Closing out the final day of an exciting group where almost nothing went as expected
The final day of action in Group C of ESP Pro League Season 17 has ended, and what a day it was. If the qualification of paiN Gaming through the Mid Bracket was a surprise, the last day’s games would prove everything we had predicted about the group wrong. Two of the matches were complete upsets, with one containing one of the greatest comebacks in the history of ESL Pro League, and the other was a thriller. You’ve missed out on a lot if you didn’t watch these games, so check out our recaps and find out what took place.
ESL Pro League Season 17 Group C Day 5 Matches
Grayhound Gaming took on 00 Nation in the Lower Bracket to start the proceedings, while Team Vitality and FaZe Clan locked horns in the Upper Bracket Final in the most high-profile match of the day. Lastly, Ninjas in Pyjamas and 00 Nation faced each other in a climactic Lower Bracket Final to determine the final Playoff entry from this group.
Grayhound Gaming vs 00 Nation
The Aussies had been punching above their weight since being clobbered by Vitality, beating 00 Nation once before and even taking out NIP before being defeated by paiN Gaming. This was their second encounter with 00 Nation, and they were looking confident. The Brazilians meanwhile had faced two straight defeats before finally beating Grayhound’s fellow countrymen in Rooster in a tight series. This was the start of their second wind, and they weren’t about to give up easily.
Grayhound's pick Inferno started in the favor of 00 Nation, but the Aussies quickly took over with some solid clumps of rounds to ensure they won the half 8-7. A good start followed for the Brazilians’ CT-side as well, but Grayhound fought back hard to reach map point first. However, 00 Nation took three on the trot to force the game into Overtime, where they won the game 19-16. A fantastic effort from Joshua “INS” Potter went in vain as those from Lucas “nqz” Soares and Eduardo “dumau” Wolkmer were more impactful.
Moving on to 00 Nation’s Ancient, the first half was a terrific back-and-forth affair, with teams exchanging rounds throughout the half to end on a tight 8-7 scoreline in favor of Grayhound. Once on the other side, the Aussies began dominating the server after an even initial struggle, finishing the game off in the 26th round to level the series. INS was on fire once again, this time with help from Jay “Liazz” Tregillgas and Declan “Vexite” Portelli.
Mirage has been the decider many times in this group, and Grayhound’s own attempts on the T-side were commendable. The two teams seemed inseparable after yet another even first half, with 00 Nation taking an 8-7 lead, but the second half was much more straightforward. Greyhound were only able to take two as 00 Nation shattered their dreams with a 16-9 win that gave them a spot in the Lower Bracket Final. Marcelo “coldzera” David may not have gotten another jumping double, but he carried his team alongside dumau and nqz.
Team Vitality vs FaZe Clan
Vitality had been looking well below their peak in recent months, but the inclusion of a stand-in seems to have pumped new life into the team. In good shape just in time to defend their Pro League Title, the French side looks ready to take on just about any team. FaZe on the other hand have been through a similar patch of relatively rough form, but the bar is so high for a team as good as them that it’s always thought of as more of a lull than something that calls for a change. Everyone expected the battle between these two teams to be fierce and exciting.
Vitality’s pick Anubis seemed to have gone horribly wrong for them at the start. FaZe barely gave them any chance as they won round after round, getting to 8-0 before the French side were able to take even one. To the latter’s horror, FaZe went on to take every other round for a 14-1 half. Dejected but not defeated, Vitality mounted their own attack, and little by little managed to take almost every single round back to unbelievably tie the scores at 15-15 and eventually win 19-16 in OT courtesy of Lotan “Spinx” Giladi and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut.
Next up, on FaZe’s map Nuke it was Vitality’s turn to have a strong first half as they mounted an 11-round defense despite a good start by their opponents. On the attacking side, however, the Frenchmen could only manage 4 of their own as the second map also went into OT. This time Vitality were even more unforgiving in extended play, and won the game 19-15 to seal the series. ZywOo was busy being the GOAT that he is with a ridiculous 38 kills, while Audric “JACKZ” Jug also played superbly for the winners.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs 00 Nation
The Ninjas had been looking shoddy all tournament, but they did get a couple of decent results, beating paiN and OG 2-0 in the Upper and Lower Brackets respectively. Now they were up against 00 Nation, who had lost against OG in their first match and had barely clawed their way through the Lower Brackets and were tired from their earlier engagement with Grayhound. It seemed that the universe was on NIP’s side, but the Brazilians weren’t going to let them walk away with an easy win.
On 00 Nation’s pick Mirage, they managed to win the Pistol Round only to fall far behind as NIP took the next 11 rounds. In the end it was a 12-3 half, and despite a strong start after the switch, the Brazilians eventually lost 16-10. A stellar performance by dumau couldn’t save his team as Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke were a bigger force together.
NIP were expected to dominate their own pick Nuke with the momentum so firmly in their favor, but they quickly went into a downward spiral as they fell behind 7-0. Despite getting four straight rounds after that, they went on to lose the half 11-4, and were unable to put up much of a fight on the defense as they crumbled 16-7. This time, it was Bruno “latto” Rebelatto and Leonardo “n9xtz” Santos who shined for the South American side.
The final map of the group was Ancient, and NIP’s slow start was counterbalanced by a strong comeback for them to end the half with 7 attacking rounds. Despite a decent start of their own, however, the Swedes quickly lost control. Even a terrific individual performance from k0nfig couldn’t save them as they lost 16-12 and crashed out of the tournament. The trio of coldzera, n9xtz and latto all played important parts in 00 Nation’s victory.
We’ll be revamping our system of recaps and previews, so stay tuned for some great changes in the coming weeks, and check out our vast collection of content in the meantime.