MLG Columbus CS:GO - Saturday Recap
On the penultimate day of MLG Columbus’s massive CS:GO tournament, five teams entered, but only two teams left. Just like yesterday, it was a full house at Nationwide Arena, and the teams still in contention put on a show that had the crowd on their feet on multiple occasions.
Quarterfinal 4 - Virtus.pro vs. Luminosity Gaming
Before the semifinals could get underway, there was one last quarterfinal match to be settled, between the Brazilians of Luminosity and the Poles of Virtus.pro. Luminosity was expected to take this match without too much trouble, but VP refused to make it easy for them.
The first map went to overtime, and after six close rounds, VP prevailed. For a moment, it looked like the VP of 2014 may have returned, but it wasn’t long before Luminosity rallied for two straight wins on the subsequent maps. With a 16-10 win on Cobblestone, followed by a 16-11 win on Overpass, Luminosity eliminated the veteran Virtus.pro squad, and earned their spot against Team Liquid in the semifinals.
Despite losing, VP show signs that their slump might be coming to an end. NEO made some truly incredible AWP shots, and all five of the Poles looked to be executing the way they wanted to. One suspects that more successes lie in the future for this squad.
Semifinal 1 - Natus Vincere vs. Astralis
On paper, this was one of the toughest matches of the whole tournament to call; Astralis and Na’Vi have met each other in several other tournaments, and they’ve traded wins back and forth pretty evenly. Unfortunately, Astralis has gained a reputation for crumbling under pressure in the later stages of major tournaments, and that habit was their undoing in this match.
After a nail-biter of a first map, Na’Vi managed to squeak out a 16-14 victory. The fact that it was on Inferno, which was Astralis’s map pick, seemed to deflate the Danish squad. On the second map, Na’Vi handed out a 16-5 drubbing, continuing Astralis’s streak of failing to make it the grand finals. Na’Vi will enter the finals without losing a single map in this entire tournament.
Semifinal 2 - Team Liquid vs. Luminosity Gaming
Team Liquid, aka America’s Last Hope, was greeted by perhaps the rowdiest crowd we’ve ever seen at a CS:GO tournament upon their entrance to the stadium, and at first, it looked like they might just live up to the crowd’s hopes. On the first map, they took Luminosity all the way to 15-9 - but then it all fell apart. Luminosity rallied to 15-15, and then won in overtime to take the first map.
The second map played out like a bad case of deja vu for Liquid. They made it all the way to 15 rounds again before being completely shut out, as Luminosity fought all the way back to send the game to overtime, and then won that overtime. Liquid were the heavy underdogs going into this matchup, but of all the ways to lose a best-of-three, this has to be one of the most frustrating for the defeated Americans..
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
Only one match remains in this tournament, and at 1:30 PM local time on Sunday, Luminosity will take on Natus Vincere for the championship title. Both of these teams have been playing very well all tournament - although Luminosity has perhaps faced more adversity in their matches - and this is sure to be a closely-fought grand final series. Whoever wins, it will mean a new CS:GO major champion will be crowned, as neither of these teams have ever won one of these events before.
Tune into the live broadcast a bit early to catch an All Star exhibition match, which will be kicking off at noon local time. Of course, if you miss the broadcast, you can check back here for one final recap after the grand finals!