The first three days of the ESEA Premier Season 39 playoffs have drawn to a close, with paiN, RBG and ChocoCheck set to duke it out for a spot versus Extra Salt in the grand final.
The first matchups of the playoffs saw both Brazilian sides fall to the lower bracket. While paiN had cruised through the regular season, not dropping a single series as they easily placed top of their group, they struggled to best RBG in the first round, with Colby "Walco" Walsh’s side moving past the Brazilians 2-1 following a thirty round final map. In similar fashion, ChocoCheck were able to upset oNe 2-1 to send the latter side down to the lower bracket where they would face their Brazilian counterparts. Elsewhere, Extra Salt easily dispatched of Bad News Bears 2-0 whilst Party Astronauts reigned supreme over Triumph with a 2-0 victory of their own.
Moving forward, despite Party Astronauts being able to take a map off of Johnny "JT" Theodosiou and company, Extra Salt were able to complete the reverse sweep to take the series 2-1 and continue forward in the upper bracket. Meanwhile, ChocoCheck pulled off the upset versus RBG by easily deconstructing the team 16-5 and 16-11 on Nuke and Mirage to close out the series 2-0 and set up an upper bracket final matchup against heavyweights Extra Salt.
Heading down to the first round of the lower bracket, a Brazilian derby saw paiN face off against the aforementioned oNe, where a relatively one-sided affair allowed paiN to send their compatriots home with 16-8 and 16-10 scorelines on Overpass and Nuke, respectively. On the other side of the bracket, Bad News Bears survived Triumph in a 2-0 matchup, with the second map being settled in overtime, to see Wesley "viz" Harris’ men end their playoff run in 7th-8th place.
The lower bracket semifinal saw Rafael "saffee" Costa carry his team to victory with a stellar 2.01 rating versus Party Astronauts, culminating in a 16-2 and 16-12 thrashing to continue their lower bracket run. Meanwhile, Bad News Bears clashed against RBG in a three-map series. Although the Bears were able to easily take the first map of Dust 2 16-7, RBG soon responded with their own 16-11 and 16-13 scorelines on Overpass and Inferno to clinch the series 2-1. This saw both Bad News Bears and ESEA Premier Season 38 champions Party Astronauts depart the playoffs in joint 5th-6th place.
The final matchup of day three pitted Extra Salt against ChocoCheck in the upper bracket final which would see Ricky "floppy" Kemery shine above the rest, posting a 1.48 rating in the clash. Initially going to ChocoCheck’s pick of Inferno, the two teams were both able to string five round win streaks together at differing points in the half. Despite this, it would be Extra Salt who would narrowly lead at the turn of the half, heading into their T-side with an 8-7 advantage. Even though ChocoCheck secured the second pistol round and subsequent two rounds, Extra Salt soon picked up the pace, bagging seven of the following eight rounds to reach map point. A short-lived two-round reply by ChocoCheck would ultimately be their final statement in map one, as Extra Salt soon stole the final round to close the map 16-13 and go up 1-0 in the series.
Map two took the two teams to Extra Salt’s pick of Nuke, where things quickly unraveled for Anthony "CLASIA" Kearney and company. A formidable T-side spearheaded by the aforementioned floppy saw the South African-American side steal eleven rounds from ChocoCheck, with the CT-side unable to post more than one round at a time. Any chance of a comeback by ChocoCheck was quickly dashed as a quick five round win streak by Extra Salt at the start of the second half allowed the side to close the map 16-4 and end the series in dominating fashion, thus guaranteeing themselves a grand final placement and sending ChocoCheck down to the consolidation final.
|ChocoCheck||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Anthony 'CLASIA' Kearney||32 - 34||-2||68.9||69.4%||0.94|
|Jeorge 'jeorgesnorts' Endicott||33 - 37||-4||71.2||61.2%||0.93|
|Zack 'XotiC' Elshani||27 - 42||-15||68.3||65.3%||0.80|
|Dominick 'JazzPimp' Dimpfel||26 - 38||-12||63.7||59.2%||0.79|
|Carson 'nosraC' O'Reilly||25 - 43||-18||67.1||57.1%||0.76|
|Extra Salt||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Ricky 'floppy' Kemery||49 - 29||+20||94.1||79.6%||1.48|
|Justin 'FaNg' Coakley||37 - 27||+10||78.6||83.7%||1.29|
|Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado||36 - 29||+7||85.1||75.5%||1.24|
|Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou||35 - 29||+6||79.8||75.5%||1.19|
|Josh 'oSee' Ohm||35 - 30||+5||71.1||83.7%||1.18|
The remaining three teams will be fighting it out through the lower bracket in a bid to face Extra Salt in the grand final on Sunday at 8PM EST, where the winner will take home $20,000 and the coveted spot in ESL Pro League Season 16 Conference.
The remaining lower bracket matchups are:
The lower bracket final is set to begin tonight at 8PM EST whilst the consolidation final is scheduled for Saturday at 8PM EST.