Unjustified defeat Philadelphia Liberty in thriller to face Mythic in ESEA Advanced Season 40 grand final

After a tough season, the two teams will compete for a slot in ESL Challenger League Season 41.

Last night, Unjustified survived a three-map war against Philadelphia Liberty, earning their spot against Mythic in the grand final of ESEA Advanced Season 40. The two teams will do battle over four maps in a BO5, with Mythic starting the series up 1-0 thanks to their standing as the upper bracket team. One of the last ECL Season 40 relegation spots was also secured last night, as UYU bested Kinship in the fifth-place decider BO3.

Unjustified started their night strong with a quick five-round lead to begin Philadelphia Liberty's pick of Nuke. Philadelphia was unwavering in their attempts and eventually found success on their T-side. After the slow start, the Liberty rallied back to split the final ten rounds five a piece. With Unjustified up 10-5 on their opponents' pick, they were on the right path to winning the series in a favorable manner. They were immediately knocked off that path following the second-half swap, as Philadelphia Liberty shut down every attempt Unjustified sent their way on T-side. Unjustified went 0-11 in the second half, only managing three plants in their efforts before losing 10-16. Heading into their map pick of Inferno, Unjustified had some things to solve on offense.

Unjustified did just that to start their T-side, netting four successful plants en route to a 7-0 start on Inferno. Unjustified kept pressuring Philadelphia, but the Liberty eventually gathered themselves, securing five rounds of their own. Despite Philadelphia rallying back, Unjustified managed to win a few more rounds before halftime to earn a 10-5 lead. Philadelphia took the pistol to start their T-side in the second half, but Unjustified would not budge beyond that. They went on a six-round tear on the CT-side to earn the 16-6 victory, setting the two teams us for a Mirage decider.

The two teams exchanged the first four rounds to start the decider before the Liberty started flowing offensively with six of seven rounds going their way. Down 3-8, Unjustified had to act fast to make the first half competitive. They did just that, winning the final four rounds to close the deficit to just one round heading into the second half. Philadelphia built on their lead to start their CT-side with wins in four of the first five rounds, bringing them to a 12-8 lead. With Unjustified nearing defeat, time was running out for them on the T-side. With little room for error, Unjustified ripped off seven of eight rounds in their favor to go from down four to right on the cusp of victory with a 15-13 scoreline. With two chances to seal the deal, Liberty stepped up to win the final two rounds and bring us to overtime.

It would take two overtimes to determine the proven winner inside this BO3, with Unjustified taking the double-overtime decider thriller 22-20. Although McKinley "Cyrix" Hollison was the star through the series with a 70-57 K/D and 1.28 rating, it was Justin "Jsfeltner" Feltner's 37-30 K/D awakening in map three that helped Cyrix and company get over the line to secure the thrilling 2-1 victory.

Philadelphia Liberty
1 - 2
All maps
Philadelphia Liberty K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Andrew 'Tender' Cote 80 - 68 +12 100.6 68.9% 1.30
United States Graham 'GRAHAM' Smith 75 - 59 +16 84.6 73.3% 1.20
United States Garret 'garret' Henry 54 - 61 -7 68.4 72.2% 0.96
United States Jeremy 'taiwi' Wang 52 - 59 -7 67.0 65.6% 0.90
Canada Wayne 'castro' Einarsson 44 - 62 -18 52.5 63.3% 0.76
Unjustified K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States McKinley 'Cyrix' Hollison 70 - 57 +13 84.3 78.9% 1.28
United States Justin 'jsfeltner' Feltner 69 - 66 +3 85.2 68.9% 1.12
United States Andrew 'Sloopy' Church 59 - 62 -3 76.7 67.8% 1.01
United States Kyle 'Just2EZ' Tan 66 - 70 -4 75.5 65.6% 0.99
United States Dennis 'Hitman' Brichko 45 - 51 -6 54.7 65.6% 0.89

In the fifth-place decider, UYU comfortably took out Kinship after a well-balanced performance on both sides of the server. UYU was never in danger in their 2-0 victory over Kinship, amassing a deficit no larger than three rounds. After a cozy 9-6 lead to close their CT-side efforts on Dust2, Kinship snapped back with four of their own to start the second half. UYU would have no more, answering back with seven straight on the T-side of taking Kinship's map pick 16-10. Joey "hyza" Cornelius was a nightmare for Kinship on Dust2, dominating with a 30-16 K/D, 102.8 ADR, and 1.75 rating.

The story played out primarily the same way, on Vertigo with UYU starting out their map pick 4-0. Kinship answered back with seven of their own on CT-side, but UYU was unphased by their effort, winning three of the last four to close the gap to just one round to close the half. UYU, down 7-8, turned it up to another level when they started their CT-side, winning nine of ten rounds after losing pistol to Kinship. Their defensive prowess was far too much for Kinship to handle, and UYU took their map pick 16-10 to secure the series 2-0, as well as a guaranteed seat at the ESL Challenger League Season 40 relegation matches. As for Kinship, they miss out on the opportunity but are still guaranteed a seat at next season of ESEA Advanced.

2 - 0
All maps
UYU K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Canada Joey 'hyza' Cornelius 44 - 37 +7 84.2 78.8% 1.32
United States Matthew 'tatm' Munro 40 - 34 +6 84.1 75.0% 1.19
United States Andrew 'Drew' Warkentin 36 - 32 +4 78.8 76.9% 1.12
Alvin 'Alvin' Bui 38 - 34 +4 75.2 73.1% 1.09
United States Kamron 'kmrn' Manii 36 - 37 -1 73.2 75.0% 1.05
Kinship K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Matthew 'Cryptic' Whitmore 48 - 39 +9 95.0 78.8% 1.31
United States Sean 'Subarashii' Tuttle 38 - 38 +0 79.4 71.2% 1.04
United States Benjamin 'niise' Mauldin 32 - 38 -6 71.2 61.5% 0.90
Sebastian 'Florence' Ogarev 35 - 40 -5 66.7 55.8% 0.88
Mike 'clipsanity' Yelnikov 21 - 40 -19 59.7 71.2% 0.77

With everything but the grand final settled, Mythic and Unjustified will do battle at 08:00PM to determine the champion of ESEA Advanced Season 40 and the invite to Season 41 of ESL Challenger League:

United States Mythic vs United States Unjustified at 08:00PM

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