Discussing the fourth day of play in Group B of ESL’s lengthy tournament in Malta
On the penultimate day of ESL Pro League Season 17’s Group B, we saw a couple of heartbreaks as two teams were knocked out, but there was also jubilation in the air as the winner of the Mid Bracket secured qualification to the Playoffs. If you missed out on these incredible matches, here’s your chance to catch up.
ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Day 4 Matches
Complexity started things off with an elimination match against Imperial Esports, which was followed by FURIA Esports taking on BIG in the aforementioned Mid Bracket Final. The day drew to a close with Movistar Riders fighting SAW.
Complexity vs Imperial Esports
The North American side came into this match with two back-to-back defeats to BIG and Movistar Riders, and was looking decidedly out of sorts. On the other hand, Imperial had gone through the same fate with a very close, heartbreaking loss against SAW following their Brazilian derby defeat to FURIA. With their backs against the rope, these teams would have to find it in them to make a last stand.
Imperial’s pick of Inferno wasn’t so much as a match as it was an exercise in Brazilian flair. Imperial absolutely smashed COL on the T-side with a ridiculous 14 rounds on the attack, and there wasn’t even an attempt at a comeback as the Americans folded 16-1 following the swap. For Imperial, Marcelo “chelo” Cespedes and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo rolled back the years to play some of their best CS in a long time.
Come COL’s Ancient, it was the Americans’ turn to show some attacking prowess, but it was far from the kind of devastation we had witnessed on Inferno as they only managed a decent 8 rounds. Nevertheless, they got off to a good start on the defense, and despite a strong resurgence from the Brazilians, were able to barely close the game out 16-14. FalleN was once again at his imperious best, but this time Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli and Justin ”FaNg” Coakley overcame his efforts.
On the decisive map Overpass, things got really heated up. COL managed a modest 8 rounds on the defense in the first half, but were able to just about barely make up for it on the attack as the game went into Overtime. However, it took a lengthy three OTs for the match to finally be decided as Imperial threw away many chances to finish the game off — including two in regulation time — to lose out to COL and get knocked out. Although many players on the South American side played well, hallzerk trumped them all with his AWP.
FURIA Esports vs BIG
The Brazilians had been thrashed by MOUZ, and were up against their second German opponents in 3 days, and a loss here would mean absolute uncertainty for a team that historically doesn’t deal well with pressure. On the other hand, BIG aren’t known for their performances under stress either, so it was really up to who held their nerve best.
The Germans started off their pick Nuke with an impressive showing on the attack, going up 7-1 on the T-side against the Brazilians (where have we heard that before?). However, this isn’t football, and FURIA came back strongly to scrounge up 7 rounds in the half. They were much better on the other side as they flowed through the German defenses to reach 15, and after a brief resistance, won the game 16-13. As has been the case at this tournament, Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato was in top form, with Rafael “saffee” Costa also in good touch.
Moving on to their map Vertigo, the Brazilians also went up to a decent 6-2 start, but were forced to an 8-7 losing half by a late flourish by BIG. Once on the other side, it was BIG who dominated on the attack after an initial setback, getting 8 of the last 9 rounds to win 16-11 and level the series. It’s impossible to say who was better between Johannes ”tabseN” Wodarz and Nils ”k1to” Gruhne, and Marcel “hyped” Köhn was also solid.
Moving on to the third and final map Inferno, FURIA were initially kept at bay by the Germans, but managed to climb back to finish the half 8-7 once again in BIG’s favor. Sadly for the Berlin-based team, their attack left a lot to be desired as they failed time and again to crack the sites and fell behind by 14-8. An exchange of two rounds each followed, and FURIA won 16-10 to seal their Playoffs spot. This time, saffee was on fire with 30 kills and a 1.81 rating.
Movistar Riders vs SAW
The Iberian derby has produced some incredible matches in the past, and many people who aren’t in the region watched on eagerly as a result. Both teams had floundered and bounced back only to falter again, but this was the last chance they were going to get. With plenty of money — and more importantly regional respect — up for grabs, the two locked horns for some CSGO.
On Riders’ pick Overpass, the Spanish side piled up a pretty good 8 rounds on the attack, with a five-round streak in the middle bolstering their triumphant Pistol Round and successive wins. If SAW had any hopes of coming back, however, it was all in vain as the Spaniards locked down their sites and crushed the Portuguese 16-7. Everyone on Riders played well, but Pere “sausol” Solsona Saumell stood out above the rest.
Moving on to SAW’s Nuke, the Portuguese team were initially behind, but went on a 7-round streak that saw them go up 7-4 before Riders took the rest of the rounds to barely win the half. Once again, the second half saw the Spanish team dominate as they reached their 8-round target within just 12 rounds to win 16-11. On this occasion, Antonio “Martinez” Martinez Sánchez and Alejandro ”ALEX” Masanet Candela combined to give their team the decisive edge.
Join us again tomorrow when we dive into the final day of play, and read our massive library of CSGO stuff while you’re on the site, including guides, betting tips and more.