Steven R. February 22, 2019
NRG Esports is going home way ahead of schedule.
Following a devastating day that saw the team drop maps to Ninjas in Pyjamas and Avangar, NRG was bested 2-0 by CompLexity Gaming in round three of the Legends Stage. That dropped the team’s record to 0-3, knocking them out of the Katowice Major.
Both games between NRG and CompLexity went to overtime, with the first being a double overtime marathon on Nuke.
Throughout the Katowice Major thus far, Nuke has been largely dominated by the CT side. When NRG ended its T-side half with a lead over CompLexity, it seemed as though the team was poised for an easy win. Instead, CompLexity responded with a strong offensive half of its own, battling back from a failed pistol round to win seven straight and nearly seal up a surprise win in regulation.
NRG settled down and tied the score to force overtime, but eventually succumbed to a monstrous 45-kill performance by Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz.
From there, the teams moved on to Cache for a wild set. While maps typically see teams break off a few rounds at a time off economic advantages, the second game between NRG and CompLexity kicked off with the teams alternating wins for almost the entire half. Much like Nuke, NRG held the lead on the disadvantaged side at halftime but had it slip away in the second half, leading to overtime.
Though Stanislaw provided the heroics for CompLexity in the first game, Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan carried coL to victory in the second. Despite playing unremarkably in regulation, ShahZam went wild in overtime, scoring 10 frags in five rounds and closing things out with an intense one versus three clutch.
The 0-3 showing in the Legends Stage is devastating for NRG.
Entering the tournament as one of the top-ranked teams in all of CS:GO, NRG were regarded by many as locks for a top eight spot in the major. Instead the North American squad posted a disappointing 15th-place performance. That would be a poor outcome in and of itself, but it’s made worse by the fact that the 0-3 run denies NRG a guaranteed spot in September’s Berlin Major.
The organization will have to work its way in through the minors in July, and after this disappointment, NRG Esports could look very different by then.