epic22: Enclave Fend off Lynx Challenge
Last night’s group stage finished off with the down on their luck London Lynx side taking on the hot favourites Enclave Gaming. The matchup saw the Lynx team push Enclave all the way on de_cbble, stopping just short of the win and taking away a tie and an extra point in the groups.
Following the first round matches in the elimination bracket, where the Lynx side dropped the surprise Opulent side and Enclave overcame the Madison Ivy side, the teams found themselves head to head once again.
The first map, de_inferno, kicked off with Lynx on the CT side. An initial pistol round loss saw Enclave with an early lead, but they were swiftly put straight on to the back foot with a pistol buy win from Lynx, which appeared to go on to affect them for a number of rounds. Their go-to strategy appeared to be a B take, which was successful in that they were able to take the site, but their downfall was their holding of the site in the after plant position. At 6 – 2 down, the call for a pause came from the Enclave side to break down what had been going wrong for them. Some encouraging words from the Enclave leader Jonathan Sheekey saw them get their heads straight and start to put more rounds on the board.
Despite the resurgence in the second half though, enough damage had been done for the Lynx side to get right into their stride on their T side. Although it looked as if Enclave had rounds all but closed out, individual plays from their opposition managed to pull lost rounds back to win almost from nowhere. Most notably being a 1v4 AWP round from Luke “fearLess” Morris, who assured me that he’d pulled off a noscope during the clutch. Enclave lost the first map 16 – 10.
Being the elimination stage, the match-ups are not over after just one map loss. The best of three format meant that there was at least one, and perhaps two more maps to come. De_cache was to be the second map, again with the London Lynx team kicking things off on CT. Across the first few rounds of the first half, the Enclave side appeared to find their form again and managed to put a comfortable number of T side rounds on the board. Following that however, Lynx took back control of the half and closed it out with their own wins in the double figures.
The second half was a back and forth affair that made the game very difficult to call. At times it looked as though the game had flipped entirely in the favour of Enclave, before Lynx would then pull the game back. As the final rounds approached, a 14-13 scoreline made the final few rounds crucial. Lynx had just successfully broken the economy of Enclave and had put themselves in good stead for the final rounds, however with their pistol round over with Enclave were able to put their sites on lock and take the second map for themselves.
Map three saw the two teams face off on the map that had resulted in a draw just the day before, de_cbble. For the third map running the Enclave side were on the terrorist side of the map, however, this time they were not at all phased. A pistol round win saw them ahead from the off, which swiftly turned into a five round lead. Lynx did manage to put some rounds of their own on the board, but another tactical pause soon put a stop to it. Continued onslaughts from Enclave on to the A bombsite saw Lynx struggle to find their footing, with the first half ending 12-3.
The final half of the last map allowed London Lynx to contribute further to their lacking scoreline with a pistol round win allowing them to go from 12-3 to 12-6 without much resistance. The first buy round for both teams was to down to the wire, with the round almost going the way of Lynx had it not been for them hanging on to some SMGs from the previous round. They bounced straight back themselves to bring it to 13-7, which prompted another pause to bring the game to a halt.
When play resumed, London Lynx were back in control of the rounds. They extended their score significantly in the latter stages of the half with Enclave only managing to pick up one or two of their own. Eventually the score was back at 14-14, just as it had been on the previous map, with the economy of Enclave looking particularly dire. A loss in the 29th round would have seen them forced onto a less than perfect buy, making the round potentially the make or break point. A messy B execute from London Lynx allowed the Enclave side to gain the numbers advantage, eventually seeing them with four men alive to Lynx’s one. The round eventually won, they then went on to take the last in a similar fashion to de_cache, taking the series 2 maps to 1.
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