Attending the Master’s Cup today gave the audience some of the best Counter-Strike action in the country, as well as some golden gleeful moments which they’ll cherish for a long time to come. The day started with Winner’s Bracket finals between Invisible Wings and Dare2Dream where IW emerged victors after a 2-1 win and advanced to the Grand Final. Dare2Dream dropped down to the Loser Bracket Finals against the Arabian team – Risky Gaming. Risky Gaming had been pushed into the lower bracket by D2D on Day 1. The Arabians got their revenge by knocking D2D out of the tournament after winning 2-0. A cheeky all-stars match at the end of the day put a smile on everyone’s face which reminds us that winning and fighting isn’t the only thing to eSports. Sometimes, it’s just about having fun!
Invisible Wings vs. Dare2Dream – Winners Bracket Finals
IW started on the terrorist side on the first map – Dust2. They had a brilliant start to the match as they established mid-control well and used A short multiple times to get plants and went 9-2. D2D decided they were done dealing with round losses and literally turned the “beast mode” ON. Antidote started with getting a fast triple kill on a quasi-buy round and push the score to 3-9, followed by another 3k by Excali, putting up one more round on the board. The captain HellrangeR too, unleashed hell as his triple kill ended the first half 9-6 in the favor of IW.
The second half started with D2D winning the pistol round and the following anti-eco round, only to run into RiTz whose took two consecutive triple kills and destroyed D2D’s economy, pushing the score to 11-9. D2D put together a B-execute and got the plant, but made horrendous mistakes in the post-plant situation which enabled Simar “psy” Sethi to pick off D2D members individually and clutch a rather impossible 1vs3, tilting the balance in IW’s favor. The map eventually ended 16-12, putting IW in the lead.
D2D had a strong beginning to the second map – mirage as they won the pistol round on the T side and the following two rounds. However, Kappa and Manan both stepped up with triple kills and tied the score at 3-3. After a long haul of dangerously close rounds which included a lot of quick trades and mind games, the first half ended 10-5 with D2D somehow managing to pick up the rounds while not taking too many hits.
D2D lost the pistol round but had a good hold over their sites during the buy rounds. Antidote’s AWPing and Kav1sh’s spectacular rifling made sure that IW didn’t stand much of a chance as their executes fell apart. HellrangeR’s team sealed the map 16-9.
The third map was train, which has been the source of all the nail-biting matches across the tournament. IW started out on the T side and won the pistol round with a quick push and great entry frags, followed by easy pickings on the following rounds. Kav1sh decimated the incoming terrorists with his great positioning and spray, getting the first round for IW. The rest of the half was exactly the way we expected it to be – an all-out crawl-and-brawl with both teams constantly winning one round after the other and keeping economies in check. The score at the end of the first half was 9-6 in favor of IW.
IW unleashed a series of brutal shutdowns as they did not give D2D a single chance to establish map control and quickly reach match point. HellrangeR stepped up to clutch a 1vs2 round which forced IW into a double-eco, thus pushing the scores to 15-12. Another two quick onslaughts by D2D got them dangerously close to overtime. At this point, psy mowed down 3 D2D riflers with his UMP from on top of pop dog train and sealed the map with a score of 16-14. D2D were pushed into the lower brackets where they would face Risky Gaming.
Final scores: IW won dust2 16-12, D2D won mirage 16-9, IW won train 16-14.
Risky Gaming vs. Dare2Dream
The first map – cobblestone was a complete disaster for the Indian team. D2D won the first three rounds being on the T side, only to get completely shut down by Risky who won 8 rounds in a row. Their winning streak was broken when Excali went berserk and clinched a round for D2D, but that was it. D2D were getting picked off individually and lacked backing each other up. Not getting the trades to go in their favor gave Risky an advantage pretty early in almost every round, which did not end well for D2D. Risky had a pretty standard set-up and kept shuffling things every now and then, which ended up catching D2D off guard and earned them some early picks. The final score was 16-4, which paved the way for map 2 - mirage.
Starting on the T side, D2D had a neat fake in mind, but it did not work out in their favour as bReaker spotted the bomb and called for the rotate, which ended up with the Emirati team picking up the first pistol round and the following two anti-ecos. D2D won the first gun round, only to be crushed in the following round as Risky grabbed map control with their force buy. D2D’s economy was sent spiraling downwards and Risky increased the score deficit to 8-1. However, the Indians had not given up. Antidote managed to get a decent amount of entry frags, which let D2D crawl their way into the game. Excali pulled off an impossible clutch with nearly no HP to work with. D2D somehow reduced the deficit to 9-6 at the end of the first half.
The second half was a massacre as Risky won each and every round and pushed the scores to 14-6. HellrangeR stepped up with a 3k and gave D2D a breather at 15-7.
Antidote, under the pressure single handledly shut down Risky by pulling off an impressive 4k with his AWP, followed by another great B-site retake by Kav1sh and Excali. Unfortunately this was not enough as Breaker got a stylish knife kill on HellrangeR to send D2D packing at 16-9.
Risky Gaming and Invisible Wings will be facing off in the Grand Finale tomorrow. Only the mightiest two remain and will fight endlessly to lift the tropy of the ESL Masters Cup tomorrow. This is going to be a battle that you wouldn’t want to miss.