X13 run the gauntlet to win ESEA Advanced Season 44
After starting their run with an 0-2 loss to Tsunami, X13 have clawed their way through the lower bracket of the ESEA Advanced Season 44 playoffs with seven straight victories, culminating in a tight 3-2 victory over top seed Take Flyte in the grand finals, securing X13 a place in Season 45 of ESL Challenger League. The win was in large part thanks to a stellar showing from Mohamed "Penguin" Algadir, who posted a phenomenal 1.53 rating in the BO5 final and a 1.48 rating across the latter stage of the playoffs.
Coming from the upper bracket, Take Flyte marched into the grand final as not only the top seed, with a 12-2 regular season record, but also a stainless playoff record, with the squad not dropping a single map en route to the final match. As mentioned previously, X13 stumbled early versus Tsunami, but 2-0'd almost every remaining opponent on their way to the finals, only dropping a map to Snakes Den in the lower bracket final.
The series kicked off on Take Flyte's pick of Nuke, with the squad already having the luxury of a map advantage in the series thanks to their success in the upper bracket. X13 started on the CT side, where they got off to a roaring start despite dropping the first pistol round, shutting out Take Flyte's offense over and over to claim a resounding 13-2 lead at the half, mopping up the map 16-2 after locking down the second pistol round and the subsequent rounds.
The dominant first map allowed X13 to equalize the series with a 1-1 record, and certainly had the squad feeling good going into their pick of Inferno. Unfortunately for X13 these good feelings would not last as Take Flyte would be the ones to take control of the map, scooping an 11-4 half on their opponent's pick. A pistol round victory on the T-side shut down any hopes that X13 may have had for mounting a comeback, leading to Take Flyte snatching the map 16-5 to reclaim the series lead with a 2-1 scoreline.
Despite the unfortunate showing on Inferno, X13 were clearly unphased heading into Ancient. X13 posted another strong defense off the back of a pistol round victory, allowing them to take an early 6-1 lead. Take Flyte composed themselves in the latter portion of the half, but they were still unable to prevent X13 from securing a double-digit scoreline with a 10-5 half. The T-side pistol round propelled X13 to a 14-6 scoreline, and although Take Flyte scraped together some rounds, X13 moved ahead to close out the map 16-9, dragging the series to the decider of Anubis.
The first half of Anubis was fittingly close for the last map of a BO5 final; although Take Flyte secured the opening pistol round the two squads traded rounds before X13 came out on top with a 4-2 lead. The two sides took turns posting four-round streaks, with X13 narrowly coming out on top 8-7 to finish their CT side, a far cry from the dominant CT sides of the previous three maps.
The Terrorist side is where X13 would set themselves apart, as they opened the second half with a resounding run of six rounds straight to take a 14-7 lead. Take Flyte managed to stay alive off the back of some narrow rounds, but X13 would eventually find victory in the form of a surprising eco-round win, allowing them to close out the map 16-10, and the series 3-2.
|Take Flyte||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Kyle 'Wolffe' Greenfield||71 - 62||+9||90.7||75.6%||1.25|
|Umar 'Umar' Qaiser||71 - 66||+5||84.7||70.0%||1.14|
|Nick 'nicx' Lee||54 - 69||-15||69.1||66.7%||0.88|
|Alexander 'zanz' Diaz||47 - 68||-21||61.3||63.3%||0.79|
|Joey 'hyza' Cornelius||48 - 73||-25||51.1||65.6%||0.74|
|X13||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Mohamed 'Penguin' Algadir||92 - 58||+34||103.3||82.2%||1.53|
|James 'Gonzo' Madden||71 - 67||+4||89.5||73.3%||1.20|
|Drew 'Drewtheshrew' Lamb||56 - 53||+3||73.9||72.2%||1.08|
|Andrew 'Andrew' Burrell||62 - 53||+9||67.1||70.0%||1.06|
|Aidan 'Feral' Wood||56 - 63||-7||74.7||75.6%||0.99|
The final standings of ESEA Advanced Season 44 are:
1. X13 - ESL Challenger League Season 45 & $7,000
2. Take Flyte - ESL Challenger League Season 44 Relegation & $4,300
3. 1 JIN - ESL Challenger League Season 44 Relegation & $3,000
4. Snakes Den - ESL Challenger League Season 44 Relegation & $2,000
5-6. Cartel terraza - ESL Challenger League Season 44 Relegation & $1,250
5-6. Tsunami - ESL Challenger League Season 44 Relegation & $1,250
7-8. Mad Kings - $750
7-8. Inward - $750
X13 will be looking forward to the start of ECL Season 45, scheduled for April 4th. On the other hand, Take Flyte and the other squads who secured the berth for Relegation will only have a few days to prepare for their next matches, with ECL Season 44 Relegation set to begin March 24th.