Back to the drawing board for RUSH and Complexity, as they will miss the Major in Rio de Janiero.
After suffering a 2-1 loss to BIG in the first open qualifier for the event, then a loss to Jacek "MINISE" Jeziak's PACT, the third time was not the charm for Complexity, who failed to reach the ESL One Rio Europe Closed Qualifier, falling to SMASH 2-1.
Things started off well for the North America-based team, as they did not concede a double digit scoreline throughout the entire best-of-one portion of the bracket. On the other side of things, SMASH upset AGO and Singularity en route to being a surprise finalist in the winner-take-all series, which pitted former Windigo teammates Valentin "poizon" Vasilev and Kamen "bubble" Kostadinov against each other.
Things did not get off to a good start for Complexity against the Europeans, going down 6-0 immediately on SMASH's map pick, Overpass. The juggernaut heated up in the latter half of their CT-side however, clawing their way back to a 9-6 deficit.
After dropping the second half pistol Complexity struggled to control the economy and overcome the hole that they had dug themselves into, managing just two rounds on their T-side and seeing SMASH take the first map 16-8.
Complexity were now tasked with orchestrating a reverse sweep to keep their dreams of heading to South America alive. Though things started close on Mirage with both sides trading rounds out of the gate, SMASH rattled off five rounds in a row to take a 9-6 lead into the half for the second map in a row.
Complexity then did even better than their opponents, stringing together eight rounds on their CT-side to take a 14-10 lead. The defense crumpled after reaching map point, allowing SMASH to take things all the way to the final round. There, Owen "oBo" Schlatter saved Complexity, finding three heads and a critical body shot that let poizon finish the round and map.
It all came down to Inferno for the decider, a map that Complexity had played extensively during the qualifier. SMASH quickly jumped out to a 8-0 lead on their T-side, securing a win in the half before their opponents were on the board. Complexity then managed to rattle off seven rounds in a row to make their CT scoreline a respectable 8-7.
Complexity did not do themselves any favors by losing the second pistol as well, but took four in a row to gain an 11-9 lead. Things got tense at the end, with no team leading by more than three rounds at any point, eventually drawing even at 14-14. Unfortunately, Complexity were unable to secure either of the final two rounds, seeing SMASH take the map and series.
|1 - 2||
|de_overpass||8 - 16||de_overpass|
|de_mirage||16 - 14||de_mirage|
|de_inferno||14 - 16||de_inferno|
SMASH will enter the fray in a stacked Europe Closed Qualifier on March 7-8th, seeking just two wins to secure a spot in the ESL One Rio Europe Minor.