Live updates from BLAST.tv Paris Major day 6

Live updates from BLAST.tv Paris Major day 6

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BLAST.tv Paris Major day 6 as it happened in live updates

Here’s a quick summary of the day:

— Round 3 of the Legends Stage has concluded
Vitality and Heroic booked the first two playoff tickets over Monte and Liquid
9INE and FURIA were the first two teams eliminated as FaZe and G2 live to fight another day
Natus Vincere, GamerLegion, Apeks won the 1-1 matches over Ninjas in Pyjamas, fnatic, and Bad News Eagles

The standings after day two of the Legends Stage are:

Group Legends Stage

You can find the upcoming matchups and the rest of the day as it happened in our live updates below.

Round 4 matchups

After somewhat of a return to normality on day two, day four will bring three more elimination series and three more playoffs-qualifying fixtures:

1-2 pool (loser is eliminated)

2-1 pool (winner advances to playoffs)

Watch: FURIA are eliminated 0-3

FURIA slump to defeat, G2 stay alive in Paris

The pistol round is swift and it goes the way of G2, their double lurk completely bamboozling FURIA as they tried to rotate into B. G2 deal with the following FURIA save easily.

G2 go for an early full execute onto A in the first gun round, and they quickly enter the site and trade 1 for 2, forcing FURIA into a painful save call.

FURIA do manage to put a handful of rounds together to make the score more respectable, but G2 eventually deliver on the inevitable and close the map 16-7.

FURIA were never in this game, there isn’t much to analyze as they were leagues below the level G2 brought to the server today.

The Brazilians bomb out of the Major without a single map win to their name, whilst G2 live to fight another day.

Brazil
Europe

FURIA crumble at the end of the half, G2 hold massive advantage

FURIA’s resistance had waned completely by the final stages of this half, and they slump to a 4-11 score. Let’s not forget, the map began 4-1 in their favor.

Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač started to really feel himself by the end of the half, he was running out middle and taking duels with reckless abandon. Nemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač started to hit some tasty shots too.

Anyone here have any hope FURIA can recover?

G2 ratchet up the pressure on FURIA’s offense

When the guns come back up G2 get back on the board, pushing B for information that allows them to reinforce the A site and win the round.

G2 continue the aggressive approach in the following round and it once again pays dividends, this time in the form of a string of kills that lead to victory. This forces FURIA into an eco and allows the European side to tie up the scores at 4-4.

With guns back in G2 once again take deep B apps control, and it catches FURIA off guard as they try to walk into apps. FURIA slow the round down, eventually getting Kaike “⁠KSCERATO⁠” Cerato into jungle, but they get crunched on before they can get the bomb down on A.

FURIA go for a Tec-9 rush into B, but they’re shut down instantly to grant G2 a 6-4 lead.

G2 are starting to take control

FURIA win the force-buy war that kicks off Mirage

Mirage is up and running, and FURIA immediately sprint up A ramp and overwhelm the bombsite to open their offensive half with a win. They refuse to make things easy for themselves however and fumble against the G2 force, leveling the scores immediately.

FURIA answer back with a force-buy of their own and it works out, the Brazilians crunching onto the A site after a default with speed and efficiency.

The force-buy wars continue, but this time FURIA just about get themselves onto the A bombsite and secure the round. Finally normal service commences, with the score 3-1 in FURIA’s favor.

ropz shines as FaZe start their climb back to contention

Robin “⁠ropz⁠” Kool was quiet yesterday but returned to his imperious best against 9INE with a 1.52 rating and 97.4 ADR.

nawrot: “We had the whole nation on our back and we just crumbled”

9INE coach Piotr “⁠nawrot⁠” Nawrocki reflected on the Poles’ inability to win a map at the Paris Major: “We didn’t come here with… enough motivation. We crumbled under pressure as well I feel like. We had the whole nation on our back and instead of using at as motivation we just crumbled. We couldn’t get it going even when we hit some shots and get the communication right. It was FaZe Clan and we needed a perfect game to beat them but we just couldn’t.”

ropz clutches 1vs2 to secure victory for FaZe

Anubis was surprisingly more one-sided than Inferno, as FaZe ran rampant on the newest addition to the map pool in a 16-8 victory. They were 15-3 up at one point but struggled to close out the map before Robin “⁠ropz⁠” Kool secured the W with a 1vs2.

Their victory marks a return to form for the European combine who have struggled in recent times, and they will need to keep this up as they require two more straight wins to make it to the playoffs.

On the other side of the server, 9INE exit the Legends Stage without a single victory, but the Poles should be proud of putting their nation on the CS map once again.

The Pick’Ems live to fight another day.

Poland
Europe

G2 stroll to 1-0 series lead over FURIA

The expected result comes through as G2 confirm a 16-8 victory on Inferno.

FURIA may have accrued eight rounds, but honestly they never looked like having a hope of actually winning the map. They started so slowly it seemed they might just roll over entirely.

