The battle for the last semi-final spot in Malmö, featuring two teams separated by just three places in the rankings, began with a hotly-contested Mirage game. For the early stages of the first half, Vitality and mousesports were neck and neck as neither team seemed able to stamp their authority on proceedings
Vitality then looked to be in prime position to build a solid lead, but a blunder in an anti-eco round allowed mousesports to get a foothold in the game. That round swung the tide in mouz’s favour and saw them end the half with a three-round cushion, with Finn “karrigan” Andersen leading the charge with 14 frags to silence Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, who had claimed in the run-up to the series that the Dane “cannot frag anymore.”
The French team were unfazed by the late comeback from mousesports in the first half and came out of the break the brighter of the two sides, though they still required Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut to bail them out in an anti-eco round with a clutch. Every time that the Frenchmen threatened to run away with the lead, mousesports would close the gap, but their resistance came to an end in the 28th round as Richard “shox” Papillon pulled off a massive 1v3 clutch. With their economy in shambles, karrigan‘s charges were unable to keep Vitality from securing the map.
Vitality came out with all guns blazing on Inferno and raced to a 7-0 lead, with shox once again raising eyebrows with another key clutch, this time in the first full gun round. mousesports then got their first round on the board, courtesy of a trio of kills from Özgür “woxic” Eker, but they would have to wait until the dying stages of the half to be able to string some rounds together, with Robin “ropz” Kool leading the team’s comeback efforts with 19 kills.
The second half saw a different side to mousesports, who went on a dominant run off the back of a B execute in the pistol round. Vitality‘s defense was picked apart throughout the half as the Frenchmen could not keep up with the pace set by their opponents, who locked down the map at 16-12.
It all came down to Dust2, where a quad-kill from shox on the B site kick-started Vitality‘s recovery after they had lost the pistol round. After getting their economy back on track, mousesports put together a string of rounds, during which karrigan pulled off a quick 1v3 clutch, but Vitality tightened up their defense and managed to take seven rounds into the second half.
Vitality restored parity at 8-8 after overcoming a 2v4 situation in the pistol round, but there was no follow-up as mousesports rallied back immediately with nothing but pistols. The European mixture rode that momentum to an 11-8 lead, but then it struggled immensely to contain the French offense. Cédric “RpK” Guipouy led the charge as Vitality ran rampant to secure a hard-fought 16-13 success, setting up a dream clash between Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and ZywOo in Saturday’s semi-finals.