One more week of ESEA Season 38 Premier Europe went by and this time we had Endpoint responding in kind to their week 3 result, Akuma continuing their struggle, AGO and DBL Poney cementing themselves on top of their respective group, and an inconsistent Apeks trying to maintain their spot on the Premier competition.
The first day of duels saw Apeks trying to keep their engines warm after a clean 2-0 win the week before, but their opponents, BLINK, also had the same objective in mind. The first map, Inferno picked by the Kosovar org, was tight, but the “home team” managed to get away with a 16-13 scoreline after an impressive performance from their highest-rated player, Flatron ‘juanflatroo’ Halimi. Apeks had the chance to get a map on the board as the match went to their pick, Overpass. And, rightfully so, that chance was seized as the Swedish org completely rolled over their opposition. 16-3 was the final result, with Dennis ‘dennis’ Edman taking the spotlight for himself, although his teammates also put up amazing numbers. Dust II followed as the decider and BLINK seemed to have reset their minds entering the map, putting together 10 rounds against Apeks’ 5 in the first-half. The second part was closer; after getting to series point BLINK conceded 6 rounds in a row—letting Apeks dream with a win—but despite letting the Swedish plant the bomb on round 28, the Kosovar got a well-put-together 5v3 retake to seal the deal and finish the map 16-12 and the series 2-1. Frederik ‘FREDDyFROG’ Gustafsson, from Apeks, and Genc ‘gxx-’ Kolgeci, from BLINK, stood out from their teammates, being the protagonists of the Dust2 decider.
The other group A match being played simultaneously was Akuma vs Sprout. With both teams losing their previous matches, this duel would give vigor to one of them. The first map was Vertigo, picked by the Ukrainians. Tooth and nail was the name of the game, as the teams fought back and forth all map long, resulting in a 15-15 scoreboard at the end of regulation. Overtime introduced a different story; Sprout gave Akuma no chance to score a single point on the board. Vertigo ended 19-15 in favor of the Germans, with Rasmus ‘raalz’ Steensborg leading the team in K-D, +/-, ADR, and KAST%. Map two was Dust II and Sprout looked very strong to take their pick as Akuma didn’t have any form of response to the Germans’ attack. The map ended 16-9 for Sprout with Josef ‘faveN’ Baumann and Marko ‘kressy’ Đorđević (who had a bad week 3) being the plus factors of the win. This quick 2-0 puts Akuma below Sprout on the standings.
The last game from the group came a bit later than usual but it delivered. DBL Poney faced ENTERPRISE in a fight between two recently promoted teams. The match started on Inferno which was picked by the Slovakian side. It initially looked promising for them as they were up 9-6 at the end of the first half but the second half had reserved a comeback from the French. DBL Poney finished out the map with a 16-12 scoreline on a 6 round win-streak, with Aurélien ‘afro’ Drapier closing the shop on an amazing 1v4 clutch worth the ticket. After stealing away ENTERPRISE’s pick, the ponies went onto Nuke (their win rate on Inferno and Nuke is the same: 66.7%), looking to finish the series there. Once again, the game looked favorable for ENTERPRISE at half-time—they were ahead by 1 round—but after the second-half pistol, DBL Poney ran away with the game, getting 6 rounds (again) in a row. The Slovakians tried to answer by putting together 3 rounds but it was too late, as the ponies went on to win the map on a 16-11 scoreline and sweep their opposition, cementing themselves atop their group.
Over in group B, AGO remain undefeated as they beat GamerLegion 2-1. This battle started on Inferno, AGO’s pick, where the Polish showed out with a couple of clutches and comfortably took the win. 16-8 was the final result, with Michał ‘snatchie’ Rudzki averaging 103.2 damage per round. If 16-8 is a comfortable result for the winner, how can one describe a 16-2 final score? A barbaric beating is what comes to mind. GamerLegion entered the Polish’s map pick, Mirage, hungry and it seemed they were never full as all their players looked locked-in, with everyone achieving a rating of 1.45 or more. The only thing helping AGO was experience — most of the team members have been in situations like this before. But things could have gone very bad, the decider was Ancient, and AGO started as on the T-Side. Despite that, GamerLegion couldn’t find their stride and conceded 9 rounds in what is seen as the strongest side of the map. The Polish capitalized on this and during the second half showed the German org how it is done, only allowing GL to get 2 rounds on the board. The match ended on another 16-8 scoreline in favor of AGO—also winning the series 2-1. Maciej ‘F1KU’ Miklas had an amazing 1.93 rating, putting up some incredible stats.
Rounding out last week’s results we have Endpoint vs Anonymo. After getting swept by AGO, the British wanted revenge, and ironically, it would come at the expense of another Polish team. To start the series, Endpoint picked Overpass, their highest win-rate map. After a solid 10-5 first half on the T-side by Endpoint, Anonymo looked lost on the map and that translated to a 16-8 final score. The Polish’s only hope was their own pick, Mirage, and it started out looking promising for them with an 8-7 first half. But then, Mohammad ‘BOROS’ Malhas happened. Round after round he seemed unstoppable, helping the team win the map 16-11. BOROS achieved a 1.98 rating on the T-side with a 129.1 ADR. This incredible second-half from the Jordanian propelled Endpoint to their second win and put the British org in a good shape for the playoffs qualification.