Nick J. December 23, 2019
The EPICENTER 2019 grand final between Team Vitality and mousesports was close as can be but in the end, the French side came out on top to win their first tournament since June.
The veto went predictably, with Inferno, Mirage, and Nuke ending up as the series' maps. Vitality chose Inferno, a smart counterpick considering mousesports has a mediocre 63% win percentage on the map.
In turn, mousesports played to their own strengths and took Mirage, a classic map in their arsenal. The final would end on Nuke, where mousesports had the statistical advantage.
Mousesports take an OT Inferno
Inferno saw Vitality start on the T side, winning the pistol round and converting twice. Vitality grabbed two more for an early 5-1 lead, but a dominant six-round run from mouz turned the tide. The teams traded the final three rounds, ending the half 8-7 in mousesports' favor.
Vitality won the second pistol round to kick off a second half that saw the teams trade the lead back and forth. By the 30th round, mousesports led by a single round at 15-14. Luckily for Vitality, a solid play by Cédric "RpK" Guipouy was enough to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Overtime on Inferno couldn’t have been more different than regulation as mousesports rolled over Vitality in a flawless 4-0 to take the opening map.
Vitality take grand final map 2 at EPICENTER 2019
Mirage was intensely competitive, but not in the same way Inferno was. Though the first map saw the two teams struggle to amass any sort of sustained lead, the second saw the momentum swing hard and stay there. Both teams amassed several rounds before the other adapted to the strategies and took several in return.
This was partly sustained by teamwork, and partly sustained by big individual plays like David "frozen" Čerňanský's incredible one-on-three clutch.
The pattern repeated in the second half, but an excellent quadruple kill from Finn “karrigan” Andersen secured the pistol round for mouz.
In the end, however, mousesports couldn’t overcome an unstoppable game by Vitality’s Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, who had 30 kills and 124 ADR by round 25. Vitality took map two 16-12 behind his performance. Mousesports was unable to slow down ZywOo and had no chance whenever Vitality’s star player was given room to work.
Nuke gives Vitality the EPICENTER 2019 grand final win
The pistol round went Vitality's way on Nuke, thanks to a solid clutch from RpK. While RpK didn't have a huge impact across the series, he provided several round-saving plays that bolstered Vitality's chances.
Team Vitality's CT side looked like a classic Nuke score, with mousesports down 9-1 by the tenth round. Vitality's in-game leader Alex "ALEX" McMeekin was unstoppable with a stolen Krieg and locked down outside with little trouble. The German organization came back at the end of the half, with four straight rounds in a row to narrow the lead to 10-5.
Mousesports fields players like Robin "ropz" Kool and frozen that can pull off absurd plays at any moment, but the whole of Vitality was on point on Nuke.
Despite the great plays, Vitality rebounded off of a weakened mousesports economy and brought the score to 14-6. Mousesports managed to take three more rounds before a solid A execute from Vitality put the French team on match point at 15-9. From there, they closed things out to take their first tournament victory since splitting from Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt
Next up for Vitality is the inaugural season of BLAST Premier in London next January, while mousesports' next scheduled event is officially IEM Katowice 2020 in February.
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