With Epicenter 2018 kicking off in Russia, Moscow, a Wild Card qualifier has taken place to reveal the last two teams in the CS:GO LAN tournament. ENCE and Avangar have already qualified to the main event due to being ranked as the highest among the Wild Card qualifier teams. Epicenter starts today, Sept. 23, and runs through until Sept. 28.
HellRaisers ease into the main event
HellRaisers came into the Wild Card qualifier looking confident. First, it was Swole Patrol that had to endure the massive beating that the CIS team gave them. A best-of-three match looked almost as if it were a best-of-one as HellRaisers won 2-0. First on Inferno, with a ridiculous result of 16-3, and then on Cache with an almost equal domination, 16-7. We finally got to see Özgür “woxic” Eker in full form with the AWP as he attained an impressive score of 43-17 over the course of the two maps.
Next, it would be Virtus.pro that would fall to HellRaisers. This time around, however, HellRaisers would barely make it out alive. The Polish formation, although losing the match-up 2-0, would give the CIS team a hard time as both games came close. On Inferno, both sides felt comfortable on their ct-sides, and in the end, it was Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow and his squad that prevailed on the Counter-Terrorist side.
Despite getting an initial 8-0 lead on t-side on Mirage, Virtus.pro failed to capitalize on the lead. HellRaisers mounted a comeback journey and completely dismantled Vp’s defense after side switch. While the Poles looked strong on t-side, the CIS team looked even stronger. Ultimately, HellRaisers won 16-14 yet again and got the first Wild Card qualifier spot at Epicenter.
It was unfortunate to see Michał “snatchie” Rudzki’s team lose both maps as he played exquisitely throughout both matchups. However, it was woxic that really shined. Hopefully, we will get to see more of the same from the young talent during the main event at Epicenter.
Swole Patrol prove their worth
After a rocky start, Ryan “freakazoid” Abadir’s Swole Patrol successfully qualified for the Epicenter main event.
Following a loss to HellRaisers, Swole Patrol went on to knock 5POWER out of the qualifier with relative ease, first on Nuke 16-7 and then similarly on Inferno, also 16-7. The Chinese squad struggled to hold their own as Braxton “swag” Pierce was having a blast on both maps, attaining 46 frags in total and the highest rating as well. Next up, Swole Patrol would have to face an opponent of much greater caliber.
It was do-or-die time as the last opponent standing on the path of qualifying would be Virtus.pro. Fortunately for Swole Patrol, the matchup was easier than anyone could have predicted.
The first map, Train would prove to be an absolute nightmare for Virtus.pro as Swole Patrol ran rampant. The ct-side of Swole Patrol would prove impenetrable as the half ended 12-3. On t-side not much changed as the American formation would go on to close out the game rapidly, 16-4. This time it was freakazoid’s brother, Austin “Cooper” Abadir that would come out on top with an impressive rating of 1.84 and 23 frags. Despite that, the whole Swole Patrol roster played to the best of their ability in what came out to be an extremely one-sided match.
Map two, Nuke, would go on to be much tighter than Swole Patrol would have liked. This time around, the Polish side would put up more of a fight with the younger squad of Michał “MICHU” Müller, Piotr “morelz” Taterka, and snatchie showing their talent. Unfortunately for them, the duo of Cooper and swag would yet again show their skills as they would lead their team to close out the map 16-14 with freakazoid clutching a 1v3 on the very last round to secure the series.
After the Wild Card event, the full list of teams is as follows:
- FaZe Clan
- Natus Vincere
- Team Liquid
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Swole Patrol
Stay tuned for more news on Epicenter and other events and esports at Daily Esports.