At least the Brazilians can take solace from the fact their map pick, Mirage, is up next. They will need to step up a level at least if they are to avoid exiting the Major with a whimper.

FURIA win their first T round of the Major, but G2 still inch towards victory

FURIA HAVE WON A T ROUND, I REPEAT, FURIA HAVE WON A T ROUND. That pistol is the Brazilian’s first offensive round of the Major. They labor and struggle but also manage to deal with the resulting force, allowing them to bring the score to 7-11.

The first gun round comes through and FURIA squeeze the A site to death, getting the score to 8-11. Maybe we have a game on our hands?

Maybe we don’t. Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač finds two kills with a saved M4 in banana, and then G2 correctly stack the A site afterwards. They also find the following round, smashing a mid take to pieces, for a 13-8 score.

G2 batter FURIA’s defense on Inferno

Okay, at least we got some signs of life for FURIA right at the end of the half, thanks to some slightly more aggressive setups. They really did need that, because the map was devolving into a bit of an embarrassment for them.

It’s still a commanding 11-4 lead for G2 at the half, and considering FURIA’s abysmal offensive halves this tournament, the European squad should convert Inferno comfortably.

FaZe hitting bangers on Anubis

FaZe have finally found form at the Legends Stage. Their CT side is akin to their best performances, with pushes across the entire map netting them map control as Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen moves his pawns across the map.

What helps the FaZe squad is the fact that every individual is hitting some absolute bangers, with every individual sitting on 9 kills or more.

Mohan “⁠launders⁠” Govindasamy joked on Twitter that Jarosław “⁠pashaBiceps⁠” Jarząbkowski, who is cycling to Paris in support of 9INE, needs to hurry up if he wants to see his favorite team play.

FaZe not slowing down

FaZe chose to start on the CT side and stopped a B rush in the pistol, and are looking strong in the opening exchanges.

Since the pistol the European combine are once again very proactive, enabling them to secure mid-control in pretty much every round. They are currently 6-1 up, with 9INE getting on the board after a fumbled A defense by FaZe.

G2 running over FURIA

Things are already starting to look bleak for FURIA, they are being run over with ease.

It’s not like the Brazilians have never managed an opening kill, they had a 3v5 in one round, but they seem so uncoordinated that G2 will inevitably find the gaps and recover.

G2 are finding things so easy they are starting to get disrespectful, running up middle with no grenades and taking dry duels. The thing is, they are winning them.

The score is 7-1 for G2 now.

Watch: FURIA lose to a full eco, granting G2 the early advantage

It is time! A huge elimination series between G2 and FURIA is underway on Inferno.

G2 head towards B on their T pistol, but FURIA handle things comfortably.

A full save comes out in the next from G2, but FURIA make a complete hash of things, allowing G2 to get the bomb down in a 3v3. The Brazilians then take forever to line up their retake, which despite taking all three kills, doesn’t give them time to defuse the bomb. What a shambles.

This leaves FURIA’s economy in tatters, granting G2 a 3-1 lead.

FaZe take 9INE’s Inferno gift with open hands; lead 1-0

9INE were able to string six rounds together after finding success in the dying moments of the first half and winning the second-half pistol, but that was far from enough. As soon FaZe got their guns it was smooth sailing towards victory, with a proactive CT side even giving us a rare Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen mid-push —the success of which won’t be discussed.

Four in a row netted FaZe eight match points, and while Krzysztof “⁠Goofy⁠” Górski kept his team alive for a while longer by clutching a 1vs2, it wasn’t to be. The Poles will be quite happy with their performance as they reached double digits on a map they played just once and will hope to take that on to their pick.

The series now moves on to Anubis, which should be a much closer affair, given that 9INE sport an 80% win rate.

Stats highlight: G2 vs. FURIA

The individuals are yet to show up for their respective teams at the Major, bar Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač. Ever reliable and undoubtedly one of the best riflers in the world, even Kaike “⁠KSCERATO⁠” Cerato has been sub-par and will need to step up.

stavn: “We’ve been in many arenas, so hopefully this time we can do it”

Heroic have done it again — the #1 ranked team in the world end another Swiss stage with a 3-0 record. We asked Martin “⁠stavn⁠” Lund if he thinks this is the time for Heroic to get over the hump and win the Major:

“It’s hard to find the right recipe to lifting the trophies. We did it in Royal Arena, so we know we can do it. A final is a final, there’s 50% who win and 50% lose. We’ve played good finals in Katowice, we played really well even though we lost to G2. It’s all about experience. We’ve been in many arenas, played many big matches so hopefully this time we can do it.”

If he can show as good form in the arena as he did on Ancient against Liquid, then it really might be Heroic‘s time…

Liquid force-buy falls flat, granting Heroic a BLAST Paris Major playoff berth

Liquid go for a risky force-buy and it falls flat, wrecking their economy and giving Heroic a relatively straightforward route to a 16-12 victory. Heart-breaking for the North American side as they had every chance of taking this map.

Ultimately, a combination of a weak showing from Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski and a failed force-buy was enough to grant Heroic victory on the deciding map.

