Vitality defeated G2 in two maps after falling behind 3-7 on Mirage and 7-15 on Inferno to earn their first grand final participation with Lotan “Spinx” Giladi.
In the ESL Pro League Season 16 championship match, Vitality will face Liquid after the Dan “apEX” Madesclaire-led team defeated G2 with amazing tenacity in the second semifinal match.
The event’s best-of-five grand final will be played on Sunday (October 2nd) at 17:00 ETA, and whichever side wins will win their first championship in a while. Since winning IEM Winter at the end of 2021, Vitality has been waiting to lift a LAN trophy, but Liquid’s title drought has extended longer than three years since IEM Chicago in 2019.
The Match Recap
Despite the Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen-led team getting out to a good start thanks to forcebuy wars, Vitality easily dispatched G2 on Mirage to open the second semi-final series. With a lead of 7-3, G2 appeared to be in charge of the terrorist side of the map, but everything changed after Vitality discovered a defense for the offense with five straight rounds.
The streak would continue in the second half thanks to Spinx’s timely 1v2 clutch in the second pistol round, as Vitality continued their onslaught under the leadership of the Israeli and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Only one of the final 13 rounds was won by G2, who eventually gave up their choice without much of a fuss and entered Inferno with a map deficit.
The difficult labor needed to be done in the inferno. While HooXi, the most improbable player on G2’s roster, led the defense and provided a quick ace on the way to a double-digit half, apEX’s team appeared out of sync.
Vitality’s prospects were partly saved by three rounds at the conclusion of the half, but G2 regained their domination after the teams switched places and approached match point.
However, getting to the 16th round proved to be difficult. The gap widened as G2 battled to find a way through as Emil “Magisk” Reif stepped up to join forces with his star combination.
Vitality kept easily fending off G2’s numerous attacks on A. ApEX & co. rallied from a 7–15 deficit to win the game in overtime by continuing their strong defensive play and finishing the comeback at 19–16 to qualify for the championship game.
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