Legends Stage was on the line when Vitality and forZe clashed in the first Bo3 of the 2-0 teams. The Danes and Frenchmen of Vitality came into the match as the heavy favorites, but against a forZe in top form, nothing was decided beforehand.
The action kicked off on Vitality's pick of Nuke, but they would soon come to regret that as forZe's CT side was a brick wall in the early stages of the map, despite Vitality finding many man-advantage situations. The French org. had a small resurgence towards the end of the half which netted them a total of six rounds before halftime.
Surprisingly, Vitality were not able to capitalize on the momentum they had, and a great offensive half from the Russians meant that forZe stole away Vitality’s map.
Just one map away from becoming Legends, forZe now had to get it done on their own turf. Dust2 was the map of choice for the Russians, but Vitality, who started on the CT side, took advantage of that. The lead man of the French/Danish mix “apEX” and his star AWP’er “ZywOo” smacked the forZe squad around for the first 15 rounds where they were able to secure 13.
As soon as forZe landed on the CT side, it was clear that they would not back down without a fight. The CIS squad went on an impressive run but were unsurprisingly not able to make overcome the massive round deficit they had at halftime.
The final and deciding map of the series was Mirage, and after winning the pistol round, Vitality put themselves in the driver’s seat with a 3-0 lead. This lead did not last very long as forZe armed with rifles, took control of the situation, and strung together six rounds. Vitality saw the string of six rounds and thought it looked good and went ahead and took one of their own to close out the half.
The second half continued in brutally close fashion, and after five nail-biting rounds forZe somehow found a way to equalize. The Russians now looked primed to make the upset happen, but “Magisk” had other ideas, and with some fantastic A holds, he and Vitality denied the forZe upset.
Vitality are the first team from Challengers Stage to qualify for Legends, while forZe with have another chance to do the same tomorrow.
Highlight of the Bo3-series:
Vitality - forZe 2-1 | PGL Major Antwerp Challengers Stage
12-16 (Nuke) | ZywOo - 1.32 Rating / 22-18 K-D / 87.2 ADR
16-9 (Dust2) | apEX - 1.32 Rating / 21-16 K-D / 96.6 ADR
16-12 (Mirage) | Magisk - 1.55 Rating / 25-16 K-D / 105.0 ADR
MVP: Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut - 1.25 Rating / 60-44 K-D / 73.5 ADR
On the b-stream, the Australian Renegades played for survival versus the Mongolian IHC. Here it was the Mongolians that ran away with the victory and Renegades were, as the first team at the Major, sent packing.
Renegades - IHC 0-2 | PGL Major Antwerp Challengers Stage
10-16 (Inferno) | sk0R - 1.50 Rating / 25-17 K-D / 102.1 ADR
12-16 (Dust2) | bLitz - 1.55 Rating / 27-14 K-D / 101.1 ADR
MVP: Garidmagnai "bLitz" Byambasuren - 1.52 Rating / 53-28 K-D / 96.7 ADR