oSee sported a 1.35 rating on day two, good for best in the event

Extra Salt win ESEA Winter Cash Cup 5 over Recon 5

The third place decider between Triumph and Secret Club still has not been played.

After a full slate of series that went the distance, Extra Salt have emerged victorious in ESEA Cash Cup 5. Recon 5 continued their strong showing in the second day of play, but fell just a bit shy of the champion's payout. The third place match to determine who will receive the final piece of the prize pool between the two invited teams, Triumph and Secret Club, will take place later today.

Secret Club, playing with Trevor "FrostayK" Bandle instead of Anthony "CLASIA" Kearney, jumped out to a big lead on their CT-side of Inferno and finished the half up 11-4. Recon 5 rattled off three straight rounds to open their CT-side, but Secret Club won five of the last six rounds to take a 1-0 series lead. Adam "WolfY" Andersson led the way with 24 kills, while Koby "kobruh" Higgs led Recon 5 with 16 eliminations in the loss.

Secret Club continued to carry that momentum into Mirage and secured a 9-6 halftime lead on their T-side, but Recon 5 came roaring all the way back on their offensive half and converted a 13-6 deficit into a thirty-round, regulation victory by winning ten of the last eleven rounds. All five players for Recon 5 finished with between 19 and 21 kills, while Victor "v1c" T. led Secret Club in what can only be described as a complete defensive collapse with 28 frags. Even Tyler "tweiss" Weiss couldn't believe that Recon 5 were let back into the series with this map win.

Recon 5 certainly didn't waste the second chance that Secret Club gave them. They converted a 9-6 lead from their T-side into a comfortable victory on Nuke and advanced to the grand final. kobruh led all players with 27 kills and a 1.65 rating while the new blood for Secret Club, FrostayK, led the losing side with a 20 elimination effort.

In the other semifinal Triumph jumped out to an early lead following a full thirty-round victory on Overpass. Alan "Shazezullah" Hardeman led by example for Triumph and finished with 23 frags, while Josh "oSee" Ohm led Extra Salt with 21 kills. Extra Salt held a late lead at 12-11 but after trading a few rounds back and forth Triumph won three in a row to win the map in relegation and snag a 1-0 series lead.

Going the distance became a theme in this series, as Extra Salt needed nearly every round to reverse sweep Triumph and advance. They got a huge boost from oSee, who dropped 31 kills on Nuke and helped carry his team over the finish line as Triumph tried to stage a comeback. Shazezullah's squad did manage to fight off six consecutive match points, but unfortunately they needed eight to prevent Extra Salt from taking things to a decider. Wesley "viz" Harris led Triumph with 20 kills in the loss.

The blow for blow nature of the series continued to the bitter end, as regulation wasn't enough to separate Extra Salt and Triumph in the Dust2 decider. Both teams won eight rounds on their T-side and both teams had someone pop off with at least 30 kills. Austin "Cooper" Abadir led the server with 32 eliminations and a 1.26 rating in the final map, but it was Extra Salt who would prevail and advance, led by Ian "motm" Hardy's 30 frags.  

The grand final featured the two qualifier teams for the fourth event in a row and it took all three maps to be decided just like the semifinals that came before it. Recon 5 put together another strong T-side on Nuke to open the series and found themselves up 10-5 at the half, then only allowed Extra Salt three rounds to open the second half and won six straight to roll to a 1-0 series lead. tweiss led all players with 24 kills in the opener, while oSee led Extra Salt with 22 eliminations in the loss.

But just as they did in their semifinal tilt with Triumph, Extra Salt bounced back on map two. They replicated Recon 5's 10-5 start on map one and rattled off ten T-sided rounds on Overpass. They only allowed Recon 5 two second half rounds as they evened the series at one map apiece. motm doubled up Austin "AAustiN" Urb, Recon 5's top frag, as the pair finished with 26 and 13 kills, respectively.

The final map featured back and forth momentum shifts, with no team winning less than five rounds in a row at any point. Recon 5 opened the map by jumping out to a 7-0 lead, only to see it squandered as Extra Salt won the next eleven rounds in a row across both halves to secure a 11-7 advantage. The momentum temporarily shifted back to Recon 5's favor as they reclaimed a slim 12-11 lead, but that was as far as Dominick "JazzPimp" Dimpfel's side would get as Recon 5 conceded the final five rounds to Extra Salt. Johnny "JT" Theodosiou led the victors with 28 kills and David "cynic" Polster led all players with 30 frags in the loss.

The results thus far for ESEA Winter Cash Cup 5 are:

1st   -  Extra Salt (JT, Sonic, motm, oSee, FaNg) - $9,000
2nd - United States Recon 5 (JazzPimp, cynic, AAustin, kobruh, tweiss) - $4,000
3rd  - United States TBD - $2,000
4th  - United States TBD

The third place decider will be played between Triumph and Secret Club at 4PM EST. Shakezullah had to travel to a friend's residence to complete the series against Extra Salt last night due to technical issues and ESEA postponed the series to today as a result.

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