Following a 2-0 victory over North in their opening game at ESL Pro League Season 10, fnatic looked to add another win to their name against Aristocracy, the underdogs of the group. The series started on Train, where fnatic started strong, 7-0 up on CT, before Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas and co. mustered three consecutive rounds to keep afloat. The Swedish side bounced back quickly, tying the half up at 11-4 and extending that lead with the second half pistol. Being 14-5 down, Aristocracy managed to extend the map with some good CT play, but eventually conceded Train, 16-11.
The action then moved to Overpass, fnatic‘s map pick, on which the Swedes looked out of depth for the most part. Starting on the Terrorist side, Maikil “Golden” Selim and co. only mustered three rounds, with Jacek “MINISE” Jeziak and Mikołaj “mouz” Karolewski stopping them in their tracks. Aristocracy added a second pistol to their name and quickly ended the map, 16-8, moving to Mirage.
On the decider, fnatic looked much improved, with Jesper “JW” Wecksell topping the board with his fragging. Starting on the T side, fnatic ran up an impressive 11-4 first-half lead, adding a 4-0 start on the defense to put themselves in prime position to take the victory over the Polish side. TaZ‘s squad held on for a bit, but eventually succumb 16-8, with fnatic claiming a 2-1 victory in the series.
In the Danish matchup, North was off to a good start on the offensive side of Inferno, going 5-0 up off of the pistol round win and some good mid-round calls in the early portion of the game. Astralis only then managed to find their footing, bagging five of the next six with strong defenses. Nicklas “gade” Gade, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye, and Philip “aizy” Aistrup then combined to win a 3v4 and add a seventh to their tally, but Astralis bounced back to claim a minimal 8-7 lead before the switch.
Despite Kjaerbye‘s best efforts, Astralis won the second pistol and kept the pressure up past the 3-0 conversion. Good play from Nicolai “device” Reedtz and Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander saw them go on a streak of seven rounds, reaching map point, and eventually closing out the map with a dominant T-side, 16-8.
On Train, North recovered from a 3-2 deficit to display strong play on the defensive side. Jakob “JUGi” Hansen‘s form was much improved compared to his display on Inferno, with the double AWP combination with aizy working wonders. North took an 8-3 lead before gla1ve and co. found two of their own thanks to some fast-paced plays, ending the half 10-5 down.
The gap was further narrowed by Astralis with a pistol round win, seeing the score equalized at 10-10. The game was a back-and-forth affair from that point onwards, with teams trading round continuously. At 14-14, Emil “Magisk” Reif and device clutched out a 2v2 on B and it seemed like they did enough to close out the map, but Kjaerbye came up huge with a quad kill on the UMP-45, forcing overtime. The added rounds were neck-in-neck as well, but eventually Astralis managed to edge it out 19-17, as, despite Kjaerbye picking up an ace in the last round, he didn’t have enough time to defuse the bomb and extend the game further.
As of now, everything is up in the air in group C, with tomorrow’s two matches deciding the first and last-placed teams: