Group B warms up with another day of CSGO action at ESL Pro League Season 17.
While the first day of Group B offered no real surprises but had its moments of excitement, it was nothing close to what the second had to offer. There were two upsets, and a match that most people thought would be a low-effort victory for one team turned out to be a battle for life or death — or at least, a battle for a confirmed spot in the Playoffs or dropping down into the Mid Bracket. If you were unlucky enough to miss out on the incredible CSGO on display on the second day, we’re here to fill you in.
ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Day 2 Matches
In the Upper Bracket, a dominant Heroic took on a BIG team that was struggling as usual, while FURIA took on MOUZ after both had done away with their first round opponents. Down in the Mid Bracket, Spanish squad Movistar Riders had to recover from their unfortunate first match to stand up against Complexity, while Imperial Esports and SAW had a bit of a Portuguese language derby between them.
Heroic vs BIG
Following their utter destruction of Riders, Heroic went into their match against BIG with considerable confidence. The Germans were decent, but hadn’t been able to best the Danes in quite a while. BIG had just about scraped past COL, and nobody has expected much of them in quite a while. If the Bavarian boys were to get past this point in the Upper Bracket, they would need something very, very special.
When BIG promptly went 6-0 down on their map Nuke, everyone thought these matches were going to be extremely short. However, the Germans quickly set up a defendable 5-round half on the attack, and once on the defense, came back from being 15-9 down at one point to take the game to Overtime. Despite taking the first round of that, though, Heroic took over and finished it off 19-16. Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard, René “TeSeS” Madsen and Martin “stavn” Lund all starred for the Danes.
On to Heroic’s Inferno pick, the Germans played very well to keep the first half relatively even with the score at 8-7. In the second half, they surprised Heroic with some excellent attacking CS, finding leaks in the Danes’ defenses and getting in again and again. With Heroic messing up quite a few rounds they should have won, BIG won the game 16-13. Solid turns from stavn and jabbi were negated by a brilliant performance from Nils ”k1to” Gruhne.
Moving on to the decider Vertigo, Heroic’s solid 8-round T-side saw them go into the second half with a great advantage, but they were soon given a heavy fight by BIG, who went up 14-10 at one point. Thankfully for the Danes, they were able to hold on and see the match through after some extremely tense rounds, winning the map 16-14 and clinching the series.
FURIA Esports vs MOUZ
Although FURIA did beat their regional rivals Imperial 2-0 in their series, both matches were tense, which isn’t something that should happen if FURIA plays their best game. Meanwhile, MOUZ had massacred SAW, and were looking like the kind of side no team wants to face. Although the two teams are neck-and-neck in terms of ranking — MOUZ are 8th and FURIA are 9th — it always seemed as though MOUZ were clear favorites.
FURIA are no pushovers on Mirage, which was their pick for this series, but they quickly went down 8-0 on the attack, and thankfully managed to pick up 4 of the last 7 rounds. They put up a strong defense in the second half, but MOUZ managed to find enough opportunities to overcome their small target. A fantastic performance from FURIA’s Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato was overwhelmed by Christopher “dexter” Nong and Jon “JDC” de Castro on MOUZ.
The Brazilians had a fantastic start on MOUZ’s pick Ancient, getting off to a powerful 7-1 start on their chosen T-side. However, the German team shut down shop and repelled any further attacks to even up the half. Once on the other side, their momentum continued, and they were able to defeat their opponents with an easy 16-9 score to seal their series. All of MOUZ played well, but dexter and David ”frozen” Čerňanský were especially sharp.
Movistar Riders vs Complexity
As we wrote in our team preview, Riders have been struggling for quite a while, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be making any history any time soon. However, that could change if they write the pages themselves even with an underdog squad, and with Complexity being as inconsistent as they’ve always been in CSGO, it was really anyone’s game despite the Americans being heavy favorites.
Riders’ pick of Vertigo turned out to be a great choice as they dominated on the T-side to pick up 10 rounds on the attack. Although COL started well on their own attacking half, they only managed to get to 8 before the Spaniards put an end to the former’s hopes with a 16-8 win. Alejandro ”mopoz” Fernández-Quejo Cano and Alejandro ”ALEX” Masanet Candela were both in fantastic form for Riders.
Moving on to COL’s pick Ancient, it seemed as though the Americans had woken up and come back to play as they ravaged Riders’ defenses to go 10-0 up on the T-side. The Spaniards managed to pull four back before the half ended, but it still seemed like a foregone conclusion on the CT-sided map. COL must have thought the same, because their complacency saw them give away round after round to lose the map 16-13, also losing the series and falling to the Lower Brackets. Once again, mopoz was at the top of the table for his team and the server.
Imperial Esports vs SAW
Manned by former powerhouses from Brazil, Imperial have seen their aging players hit exceptionally hard times, straining to put up decent numbers on a regular basis and almost never popping off. SAW have their own aging players, but they’re not burdened by expectations unlike their Brazilian counterparts in this match. As we would soon find out, that can be quite a weight to carry.
SAW began surprisingly well on their map pick Vertigo, but Imperial managed to push them back to finish the half at a more or less even 8-7 in favor of the Portuguese. That’s where their pushing ended, though, as they were unable to pick up a single round on the attack, and suffered a 16-7 humiliation. João “story” Vieira played his heart out, while Tiago “JUST” Moura also did superbly.
Moving on to Imperial’s map Overpass, the Brazilians were able to manage a good 8 on the attacking side, but it was their ironclad, impervious defense that won them the match in the convincing fashion that it did. The scoreline was 16-7 once again, and it was the Portuguese team’s turn to be humiliated. Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo sparked back to his old form with a solid 24 kills and 114 Average Damage per Round.
Moving on to Nuke, it looked as though Imperial had it in the bag when they piled up a whopping 11 rounds on the attack, with SAW being down 11-2 at one point. Like the COL-Riders match, however, SAW’s attack was just as devastating, and they managed to even the score and take the game to OT. Once there, the Portuguese underdogs picked up another round on the T-side before shutting down Imperial’s attack to lock down the game 19-17 and the series 2-1.
Join us again tomorrow for more recaps, and take a look at our vast selection of CSGO content in the meantime.