#HSH Week 8: Group D Preview
The last group of #HomeSweetHomes final week is upon us and as always we preview the teams. AGF Esport, Complexity Gaming, Hard Legion ...
#HomeSweetHome has concluded the last day of groupstage games and as such group D has sent two teams onwards and to have been sent packing. Gambit Youngsters, forZe, Virtus.Pro and Nordavind offered quite some excitement in this group and its time for us to have a look at how it all played out. Each week #HomeSweetHome awards $40,000 in prize money and at the end of the 8 week stretch of mini tournaments a grand final playoff will follow. If you want to read more about #HomeSweetHome you can head over to our event page!
Group D of #HomeSweetHome started with quite the shocker when Gambit Youngsters bested Virtus.Pro on Overpass. Despite things looking good for Virtus.Pro who lead the game with 11-7 at one point, it all ended up in the dumpster as Gambit Youngsters won 9 rounds in a row to clinch a spot in the upcoming winners match. We highlighted Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov in our preview article for this group and on Overpass he was the deciding factor for his team to bring home the win.
In the second opener forZe came in as a massive favorite against what most would argue was the weakest team in the group, Nordavind. After being in a free fall for a bigger part of the game forZe was tasked with making a comeback from 7-12 on Mirage and playing the T side. One could say they did just that, and more, when they won 9 straight rounds to make the end score 16-12. As much as the start might have been disappointing, the second half was impressive and the big star this game was Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev who ended the map with 31 frags and an amazing 119 ADR.
The winners match between match between forZe and Gambit Youngsters ended up being a very one sided affair as forZe showed why they are one of the main favorites to win it all in week 1 of #HomeSweetHome. The youngsters in Gambit didn't stand a chance on neither Inferno or Dust2, meaning forZe grabbes their spot in the playoffs with ease, as expected.
In the elimination match Virtus.Pro was forced to show up after their disappointing opening game. Solid performances on both Vertigo and Mirage made short work of Nordavind who ended last in the group to no surprise. Timur “buster” Tulepov and Alexey “qikert” Golubev showed up for Virtus.Pro when they needed it the most and even if this game was a step forward for the squad it's hard to imagine this five man lineup achieved a major final last year under the AVANGAR flag - those days are long gone.
Gambit Youngsters might have stunned Virtus.Pro in the opening game, but when given the opportunity to pick up the same map, Overpass, once again the youngsters passed and chose Dust2 instead. That turned out to be quite the disaster as they suffered a crushing defeat, 16-4. The young guns would amazingly enough pick up a tight win on Virtus.Pros map pick of Vertigo to push the game to a third and final map - Train. Things did look fairly close until half time, but Virtus.Pro could take control of the game on their CT side by winning 9 out of 11 rounds. At the end of the day Virtus.Pro was simply the stronger team and grabbed their playoff spot as expected. For Gambit Youngsters the group stage was a fairly decent showing, but there is still a lot to work on to be able to challenge veteran squads like forZe and Virtus.Pro. It also has to be mentioned the teams superstar talent Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov did not show up in #HomeSweetHome, and even if he was still in positive ratings, it was one of his worst performances in a while - that simply isn't enough for Gambit Youngsters.
forZe and Virtus.Pro move on to the playoffs, which starts on Saturday by playing all four quarterfinals. forZe will face team spirit and Virtus.Pro goes up against BIG. Looking at how the teams performed in the group stage it's fair to say forZe goes in to the playoffs as a tournament contender, while Virtus.Pro will be an underdog to move past the quarterfinal. Gambit Youngsters might still have a good future with their young squad, but they still face hard times against teams of a higher caliber and that showed clearly in group D. Nordavind got sent packing early on as expected and honestly it's hard to see them performing much better in the upcoming weeks.
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