Movistar Riders make Pro League; GODSENT vs Sprout for Final Spot

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The first-ever ESL Pro League Conference continued its action on Saturday and with the final day coming up tomorrow, we are finally down to the final two teams competing for the last available qualification spot into the group stage. Today’s competition saw two teams depart and now we prepare for the showdown to determine who will make it to Season 15 of ESL Pro League.

Kicking off today’s games was a match with high stakes — Movistar Riders and GODSENT were set to battle for the second available slot, narrowly missing one another at the PGL Major. When it came time to compete, Movistar Riders’ defensive efforts were too strong for GODSENT. On GODSENT’s pick of Overpass, Movistar convincingly won the first-half 10-5 off of their CT efforts, and ultimately closed the map out 16-13. When Nuke came, GODSENT was able to edge out the half 8-7, but once again, the CT side of Movistar was too overpowering for them. Movistar would win the second half of Nuke 9-1 to close the game 16-9 to qualify for the group stage.

Following the opening match was a showdown of two teams both with the talent to qualify now faced in an elimination match. Sprout, after losing their first series as a lineup to Extra Salt in the first round of the event, remained unphased by the speed bump and ripped off three straight victories right after. As for MAD Lions, they won their first two series against eClub Brugge and LDLC, although unconvincingly. When it came time for their clash against Extra Salt, they also faced the same fate as Sprout. With both teams banished to the lower bracket by Extra Salt, the only way through is through one another.

When the two teams came to blows, the Sprout firepower proved too much from the get-go. On the CT-favored Ancient, Sprout was able to win nine defensive rounds in the second half to take their map pick 16-12. Like Ancient, Dust II remained competitive in the first half, ending 8-7. However, once Sprout switched to the T-side, MAD Lions could again no longer keep up with them. With Sprout winning eight of ten rounds in the second half, Sprout advanced with a 16-9 Dust2 and 2-0 series victory. Unfortunately for MAD Lions, the loss would complete the reverse sweep, going from a single series away from qualifying to exiting at fourth place. Josef “faveN” Baumann has been on a tear in this event, and continued that form against the Lions, outperforming every individual on the server on both maps. With another team eliminated, Sprout would be left waiting for the winner of GODSENT and LDLC to determine the team’s final opponent for the last group stage slot.

To determine Sprout’s final opposition, it would take all three maps, plus some overtime. LDLC took the series to Nuke for map one, and it closed the first half as even as possible at 8-7. To start the second half GODSENT would take six of the eight first rounds to separate themselves at 14-9. With their backs against the wall, LDLC would win six of the final seven rounds, including round 30, to bring it to overtime. When overtime came, LDLC had too much momentum for GODSENT to handle, winning 4-0 and dramatically taking the first map. When the two got to GODSENT’s pick of Ancient, LDLC could not get any offense going. GODSENT only gave up one of eleven CT-side rounds and took map two 16-10. At 1-1, the two teams would be forced to settle the score on the decider of Mirage. Like the first two maps, the first half was closely contested at 8-7. Similar to Nuke, when GODSENT switched to CT, LDLC couldn’t figure the defense out. The Brazilians won seven of eight rounds to open the second half, creating a round difference LDLC couldn’t overcome even with some last-minute heroics that brought it to round 30. GODSENT sealed it in the final round to cement one final clash against Sprout to determine the final qualifying team to Season 15’s group stage.

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