ADV playoffs sees six survive
Four more matches took place inside of the ESEA Advanced playoff bracket, with two more teams missing their ESL Challenger League hopes goodbye after lower-bracket losses. Following Tuesday’s games, only six teams remain.
Kicking off the matches was a quick 2-0 affair between Magic School Bus and Snakes Den. The contest started on MSB’s pick of Dust2, and immediately they stepped on the head of the Snakes, starting their T-side 9-0. Snakes Den were able to avoid the shutout, mustering two defensive rounds before the halftime switch. Up 13-2, MSB made light work of their opponents, taking pistol plus two to earn 16 and go up 1-0 on the series.
Their defensive prowess continued on Snake Den’s pick of Nuke, as MSB started the map 6-1 through the first set of rounds. The two teams split the final eight rounds, closing the first half 10-5 in MSB’s favor. With T-side Nuke on the horizon, things were looking favorable for a 2-0.
Despite a great effort, MSB successfully edged out Snakes Den after ten rounds to close the map 16-9, securing the 2-0 and the first upper-bracket semi-finals spot. After the loss, Snakes Den will have a chance to rally back in the lower-bracket. MSB’s Robby “Swqft” Harrison continued his reign of terror in playoffs with another server-best performance of 44-19 K/D, 102.4 ADR, and a 1.69 rating.
The second upper-bracket matchup also started off on Dust2 with the Red Wolves running up a 6-1 start on their map pick. After a three-round response from X13, the Wolves hit a second gear to close out half one with five-straight T-rounds and ultimately a comfy 11-4 lead. Red Wolves sprinted to match point on CT-side after winning pistol and the three rounds after. It took them some extra time to earn the map win, but they closed it out 16-9 after an X13 pseudo-comeback. Up 1-0, it was on to Ancient.
X13 served the Wolves a taste of their own medicine on Ancient, earning seven-straight T-side rounds after losing the pistol. In almost identical fashion, X13 dominated the T-side with a 12-3 first-half effort. Just like map one, the mini comeback abruptly shut down, but this time the roles were reversed. With X13 taking map two 16-8, the two teams were on to Nuke to settle the score.
After two lopsided first-halves, the two teams were neck and neck on Nuke with neither having a lead greater than three rounds. After a tight first half in favor of X13, it was up to Red Wolves to answer the call on the CT-side. They did just that, rallying back after losing the first two rounds to bring it back to 10-10 off of three-straight.
With the two tied in the final stretch, it was the Red Wolves that dug deep. By winning six of the final eight rounds, they secured the final map 16-12 and the series 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals. As for X13, they’ll begin their lower-bracket run following the loss.
Earlybirds started their Inferno pick up 4-0, and then 6-2, before Eros woke up on the defensive end. After the slow start, they won five straight to turn the tide of the first half with a 7-6 lead. Suddenly down, the birds rallied back with the final two rounds to win the first half 8-7. After the half switch, Eros let loose on their T-side, going 9-2 in the eleven second half rounds needed to close Inferno 16-10 in their favor. After running over Earlybirds in the second half of their map pick, Eros was primed to close the series on their pick of Vertigo.
Eros looked good to start, winning the first two rounds on T-side. However, the birds wouldn’t go out without a fight, winning seven straight to rally back with a sound 7-2 lead. After the skid, Eros hit back with six-straight rounds to win the half 8-7. After the switch, Eros once again separated themselves from the competition with a dominant 8-2 defensive showing to comfortably close out the map 16-9 and the series 2-0. The loss sees Earlybirds exit from the playoffs as Eros continues their journey through the lower-bracket.
Villainous successfully overthrew the #1 seeded Infinity in an absolute nail biter of a series, with the two teams needing three maps and overtime to conclude a winner. The series started out on Mirage with a T-side stomping on behalf of Villainous, as they walked all over Infinity’s defense to dominate the first half 12-3. Kevin “omniscient” Ma was a menace for his team, closing the first half with 20 frags, 121 ADR and a 2.03 rating.
There was little resistance in the second half, as Villainous won four of five to close their map pick 16-4. After stomping the favorites on map one, Infinity came back on their pick of Ancient with substance, something they lacked map one. The two teams were neck and neck the whole map, with Infinity narrowly edging out their opposition 8-7 twice over to earn the map victory in the 30th round, 16-14. After a razor thin Ancient, it was time for the Inferno decider.
Inferno was more of the same, with the two teams exchanging blows but never separating from one another. With both teams winning their T-side halves 8-7, they would need extra rounds to decide the winner. Once overtime came, it was Villainous who had more in the tank, going two-for-three on both sides of the map to win in OT 19-17. After edging out the league-best Infinity in a three map thriller, Villainous live to fight another day inside the lower-bracket while Infinty says goodbye to a great regular season.
With Tuesday’s matches concluded, the next set of lower-bracket matches in the ESEA Advanced playoffs are set to begin tonight. Here are the matchups you can look forward to:
Villainous vs X13
Eros vs Snakes Den