Group A’s elimination series began with Jere “sergej” Salo clutching a 1v2 in the first pistol round on Inferno to give his team an early lead on the CT side, though their streak only lasted the first three rounds as ViCi responded in the fourth with a halfbuy win. The two teams continued to go blow for blow, with ENCE eventually securing a one-round lead before switching over to the offense, after saving a couple of respectable 1v4 and 1v5 clutch attempts from Andrew “Kaze” Khong.
Yi “JamYoung” Yang opened up the second half with an impressive quad-kill from graveyard, allowing ViCi to reclaim the advantage and take control of the first map, preventing their opponents from finding momentum and reaching map point at 15-11. Aleksi “allu” Jalli and company’s efforts to come back were thwarted three rounds later, as the Chinese side concluded Inferno with an eco stack on B.
Train followed as the Finns’ pick, but it started turning out similarly to Inferno from the get-go as both sides lost an anti-forcebuy round early on, with neither team being able to establish momentum until ViCi, residing on the CT side, took over in the seventh round. From there, the Chinese team looked the more comfortable, only letting go of a couple of very close rounds while picking up six of their own in dominant fashion.
ENCE won three out of the first four rounds in the second half thanks to Sami “xseveN” Laasanen‘s 1v2 clutch in the pistol to pick up a 10-9 lead, but that was soon gone as ViCi went on another four-round streak to threaten the Finnish team’s chances of equalizing the series. sergej stepped up to the plate with consecutive clutches, however, springing life into his team, who went on to close the second map with six rounds in a row, with the youngster adding another key double along the way.
The series arrived at Mirage, and that’s when ENCE took matters into their hands, putting together a suffocating offense in which ViCi could only find two rounds and barely had a say in the rest. The second pistol round going the way of Zhuo “advent” Liang‘s team only delayed the inevitable, as the Finns strolled to a 16-7, 2-1 victory.