With the quarterfinals behind us at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, all eyes are now on the remaining four teams FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, Cloud, and SK Gaming to duke it out for a spot in the grand finals.
Friday, FaZe Clan dished it out with mouz, who put up a good fight in Map 1 but dropped off the radar in Map 2 as the mixed Europeans took a 2-0 series win. Then, in the following match up with Natus Vincere and Quantum Bellator Fire, Egor “flamie” Vasilyev single-handedly gave Na’Vi the 2-0 sweep with a stellar individual performance. The third and final match on Friday came down to Cloud9 and G2 Esports, where the North Americans stunned the French for yet another quick 2-0 series. The final quarterfinal was a close tilt between Fnatic and SK Gaming, where SK outlasted Fnatic in a long 2-1 series win.
Matchups: FaZe Clan vs. Natus Vincere; Cloud9 vs. SK Gaming.
Advancing: FaZe Clan and Cloud9
The mixed Europeans of FaZe Clan picked up their first win over mouz in the quarterfinals, despite going into overtime on Nuke. The head-to-head matchup with the CIS-based team Natus Vincere is rather interesting as Na’Vi has given FaZe some trouble in the past. The overall record between these two teams favors Na’Vi just by one win.
Finn “karrigan” Andersen is probably the best at the map veto and could force Na’Vi onto one of their weaker maps if he’s crafty enough. The head-to-head matchup has featured a breadth of maps, with Train being the most played. FaZe has favored Cache and Train in the past and Na’Vi look strong on Mirage and Inferno. With those four maps mentioned, we should expect two of those to to be played while the decider could be seen on either Overpass or Nuke.
If Egor “flamie” Vasilyev plays another record-breaking game, then FaZe Clan are in Trouble. But, on the other hand, Nikola “NiKo” Kovac’s first Major playoff appearance has been a great one with a consistent 20+ kills across two maps in the playoffs, showing that he is in his element. Na’Vi will need flamie and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev to stand out through the semifinals match up as FaZe Clan are the favorites to advance to yet another grand final.
The North Americans of Cloud9 will have a tough matchup against the Brazilians of SK Gaming, who barely made it out of the quarterfinals over Fnatic. Cloud9 has been working hard on their tactics as Tarik “tarik” Celik has been on-fire recently with his leadership finally allowing the team to fire on all cylinders. SK has shown some troubles with the North American lineup, losing a few series over the last year.
SK’s overall performance in their quarterfinal match up against Fnatic was rather tough to watch as the Brazilians struggled with hitting their shots. They may have gotten the win, but long delays and the marathon nature of the series could leave the team feeling exhausted coming into the semfinals. This is a series that will likely go down to the wire, with Cloud9 narrowly edging the Brazilians.