PwnAlone came up huge in some of the most pivotal moments in the grand final decider

Party Astronauts win ESEA Premier Season 38; qualify for ESL Pro League Season 15

Now the question is who will join Extra Salt at the EPL S15 Conference, RBG or 00Nation?

The ESEA Premier Season 38 grand final went the distance, with each side decisively claiming maps all the way up to the fifth-map decider, which needed multiple overtimes to separate Extra Salt and Party Astronauts. Eventually the latter side claimed the crown, a spot in ESL Pro League Season 15, and $20,000 to spend on their European travels.

Extra Salt ran through Strife in the opening round, then bested Party Astronauts in what many considered to be a grand final preview. Party Astronauts defeated Triumph to set up that aforementioned tilt with Extra Salt, RBG comfortably handled ONET4P, and Verum upset ChocoCheck in the surprise result of the opening round. RBG won the subsequent match with Verum to secure the other half of the upper bracket final.

Lower bracket runs tend to dictate the narrative of the Premier postseason and Season 38 was no exception. Strife, who were added as a last minute replacement for paiN, ran it all the way back and claimed fourth place with a fantastic lower bracket effort where they defeated Triumph in three maps and swept Verum before eventually losing to Party Astronauts in the lower bracket final. ChocoCheck defeated ONET4P on the other side of the lower bracket before they too fell to Party Astronauts, who put together a successful lower bracket run of their own.

In the upper bracket final RBG quickly found themselves down 1-0 to Extra Salt after dropping their map pick of Vertigo. However, the Canadian-American side dominated the CT-side of Overpass, where they claimed a 13-2 halftime lead, then comfortably closed out the map to even the series. They failed to replicate that defense on Nuke however, where Extra Salt battered RBG 10-5 on the unfavored side of the map, then allowed them just two rounds as they claimed the series and a 1-0 advantage in the grand final. Justin "FaNg" Coakley led all players in the series with 58 kills.

1 - 2
Extra Salt
All maps
RBG K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Jerric 'wiz' Jiang 57 - 48 +9 85.3 68.5% 1.19
United States Connor 'chop' Sullivan 54 - 54 +0 79.2 72.6% 1.08
Canada Jadan 'HexT' Postma 45 - 53 -8 76.7 75.3% 0.97
Canada Colby 'Walco' Walsh 45 - 52 -7 68.7 69.9% 0.96
United States Jordon 'jitter' Ruggiero 45 - 49 -4 58.4 74.0% 0.91
Extra Salt K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Canada Justin 'FaNg' Coakley 58 - 52 +6 82.4 64.4% 1.17
United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm 56 - 47 +9 81.2 72.6% 1.15
Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek 50 - 50 +0 76.8 76.7% 1.12
Mexico Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado 47 - 49 -2 73.3 72.6% 1.05
Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou 44 - 49 -5 69.9 74.0% 0.96

RBG dropped down to the consolidation final where they had the misfortune of meeting a surging Party Astronauts side that, much like RBG, had only lost to Extra Salt in the Season 38 postseason thus far. But it seemed that Party Astronauts picked something up from their rivals along the way, as they exploited RBG on the T-side of Nuke just as Extra Salt had previously, claiming the same 10-5 halftime lead before decisively taking a 1-0 series lead in the second half. RBG eventually reset and came all the way back from an 11-4 halftime deficit on Mirage, but fell on the final hurdle in the thirtieth round to give Party Astronauts the sweep. Jordon "jitter" Ruggiero led all players with 44 frags, but it was a pair of 40 kill performances from Josh "PwnAlone" Pigue and Gage "Infinite" Green that helped get Party Astronauts their rematch with Extra Salt.

