Jonji spearheaded the Astronauts to their first map win of the tournament with a 1.80 rating

NA teams outclassed in final day of ESL Pro League Season 15 Group C

The last day of Group C saw North America fail to come out on top in all three of their matchups.

The fifth and final day of Group C of ESL Pro League Season 15 has concluded, seeing Liquid be overpowered by Players in a one-sided 2-0 affair whilst GODSENT had no way of countering BIG in what proved to be a disappointing series for the Brazilians. In more positive news, Party Astronauts managed to take their first map of the event, stealing Nuke off of Group C champions Movistar Riders, before ultimately falling 2-1.

BIG and GODSENT, teams that were both already unable to reach playoffs at this point, matched up against one another for their last game. The series kicked off on the German squad’s pick of Nuke, with a first half where both teams struggled to string a significant amount of rounds together. In the end, BIG came out on top in the half with a decent 9-6 lead. The second half saw both teams trade streaks of rounds, but with a lead from the last half already, BIG were able to capitalize on the back-and-forth nature of the game to secure their pick 16-11.

Things would not get any better for the Brazilians moving on to their choice of Ancient. With every BIG player firing on all cylinders on their CT-side, putting up a near-impenetrable defense. Epitacio "TACO" de Melo’s men only managed two rounds in the first half as BIG marched on to lock down the other thirteen rounds. Although GODSENT managed to upset BIG’s pistol round victory with a second-round force-buy, there was little they could do to stop BIG from closing out the game, which they did with a 16-4 scoreline.

2 - 0
All maps
BIG K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Josef 'faveN' Baumann 45 - 27 +18 95.3 87.2% 1.48
Tizian 'tiziaN' Feldbusch 42 - 27 +15 96.0 85.1% 1.41
Florian 'syrsoN' Rische 36 - 22 +14 78.6 80.9% 1.37
Johannes 'tabseN' Wodarz 41 - 30 +11 94.9 76.6% 1.37
Karim 'Krimbo' Moussa 27 - 30 -3 67.6 78.7% 0.98
GODSENT K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo 32 - 38 -6 76.2 63.8% 0.93
Brazil Eduardo 'dumau' Wolkmer 30 - 39 -9 82.2 68.1% 0.91
Brazil Bruno 'latto' Rebelatto 27 - 36 -9 67.0 61.7% 0.85
Brazil Bruno 'b4rtiN' Câmara 28 - 40 -12 62.4 63.8% 0.77
Brazil Henrique 'HEN1' Teles 18 - 39 -21 49.7 48.9% 0.55

Despite kicking off the series on Liquid's pick of Dust2, it turned out to be Players who started the map firmly in the driver's seat, mauling Liquid on the defense to cruise to an overwhelming 13-0 lead. Nick "nitr0" Cannella and company did manage to add one round to their tally to break up the domination, but a ruthless Players squad soon returned to winning ways by stealing the final round to lead 14-1 at the half. Unfortunately for Liquid, Players didn’t allow any chance of a comeback once the second half got underway, convincingly winning the pistol and following round to put Dust2 to bed with a near-flawless 16-1 scoreline.

Heading to Overpass, Liquid once again found themselves on the back foot initially, trailing 6-2 to at one point in the map. However, once nitr0's men managed to find their footing, they never looked back, adding six of the next seven rounds to the board as they headed into their T-side with a narrow one-round advantage. Once on the attack, Liquid quickly began to crumble, seeing Players steal the first seven rounds to reclaim the lead and then some. A brief exchange of rounds did see the North Americans interrupt the onslaught, but it didn't take long for Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov and co. to add the few remaining rounds they needed to put the final nail in the coffin to take Overpass 16-11 and close the series 2-0.

