Another week comes and goes but this one was the fastest yet. With four sweeps during the week, the highest number recorded this season, week 5 of ESEA Season 38 EU Premier noted a reinvigorated Sprout squad, as Akuma and sAw continue their struggle (in and out of the ESEA competition) and DBL Poney claim another victim. During this week, only one of the six games played involves group B teams.
To start off the week, the first day of games had us set for duels between the top and bottom teams, such as Sprout vs Apeks and BLINK vs ENTERPRISE, and a battle for the last playoff spot as Sangal took on Akuma.
Sprout and BLINK got down to business, quickly dispatching their opponents in two maps. The Germans did so with wins on Dust II (their pick) by 16-9 and on Ancient by 16-6, with the Sprout squad looking stronger than ever since adding Rasmus “raalz” Steensborg. In the other match, BLINK won their pick, Ancient, by 16-8 and ENTERPRISE”s map choice, Overpass, by 16-10 as Rigon “rigoN” Gashi and Flatron “juanflatroo” Halimi displayed an incredible knack for hitting pixels on a screen, both having above 100 ADR over the course of the game.
The fight for provisional 4th place started out in Mirage, picked by Akuma. Despite the Ukrainians picking the map, both teams share the same win-rate on it during the past 3 months: a low 28.6%. One would think it would be a close map, but no. Sangal had a great start and went on to capitalize it, taking their rival”s pick 16-9. Up next was Inferno, picked by the Turks. This time, Akuma had a better win-rate than Sangal but just barely: 45.5% compared to 40%. Again, people were expecting a back and forth fight for this map but Akuma had other plans, shutting down Sangal”s offense and defense. The map ended 16-4, tying the series — to declare a winner, the teams headed onto Nuke. The first half went the Ukrainians way and the second one started out looking the same but an amazing 1v4 ace-clutch from Engin “ngiN” Kor swung the momentum to the Turkish side and they seemed unstoppable after that, coming back from losing 11-6 to win the match 16-13.
The following day we had Sprout repeating their result from the day before, as well as Apeks doing the same. Sprout once again swept their adversary, this time it was sAw”s turn. The Portuguese team is going through a rough patch and the Germans took advantage of that, winning Dust II 16-9 and Nuke 16-12. The main man from this game was Josef “faveN” Baumann who got a 1.53 rating and a 104.6 ADR. Apeks, on the other side, got swept again. DBL Poney added another 2-0 to their record and imposed another 0-2 loss on the Swedish”s record. The maps played were Dust II and Overpass and both ended with a 16-13 scoreline in favor of the Frenchmen. The ponies are showing some incredible consistency, claiming their fourth win in a row. All five players from the French side have solid stats and when one of them has a bad day, someone else goes up a gear to compensate.
The only two games from group B last week were AGO vs Movistar Riders and LDLC vs GamerLegion. Up until game day, AGO were invincible throughout four games and the Riders were winless in the three games they had played for the ongoing season. The match started on the most recent map added to the pool, Ancient — picked by AGO. Both teams showed a good CT-side but the Polish, this being their pick, showed a better understanding of the map which resulted in an advantage on their T-side and a 16-13 map win. The Spanish”s pick, Vertigo, was next and they had to make it count if they wanted to get their first win of the season. After a very balanced first-half, 8-7 for Movistar as terrorists, Raúl “DeathZz” Nieto put on a show and played a big role in the 16-8 win for Movistar and pushed the team to Inferno — the decider. Much like the previous map, the first-half ended 8-7 in favor of Movistar, this time they were playing on the CT-side. Also in a similar fashion to Vertigo, the second half saw a very poor AGO only putting up 3 rounds, losing a match for the first time during the season. The final result on Inferno was 16-10, with Movistar claiming their first win.
The Frenchmen of LDLC entered the last game of the week hungry for a win, trying to capitalize on AGO’s loss. The first map was Nuke, picked by LDLC — starting out as they wanted. After an 11-4 T-side, the French gave GamerLegion no chance to breathe and kept their foot on the gas pedal, finishing the map 16-7. Next up was Mirage, chosen by the German org. It was looking much more balanced at the half, 8-7 was the score, favoring LDLC. The second half told a different tale — GL could only put up 3 rounds on the board as the French showed a very strong T-side. The final score was 16-10, meaning LDLC swept GamerLegion. Ali “hAdji” Haïnouss on Nuke and Bryan “Maka” Canda on Mirage were the difference-makers for the French team.