0 - 2
Party Astronauts
All maps
RBG K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Jordon 'jitter' Ruggiero 44 - 38 +6 94.7 73.1% 1.22
Canada Jadan 'HexT' Postma 32 - 35 -3 73.4 80.8% 1.09
Canada Colby 'Walco' Walsh 36 - 38 -2 71.4 63.5% 0.94
United States Jerric 'wiz' Jiang 28 - 36 -8 58.2 59.6% 0.79
United States Connor 'chop' Sullivan 25 - 38 -13 45.3 61.5% 0.65
Party Astronauts K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Josh 'PwnAlone' Pigue 40 - 33 +7 84.5 76.9% 1.32
United States David 'cynic' Polster 39 - 28 +11 86.0 75.0% 1.27
United States Gage 'Infinite' Green 40 - 33 +7 86.2 75.0% 1.19
United States Ben 'ben1337' Smith 33 - 33 +0 65.4 67.3% 1.00
Canada Jonathan 'djay' Dallal 32 - 38 -6 64.2 69.2% 0.95

The ESEA Premier Season 38 grand final was one of the best in recent memory. Extra Salt started with a 1-0 series advantage from the upper bracket, but saw that quickly disappear as Party Astronauts claimed a decisive win on Inferno featuring a flawless CT-side. Extra Salt bounced back and regained the 2-1 series lead with a win on Overpass, then Party Astronauts evened it at two maps apiece once again on Ancient.

The final map of the series was a back-and-forth slugfest that was palpably intense from start to finish. Extra Salt had the first chance to close out championship point after claiming a 15-13 lead thanks to a strong upper site hold, but then PwnAlone took control of the narrative and secured an opening kill onto Josh "oSee" Ohm and two further entries into the upper site to draw Party Astronauts within one. In the thirtieth round David "cynic" Polster traded Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek and denied the South African's 1v2 clutch attempt from the rafters with the AWP, forcing the two teams to overtime.

Party Astronauts got their first crack at championship point in overtime after claiming an 18-17 lead, but Extra Salt were merciless on their last ditch effort, eliminating all five players on Party Astronauts without a single casualty to extend the match to double overtime. Party Astronauts claimed a 2-1 advantage on CT-side of the second overtime, but then Johnny "JT" Theodosiou hit a double-spraydown across the yard through smoke and Edgar "MarKE" Maldonado added a pair of frags of his own while tucked into the corner of the lower bombsite to level the score at 20-20. But then Party Astronauts claimed championship point again with some quick duels and a bit of advantageous timing to edge ahead 21-20 and this time their aim remained true, annihilating Extra Salt in hut, lobby, and the upper bombsite and waited oSee out for the final kill and their first berth in an international tournament.

Extra Salt
2 - 3
Party Astronauts
All maps
Extra Salt K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm 104 - 69 +35 88.9 75.4% 1.36
Canada Justin 'FaNg' Coakley 87 - 77 +10 81.9 71.9% 1.13
Mexico Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado 73 - 76 -3 76.0 71.1% 1.02
Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek 68 - 78 -10 65.7 64.0% 0.90
Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou 53 - 86 -33 57.6 68.4% 0.79
Party Astronauts K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States David 'cynic' Polster 79 - 68 +11 82.6 68.4% 1.14
Canada Jonathan 'djay' Dallal 88 - 81 +7 87.0 70.2% 1.11
United States Josh 'PwnAlone' Pigue 80 - 75 +5 69.1 65.8% 1.05
United States Gage 'Infinite' Green 65 - 73 -8 61.3 66.7% 0.95
United States Ben 'ben1337' Smith 72 - 88 -16 69.6 63.2% 0.91

We can expect ESL to make an announcement with regard to who will attend Conference with Extra Salt, since they were already previously qualified as the champions of DreamHack Open June. It stands to reason that the next runner-up from that event, 00Nation (previously O PLANO), or the third place team from ESEA Premier Season 38, RBG, will also attend the international LAN. Should the tiebreaker end up being ESL Pro Tour points, 00Nation currently hold that advantage. Those rankings can be found here.

The final standings for ESEA Premier Season 38 are:

1. United States Party Astronauts - $20,000
2. Extra Salt - $12,000
3. United States RBG - $6,500
4. United States Strife -$4,000
5-6. United States ChocoCheck - $2,500
5-6. United States Verum - $2,500
7-8. United States Triumph -$1,250
7-8. United States ONET4P - $1,250

ESL Pro League Season 15 Conference will run from November 23-28th and will offer three spots at ESL Pro League Season 15.

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#1(With 0 replies)
October 18, 2021 05:04PM
Lol ez wins
#2(With 0 replies)
October 18, 2021 08:15PM
Dust2 Birthday cake!
Lookin forward to seeing more PwnAlone
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