The first two winners of CS:GO majors met for the first semifinal and a somewhat surprising premier – both teams have not met at a major before. After two strong days, Fnatic, who had not lost a map in the tournament so far, had to take on Virtus.pro. With a crowd of hundreds of fans behind them, the Poles had to step up their performance once more to keep the dream of defending their home soil title alive.
MAP ONE: Cobblestone
Cheered by the crowd, Virtus.pro were able to win the CT pistol round over Fnatic, but pronax had his team turn things around and getting them back into the game right away. However, Virtus.pro was able to turn things around once more and started to build up a lead. After five consecutive rounds, bringing the score to 6-1 for VP, Fnatic took a timeout which saw pronax and coach Devilwalk discussing their tactical setup. The following round, Fnatic were able to get the bomb planted, but were down out afterwards. One more round went to the Poles before Fnatic scored their second round, bringing the scoreline to 8-2 in VPs favor. However, Fnatic was able to get their game set the following rounds, bringing the game to a 9-6 scoreline in favor of Virtus.pro at halftime.
Fnatic were able to take this streak over to their CT half, scoring the pistol round and working their way up to bringing the game to an all even nine rounds each, before taking over the lead for the first time in this match at 10-9. Whoever, Virtus.pro were able to take the following round as well as the follow up to regain the lead and extending it in the following round. However, Fnatic were able to come back and take them down once more, keeping the game at a close and thrilling 12-11 scoreline in favor of VP. Fnatic got their lines set on both spots right after, taking over the lead after two rounds once more and bringing it 15-12 afterwards. An offensive push by Fnatic was stopped by pasha, opening up the round for Virtus.pro to come back once more and making the hall cheer with every single frag. The Poles took this motivation and the standing ovations from the crowd to take the game to 15-15 and bringing the first map to overtime.
Virtus.pro were able to start the overtime off with a round seeing many well timed shots and steps, giving them the edge on Fnatic and meant earning the lead back. One more round saw them winning, before Fnatic were able to score, bringing the game to 17-16 in VPs favor. Starting with a big round, Fnatic brought the game back to equal again, before flusha almost took down the Poles on his own. With only little to work with, Virtus.pro were with their back to the wall. Fnatic brought this situation to best use and scored the 19-17 to win Cobblestone.
MAP TWO: Mirage
Fnatic, starting as CT, were able to secure the pistol and two more rounds, before Virtus.pro scored and set the score to 3-1 in favor of Fnatic. As Fnatic came back and scored another two consecutive rounds, the crowd was silenced once more. The rounds got closer but the Swedes kept taking rounds until Virtus.pro overran the A spot and scored their second round and set the scoreline to 6-2. VP picked up speed and started a streak from here on, bringing the game to 6-6 before taking over the lead, even though Fnatic very fully equipped. Equalizing the score, Fnatic were able to gain the lead once again at 8-7 at halftime.
Again, Fnatic were able to win the pistol round and securing two more from here on. Virtus.pro, equipped this time, scored their first round in the second half and taking the score to 11-8 in Fnatics favor. However, Fnatic struck back taking two round and forcing VP to save. With the score set to 14-8 the following round, Fnatic already looked like being in the semifinals. Fnatic didn’t let the streak slip and earned themselves seven match rounds. A one on one between TaZ and olofm was deciding the match with the Swede being able to take the team captain of VP out one second before defusing the bomb. A big match saw Fnatic advancing to the semi finals in great fashion, while the reigning champion of Katowice dropped out. The crowd said “good bye” to their heroes with another load of standing ovations.
The ESL One website has all the results and more for you, while you can find all the streams of the IEM Expo on our Twitch.tv hub. Over on our YouTube account, all the available VODs so far can be watched, and constant updates on the tournament are available on Twitter and Facebook thanks to ESL Counter-Strike!