#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 ended the first day of play in the third week of the competition, which means group A has moved two teams onwards to the playoffs, while two others has been eliminated. Group A consisted of Apeks, AVEZ, Sprout and Virtus.Pro. Beforehand the group was quite open even the two newcomers Apeks and AVEZ were not favoured to move on to the playoffs, but there would be one or two curveballs before this group concluded play. Each week the tournament 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!
In the opening games of group B we got delivered two very different stories. In the first game between Virtus.Pro and Apeks we got to see a back and forth as both teams won their respective CT sides on Vertigo with 8-7. One overtime would not be enough to settle it either, as they went on to play two of them before it was finally over. Virtus.Pro was the massive favourite going into this game and as they got to play one of their favourite maps in Vertigo, the result itself was far from impressive. A good sign for the team was heroic performances from Timur “buster” Tulepov and Alexey “qikert” Golubev, but to succeed in the third week of #HomeSweetHome the team as a whole has to step up.
In the second opener Sprout was ready to play with their newest recruit, Michał “snatchie” Rudzki, and it couldn’t have started any better. There is not much to add to the 16-4 score line as Sprout simply outmaneuvered AVEZ on every level on Train. If the result was down to Sprout playing well with their new lineup or AVEZ simply underperforming was the only real question to remain.
As Virtus.Pro was the main favourite to win group B they got a real wake up call when Josef “faveN” Baumann destroyed their dreams early on with 28 kills on Virtus.Pros map pick of Vertigo. As Virtus.Pro already had troubles on the map in the opener against Apeks it was a surprise they dared to pick it again, and it backfired to say the least. Moving on to Sprouts map pick of Mirage it looked grim already, but after a 2-13 deficit at half time the nail was in the coffin. An impressive showing by Sprout with their new player, Snatchie, who secured their spot in the playoffs. With this type of play the team has good chances to go really deep, but with that said Virtus.Pros performance was lacking to say the least.
In the elimination game it would all kick off at Apeks pick of Overpass and while it looked rough when AVEZ had managed a 9-5 lead on the T side, Apeks woke up and brought the game back to an overtime, which they eventually would close out, much thanks to an amazing performance by Kristian “akez” Kornbakk. As much as akez couldn’t keep up that level on the second map of Inferno the rest of the team stepped up to the plate, and especially the former world class player Dennis “dennis” Edman showed that he still has what it takes. It went down to the wire, but Apeks took the last chance for a playoff spot and were up against Virtus.Pro next.
Apeks and Virtus.Pro played each other in the opener, which went to double overtime on Vertigo. In this best of three series we would once again end up on the same map after both teams had secured their own map picks. Dzhami “JAME” Ali struggled in the opening game, but this time around on Vertigo the awper helped his team to a 10-5 lead on the T side. It looked like Virtus.Pro was on their way to secure a playoff spot, but Ole Kristian “Marcelious” Langan and Erik Hansen “truth” Dyrnes had other plans together with their boys in Apeks. They managed to bring the game back with an outstanding T side, winning 11-4, to win by the smallest of margins. Therefore the upset was complete and in all honesty it was well deserved as Apeks played a great series, but Virtus.Pro also failed to reach their expected level. The hardship of the former major finalists continue and the consistency they are looking for seems to be nowhere to be found.
In conclusion this group ended with one major surprise as Virtus.Pro fell short in both of their best of three series. For a team who was rank three in the world not long ago and now face teams of much lower caliber these results are not acceptable. On their best days they look great and on the other side are performances like this. All the credit to Sprout and Apeks for playing well though, and especially Sprout looks fierce with their new lineup. As these two teams now move on to the playoffs it is almost a certainty already that neither will be a favourite to go far, but with this level of play the possibilities are endless. The bottomfeeder of the group, AVEZ, didn’t show up at all in this groupstage and hopefully they can bring something better in the coming weeks, but this simply wasn’t even close. #HomeSweetHome and the third week of play now moves on to play one group a day until we reach the playoffs on Saturday.
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