass. The series started off with a surprise as Astralis picked Vertigo in spite of their upset loss to Liquid on it during the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals.
Liquid began the map finding the first three rounds in a row thanks to a 2v4 pistol round clutch by Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski and Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken. Their lead quickly evaporated as Astralis illustrated their new-found proficiency on the map as they overran Liquid's defenses to claim seven out of the next eight rounds, narrowly taking the half 8-7.
Continuing onto their CT-side, Astralis made a massive statement as they crushed Liquid's T-side, winning all but one round to take the map 16-8.
Continuing onto Overpass, after the shock loss on Vertigo Liquid looked like they finally stabilized as they won the first four rounds in a row on their T-side. Astralis quickly answered back with five rounds of their own, before Liquid reclaimed their lead with the next four rounds. The half ended with Liquid up by three rounds after the two teams traded the last two rounds.
After switching sides, Liquid's lead and their chances of forcing a third map began to quickly unravel as Astralis won seven out of the first nine rounds to take the lead 13-11. Notably, they continually overpowered Liquid on the B-site in a large part due to Emil "Magisk"" Reif playing his entry-fragger role nearly perfectly.
The game continued to slip away for Liquid as Astralis claimed Overpass 16-13 with Liquid falling in one last forcebuy.
|2 - 0||
|de_vertigo||16 - 8||de_vertigo|
|de_overpass||16 - 13||de_overpass|
With the quarterfinals all wrapped out, the semifinals look as follows:
|Renegades||vs. AVANGAR||9 AM|
|NRG||vs. Astralis||12:30 PM|