Third Impact have emerged victorious from the playoffs of ESEA Advanced Season 34, claiming victory over Thunder Logic 3-2 in the grand final to secure a spot in MDL Season 35.
After finding themselves on the brink of elimination following a narrow upper bracket semifinal defeat last week to Thunder Logic, Third Impact were forced to make a run through the lower bracket of playoffs. After initially making short work of Hyper and Lethal Divide, Tom "tconnors" Connors and company were faced with the prospect of a consolidation final match against the No. 2 seeded side of RBG, who had fallen to Thunder Logic in the upper bracket final.
The two teams fought back and forth in a keenly-contested series, with Third Impact opening the affair by securing their map pick of Mirage 16-12. They remained deadlocked as Inferno got underway, residing within one round of each other at halftime. Although RBG took the first set of rounds following the side swap, five in a row from Third Impact had tconnors' side leading 12-10. However, RBG managed to lock down their defenses, narrowly emerging as the victor in the latter portion of the map to take a 16-14 win.
Nuke was the deciding ground, and it seemed as if Third Impact would run away with a swift victory as they led 10-2 on the CT-side. That lead quickly dwindled as RBG began to claw back though, leading to the two teams fighting into overtime; however, that was where RBG's comeback efforts were halted as Josiah "JoJo" Jimenez helped his side claim victory, mustering 31 kills to prevail 19-16 and take the series.
|1 - 2||
|de_mirage||12 - 16||de_mirage|
|de_inferno||16 - 14||de_inferno|
|de_nuke||16 - 19||de_nuke|
Thus, a grand final rematch was set up between Third Impact and Thunder Logic, with the latter team entering the series with a one-map advantage due to their flawless run through the upper bracket.
The second affair between the teams began as closely contested as the first, kicking off on Third Impact's pick of Mirage. Thunder Logic edged out an 8-7 lead at the end of their defensive effort on the map, and looked to be the better side at the start of the second half as they pushed up to a 14-10 scoreline. Wesley "viz" Harris led his team in a comeback effort that saw them sit just one round shy of forcing overtime, with the team even kicking off round 30 by taking a 5vs2 advantage. However, a sloppy late-round from Third Impact led to Sean "Inseaniac" Morrison clutching out a 1vs3 situation to complete an ace, bagging his team the map victory 16-14.
viz's strong form continued into Overpass, with Third Impact proving eager to make up for their dismal end to Mirage. Although Thunder Logic opened with a 3-0 lead, Third Impact ran rampant for the remainder of the map as they only conceded two additional rounds, viz's 27 frags combining with the ten assists of Keanu "DaneJoris" Reyes for their team to claim a dominant 16-5 victory.
A similar scenario unfolded on Nuke as Thunder Logic initially held a 4-1 lead on the CT-side, but were unable to maintain control as tconnors and Noah "insane" Eheart stepped up to bat alongside viz as the team once again gained momentum. Although they briefly got back in the saddle in the second half, Thunder Logic ultimately conceded their pick 16-10, putting the series at a tie game and forcing a Dust2 decider.
viz yet again had a stellar game as Third Impact took hold from the onset of the map, leading 11-4 at the end of their aggressive effort. A trading of blows in the second half put Third Impact on match point in swift fashion, and although Thunder Logic won five in a row in an effort to force overtime, a final round win from Third Impact saw the team complete their reverse-sweep effort with a 16-12 scoreline.
|2 - 3||
|de_mirage||16 - 14||de_mirage|
|de_overpass||5 - 16||de_overpass|
|de_nuke||10 - 16||de_nuke|
|de_dust2||12 - 16||de_dust2|
The final standings for the playoffs of ESEA Advanced Season 34 look as follows:
1. Third Impact (tconnors, DaneJoris, JoJo, insane, viz) - $4,500 + MDL S35
2. Thunder Logic (Andersin, Inseaniac, PureR, Sharkie, Brian2K) - $3,000 + MDL S34 Relegation
3. RBG (gmanchew, pwny, Walco, wiz, HexT) - $2,500 + MDL S34 Relegation
4. Lethal Divide (snav, volent, shane, dare, KEL) - $2,500 + MDL S34 Relegation
5-6. Hyper (hipposaver, Florgy, notorious, amen, sensu) - $750 + MDL S34 Relegation
5-6. Kinship (chp[. kobruh, CLASIA, Wolffe, naes) - $750 + MDL S34 Relegation
7-8. Addice(SPERMY, SIDOF, Delta9, phantom, Sensor) - $750
7-8. ImPerium (Burt^, Wilky, carterJ, EllisoN, heretic) - $750
9-12. Supernova (f1ukie, koalanoob, RsN, Fade, royalG)
9-12. Big Chillin (bron, dvl, Munk, squidah, heaty)
9-12. Savage (valens, ara, Swahn, Turismo, grape)
9-12. 26 Rising (prex, ralph, rin, knightmare, Shibal)
13-16. SKDC (OCEAN, FIEND, aSauce, micro, desi)
13-16. teef (hydra, rum, boomscope, Parars, kim)
13-16. Imperium (EXIGE, ROK, BRANTED, Swoozy, fype)
13-16. Front (SGM, rugrat, Grave, ExToSee, clear)
While the team list for MDL Season 34 Relegation consists of:
|Infinity||Buffdaddy's Paypal Team|
|Thunder Logic||Invite/Advanced #7|
MDL Relegation is scheduled to take place after the player break, and will run from August 18-21 to determine three additional teams that will join the team list for MDL Season 35. Although there has been speculation that the Invite spot will go the way of Ze Pug Godz or Yeah, ESEA have yet to announce a final decision as considerable time remains until the start of the event.