OCEAN may be on course to return to MDL after eight seasons
The first evening of ESEA MDL Season 35 Relegation has concluded, seeing all four MDL squads - Vireo.pro, ex-Recon 5, ex-ImPerium, and Kinship - lose their opening matches, guaranteeing at least two of them will be demoted to Advanced.
Last night's action started off with ESEA Advanced Season 35 runners-up GGPR making quick work of Kinship, dispatching them in two clean maps on Dust2 and Mirage.
Starting on Dust2, Victor "v1c" T. led the charge for his team to win their CT-side 9-6 before putting up an immaculate T-side to take the map 16-8. Moving onto Kinship's map pick of Mirage, they fared no better against GGPR as v1c was even more dominant, powering another CT-side 9-6 and the map 16-10. Overall, v1c ended the series with a 1.60 rating and 110.5 ADR.
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|de_dust2||8 - 16||de_dust2|
|de_mirage||10 - 16||de_mirage|
The next series to conclude saw GSG9 come out ahead of Soham "valens" Chowdhury's ex-Recon 5 in two maps.
Of those two, Mirage was the closest with Dominick "JazzPimp" Dimpfel powering ex-Recon 5 from a 5-10 first half deficit to force overtime. However, in the overtime Ryan "ROBBY1" Robshaw and Johnny "JDubs" Wu stole the show, helping GSG9 pull off a perfect overtime to take the map 19-15. Switching onto Inferno, GSG9 narrowly won their CT-side 8-7 before going on to take the map 16-9, while only conceding two more rounds in the process.
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|de_mirage||15 - 19||de_mirage|
|de_inferno||9 - 16||de_inferno|
The third series of the night finally saw one of the MDL teams in relegation take a map as Vireo.pro won their map pick of Nuke, although it mattered little in the end as SKDC bounced back to win the series 2-1.
As previously mentioned, Vireo.pro looked strong on Nuke with Andrew "vein" Lindeman leading the charge for his team to cleanly win the map 16-9 following an 11-4 opening T-side. After this strong start, the series begin to go awry for Vireo.pro as one of SKDC's young guns, Dylan "Hiki" O'Kane, was the back-to-back top fragger on Train and Mirage, first helping SKDC win Train 16-10 before SKDC powered up to claim a 16-4 blowout victory on Mirage.
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|de_nuke||16 - 9||de_nuke|
|de_train||10 - 16||de_train|
|de_mirage||4 - 16||de_mirage|
Last night's final series ended on an unfortunate note, as ex-ImPerium lost a highly competitive series 2-1 to Rise after Carter "CarterJ" Richardson's internet cut out in the middle of the third map.
Prior to that, the series kicked off on Overpass, where ex-ImPerium narrowly won their opening CT-side 8-7 before being blown out on their T-side, losing the map 9-16. On their own map pick of Inferno, ex-ImPerium fared better, opening with a 10-5 T-side powered by thirteen frags from James "EllisoN" Ellison. This strong T-side was almost completely undone in the second half as Rise struck back, outpacing ex-ImPerium to climb up to fourteen rounds, with overtime being narrowly avoided thanks to a 3K B-site defense from Toryn "cuze" Cartier.
With the series tied up, ex-ImPerium went into Mirage looking like they would be the sole MDL squad to win their round one relegation debut. However, as previously mentioned, in the fourteenth round CarterJ's internet went out, forcing the team to use Matthew "Killpo1" McClellan as a stand-in for his first HLTV match in two years. With Killpo1 in the server, ex-ImPerium narrowly won their CT-side 8-7 after which the two teams engaged in a back-and-forth in the second half, with Rise coming out ahead in the 30th round to take Mirage 16-14. While Killpo1 did well in his relegation debut, the presence of their IGL, CarterJ, may have been enough to see ex-ImPerium win the incredibly close map and take the series.
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|de_overpass||10 - 16||de_overpass|
|de_inferno||16 - 14||de_inferno|
|de_mirage||14 - 16||de_mirage|
My internet is now completely down. What a joke— Carter (@carterjFPS) December 8, 2020
The action will continue tomorrow night with two ESEA MDL Season 36 qualification matches in the upper bracket and two elimination matches in the lower bracket, all scheduled to begin at 9:30PM EST.