Day two of the quarterfinals in London at the FACEIT Major featured Team Liquid take on HellRaisers and FaZe Clan go up against the Danish giants, Astralis.
The first match of the day was intense from the get-go. Match one brought us to Mirage, the American team’s pick. Liquid quickly started rolling through the defense of HellRaisers and racked up an amazing lead in the very first half, 12-3, by winning the pistol as well as constantly challenging the CIS team with varying approaches to bombsites including Epitacio “TACO” de Melo’s surprising pushes through smokes. Nevertheless, it was Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski’s crazy performance that essentially guaranteed that lead as he racked up over 20 kills in the first 15 rounds alone. The second half saw a revived HellRaisers squad. They won the pistol and Özgür “woxic” Eker got rolling on the AWP further into the match. Unfortunately, they were only able to attain seven rounds before Liquid recomposed themselves and closed out the match 16-10.
Next up, we saw a matchup on HellRaisers’ map pick, Dust 2. From the start, the CIS team looked like an entirely different squad altogether. HellRaisers won the first pistol and picked up three more rounds before Liquid got going. Afterward, things started to fall apart for woxic and his team as they lost the half 9-6. Fortunately for them, the t-side of Dust 2 was a completely clean sweep for HellRaisers. Yet again, woxic was the frontman. This time, however, Vladyslav “bondik” Nechyporchuk also showed class on the t-side. The duo had the biggest impact on their team’s near-clean sweep after half-time as HellRaisers went from a 10-7 score in favor of Team Liquid, to a clean 10-16. Keith “NAF” Markovic’s impressive performance was not enough to carry Liquid through to close out the game on map two.
The decider map brought us to Cache where we saw Team Liquid gradually pave the way for themselves to the semifinals of the FACEIT Major. Team Liquid yet again was triumphant on the first pistol round and looked confident on the terrorist side. The half finished 10-5 in favor of the Americans and the beginning of the following half practically guaranteed them the victory. Liquid yet again picked up the pistol and won five rounds in a row, resulting in a 15-5 score. We saw a glimpse of a comeback from HellRaisers for three rounds as Liquid started to crumble and so did their economy. Then, somehow, on a round where Liquid only had pistols, poor utility usage from HellRaisers resulted in TACO getting a 2k with a Desert Eagle and then everything fell apart as the CIS team looked lost on the B bombsite with little time to get the bomb plant. Team Liquid fragged the remaining players on a round that never should have gone their way. Liquid move on to tomorrow’s semifinals after a 2-1 win.
We are finishing our performance at the @FACEIT Major.
— HellRaisers Esports (@HELLRAISERSgg) September 21, 2018
All in all, part of HellRaisers’ loss today must be accredited to the lackluster performance by Issa “ISSAA” Murad. ISSAA was the bottom fragger on the first two maps and had a mediocre performance on the last map, Cache. ISSAA had been the driving force behind his team’s previous victories so it was disappointing to see him not perform up to standard. With an in-form woxic and ISSAA, HellRaisers have shown to be a powerful team, however today, we have not seen HellRaisers in their best form.
The second quarterfinal saw the international FaZe Clan go up against the Danish Astralis. Map one, FaZe’s pick, took us to Mirage where an intense battle took place, as is expected of teams of such caliber. FaZe Clan kicked things off on t-side by getting the first three rounds. However, everything turned upside down when the first full buy round started for Astralis. They went on to pick up nine rounds in a row before FaZe could respond. A fantastic performance by Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen reinforced the Danish wall on Mirage. The half ended 11-4 for the Danes. Astralis continued their drift into the t-side where they picked up the initial pistol. The international superteam was fast to respond, however, and managed to make a comeback all the way until 12-11, with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer having major input into the pursuit. What followed was a back-and-forth battle, yet Astralis just slipped through to avoid overtime and closed things out 16-14.
Next up we saw an immense comeback on Inferno, Astralis’ map pick. FaZe looked determined to give themselves a chance and go to map three as they showed a very promising ct-side. Håvard “rain” Nygaard and his team would set up an impermeable wall where Astralis could only pick up five rounds in the half. Unfortunately for FaZe, Astralis showed an even better counter-terrorist side. What stood out the most was the incredible usage of he-grenades and impeccable timing on smokes and incendiary grenades. The FaZe team took immense amounts of damage time and time again from perfectly thrown nades all-around. Matched with perfect AWP-ing yet again from Nicolai “device” Reedtz, the result was quite simple. FaZe only managed to plant the bomb once before getting defused. Therefore, Astralis mounted an incredible comeback, going from a 10-5 deficit to a 12-16 win.
The road ends here for FaZe Clan at the FACEIT Major in London. Despite showing great determination, coming back from a 0-2 deficit at the Legends stage, FaZe received the worst team they could have asked for at the quarterfinals. Perhaps, the reason for the defeat also lies somewhere in the team itself. NiKo has become in-game leader instead of karrigan during the Major. Although peculiar, it seemed to work for the previous match-ups, but unfortunately not against the Danes. After failing to win the last Major in Krakow in the final against Cloud9, FaZe has yet to win a Major tournament in Counter-Strike.
After today’s quarterfinals, tomorrow’s semifinals look as follows:
As always, follow us at Daily Esports for more news on the on-going FACEIT Major in London.
I like to give out free AK-47 headshots in CS: GO, spend some quality time in the kitchen marinating a tender chicken breast and approximately 3 times a week I lift some relatively heavy metal stuff at the gym. Oh, and I also like to write about e-sports and everything related to gaming. Who knew one could have such contrasting interests?