Wardell is a powerful AWPer
One of the two opening matches of the ESL Pro League relegation saw Ghost, who finished second to last in the main season of EPL, take on Rise Nation, who placed second in MDL.
Rise Nation's pick of Nuke began with a pistol round win by Ghost. After losing the second round, Rise answered back with a third round win. With Will "dazzLe" Loafman at the helm, the Rise Nation side took the lead. Connor "CONNOR93" Glover led Ghost to take round ten from the Counter-Terrorist side, but after only one additional round were left behind. Andy "vSa" Xu and Jonathan "Jonji" Carey put in good work for the rest of the half, putting Rise Nation at a 9-6 lead.
Ghost took another pistol round in the second half, but two big rounds by vSa reset the Ghost side and put Rise Nation in control of the game. In round four, it looked like Rise were going to take yet another round, but a huge 1-on-3 by CONNOR93 gave Ghost a chance to come back.
Ghost then went on to win many T rounds in a row, eventually tying the game at 11-11. The squad led by vSa finally responded with two consecutive round wins, but the Ghost side were too strong. Dallas "Dallas" Micks and Matthew "Wardell" Bowman then powered their team to take the first map Nuke 16-13.
Rise Nation, kicking off Train on the CT side, racked up the standard 3-0 lead. Ghost took the first gun round however, and Phong "bee" Nguyen helped to tie the score. Rise kept the game close for the rest of the half, but never took complete control, as Dallas put Ghost on a 9-6 lead at the half.
Despite taking two early rounds, Rise Nation was unable to establish a Terrorist economy, with Sebastian "seb" Bucki taking Ghost to a 13-8 lead. This deficit seemed to light a fire under the players of Rise Nation, as they upped the pace and began to string rounds together. Through a miraculous series of rounds, and a big return to form from dazzLe, Rise Nation stole away Ghost's map pick 16-14.
The vSa-led team got off to an easy 4-0 start on Mirage. Ghost scrounged together a few rounds later on, giving them a way into the game. A huge 1 vs 3 by seb put Ghost in control on the T side, where the stand-in filled squad took five rounds in a row. Rise couldn't get anything going the rest of the half, and ended on yet another 6-9 deficit going onto their Terrorist side.
The beginning of the final half of the match was extremely close, yet each time Ghost came out on top in the clutch scenarios. vSa and his men couldn't break the defense of the Ghost side, unable to take a single round in the second half of Mirage. The series finished with a 16-6 victory for CONNOR93's team, taking the series 2-1.
|2 - 1||
|de_nuke||16 - 13||de_nuke|
|de_train||14 - 16||de_train|
|de_mirage||16 - 6||de_mirage|
Ghost move on to the upper bracket final where they will face Rogue for a spot in the seventh season of the ESL Pro League. Rise Nation will battle against GX tomorrow in an elimination match to keep the EPL dream alive.