2 - 0
All maps
Players K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov 47 - 18 +29 105.0 84.1% 1.72
Abay 'HObbit' Khassenov 39 - 25 +14 93.0 79.5% 1.42
Timofey 'interz' Yakushin 28 - 15 +13 67.3 90.9% 1.29
Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov 34 - 24 +10 81.4 77.3% 1.29
Vladislav 'nafany' Gorshkov 23 - 24 -1 62.7 70.5% 0.99
Liquid K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm 33 - 33 +0 72.4 61.4% 0.98
Richard 'shox' Papillon 18 - 37 -19 57.5 47.7% 0.66
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella 18 - 33 -15 45.5 63.6% 0.62
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski 18 - 33 -15 45.5 47.7% 0.61
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic 19 - 36 -17 52.0 54.5% 0.59

Movistar Riders and Party Astronauts, the two underdogs coming into this group, faced off in a grueling three map affair, the first game in which Party Astronauts were able to win a map. Although the two were considered similar before the games began, they had two very different journeys in ESL Pro League Season 15. Movistar Riders have found incredible form, taking down Godsent, Liquid, and Players with ease whereas Party Astronauts had yet to put a map on the board. The win for Movistar Riders secures a perfect record for the team in group C.

Overpass started as a complete runaway for Movistar as they put five rounds on the board with little opposition. Despite PA getting a round in response, the half ended 13-2. The American team needed to start strong on the CT-side in the second half but were unable to do so, losing the pistol and the round after in quick succession. However, they were able to get a round back. One round turned into two, and before long the side was able to pull back multiple rounds in a row, narrowly avoiding some clutches until they had ten rounds on the board. Despite their best efforts, their opposition was able to get their 16th round. Ending the map 16-10 for Movistar Riders.

On map two, Nuke, Party Astronauts came out with an extremely strong start and didn’t stop. They ended the first half 12-3, and only let one round slip in the second, ending the game 16-4. This was led by great performances from Jonathan "Jonji" Carey and Josh "PwnAlone" Pigue whilst Ben "ben1137" Smith continued his form from the first map and consistently found impact. This was the squad's first map win at Pro League and set the matchup for a great final map, the possibility of the first win for Party Astronauts was closer than ever.

Inferno was a back-and-forth affair, ending 8-7 to Movistar Riders after the first half. Party Astronauts put up a strong fight, with important 1v2 clutches from both PwnAlone and Jonji but in the end, Movistar Riders were able to close it out. The Spanish squad ended the final map 16-10, meaning they achieved a 2-1 overall victory. Unfortunately for ben1337’s team, they finish Pro League 0-5 but hopefully, this experience has readied them for the American RMR in April.

Movistar Riders
2 - 1
Party Astronauts
All maps
Movistar Riders K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Raúl 'DeathZz' Jordán Nieto 52 - 46 +6 84.9 76.4% 1.17
David 'dav1g' Granado Bermudo 45 - 45 +0 65.8 65.3% 1.05
Alvaro 'SunPayus' Garcia 41 - 41 +0 65.2 65.3% 0.97
Alejandro 'mopoz' Fernández-Quejo Cano 49 - 54 -5 68.8 65.3% 0.94
Alejandro 'alex' Masanet 45 - 49 -4 70.4 66.7% 0.94
Party Astronauts K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Josh 'PwnAlone' Pigue 55 - 39 +16 73.9 70.8% 1.18
Canada Jonathan 'Jonji' Carey 49 - 51 -2 85.6 73.6% 1.17
United States Ben 'ben1337' Smith 48 - 47 +1 70.8 75.0% 1.06
Canada Jonathan 'djay' Dallal 38 - 48 -10 71.8 72.2% 0.95
United States Peter 'ptr' Gurney 42 - 47 -5 59.0 59.7% 0.80

The final standings of Group C look as follows:

1. Movistar Riders (Playoffs)
2. Players - (Playoffs)
3. Liquid - (Playoffs)
4. BIG - $19,000
5. GODSENT - $12,500
6. Party Astronauts - $6,000

With Group C now concluded, which notably saw Liquid as the only squad from the Americas to advance further, attention will now be turned to preparing for the playoffs which begin April 5th. Meanwhile, Group D is set to start on Wednesday with North American squads Evil Geniuses and Complexity in attendance.

Complexity's opening matchup versus Heroic is slated to begin on Wednesday at 10:00AM whilst Evil Geniuses' game against Astralis starts a little later at 01:30PM.

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