The Danes are, game on game, giving credence to the idea that they are well-poised to take a serious shot at the BLAST Paris Major trophy.

Liquid can at least take heart from the face they were very competitive in this series, and on another day might have even won it.

Denmark
United States

FaZe reach double digits as 9INE struggle

Not much to report from the B stream, other than the fact that FaZe are pretty happy that Inferno has been let in the pool. The European combine is currently 11-1 up, with Helvijs “⁠broky⁠” Saukants clutching out a 1vs2 in one of the rare close rounds on the map.

The Poles are at least finding some success in the way of opening picks, sitting on five at the moment, Olek “⁠hades⁠” Miskiewicz getting three of them.

Watch: stavn clutch puts Heroic on the brink of playoffs qualification

Oh dear, Heroic make a great read to find themselves an empty A site, but Liquid commence a smooth retake to steal away the win and bring the deficit back to a single round.

Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis finds another opener in middle, the Latvian is being so vital on this CT side, but Heroic manage to trade their way onto the B site. Under intense pressure Jakob “⁠jabbi⁠” Nygaard pulls off a clutch to keep the Danes in the ascendency.

Liquid have just enough in the coffers for another play, and once again YEKINDAR steps up to provide the frags needed to win the round and keep the economy healthy.

Heroic go all in for the following force-buy, but their slow default nets nothing and the limp into the B site. Somehow they trade into a 2v2 post-plant, and Martin “⁠stavn⁠” Lund clutches to give the Danes an unlikely round win. 13-11 and now Heroic are in pole position to claim this series.

Heroic take the lead, but scores remain close

A blistering B hit comes out from Heroic on their T pistol and the run over the Liquid defense, tying the scores up at the first time of asking.

Liquid throw everything into the force-buy and fight hard in middle, but they’re pretty comfortably dispatched by a Martin “⁠stavn⁠” Lund 4k, and can’t get much done in the following eco either.

The guns come back up but it’s no better for Liquid, with Heroic smashing through B with effective trades.

Liquid manage to get a buy in the next and it’s a hero play from Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis in middle that wins the round, the Latvian grabbing a 2k to make things easy. 11-9 in Heroic’s favor, this one looks set to go the distance.

FaZe take advantage of 9INE’s Inferno gamble

FaZe were unsurprisingly shocked by 9INE‘s pick of Inferno, but given their pedigree on the map, they should start the series with a map victory.

9INE have played Inferno just once in their entire history and their lack of protocols on the map is damning, as FaZe are running rampant on the T side. While they lost two Inferno games in the Legends Stage, FaZe look to be confident against the Polish side and currently lead 5-0.

The Poles are up to another full buy now and will need to get on the board soon if they are to avoid a demolition at the hands of Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen and company.

Liquid fight hard for narrow half-time advantage in decider

The teams are trading blows back and forth here, Liquid won a Tec-9 buy only for Heroic to force-buy in response and win a round back.

Heroic then manage to win a couple on the bounce to gutter the Liquid economy, which grants the Danes a 6-4 lead.

Liquid answer back immediately with guns up, some whiffed shots allowing them out onto A and they don’t waste the opportunity.

From here the teams go back to trading rounds, with Liquid clinching a narrow 8-7 lead for the second half.

nawrot explains leaving Inferno in: “We didn’t want to go to Ancient… maybe you know why”

Yes, we know why. 9INE have lost 14 maps on Ancient in a row. Instead, they have left Inferno – their permaban – in the pool and FaZe have immediately decided to punish and picked it.

Spinx: “I’m super happy to play in front of the French fans”

We found Lotan “⁠Spinx⁠” Giladi for a word after the win over Monte. “It was our first goal to qualify for playoffs. It didn’t matter if it was 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2, as long as we qualify. So yeah I’m super happy to play in front of the French fans, super happy for ZywOo and apEX.”

We also asked him about the pressure Vitality are under; there were at least 20 people around their booth as they secured their playoff berth. It is tangible just how much expectation is on the French organization at this Major.

“Overall the Major is different to a normal tournament. Normally when you win a game you have 3 guys with a camera, here it is 10 or 15 so of course it’s a Major and it’s more hype. And of course there’s more eyes on Vitality because we have two French players, the French organization.

“I don’t think it affects my team as much. I think my teammates are really experienced and I think we can handle it.”

Liquid edge early exchanges on Ancient

A convincing CT pistol comes through for Heroic to kick off the decider of Ancient, the Danes retaking A after a quick execute came through.

A gamble stack on A goes horribly wrong for Heroic in the next, they completely misread the situation and are forced to save the second Liquid take over the B site.

The third round opens with each team losing a player in the initial exchanges in middle, before Heroic manage to get themselves a 3v2 as Liquid crawl onto B. Then the Danes overthink things, doubting that their opponents will finish B, and this gives Liquid the room to win the round.

Liquid deal with the resulting eco, and then head to B once again when guns are up for Heroic. This time the Danes force through the retake, 2-3 is the score at the moment.

apeX on making Paris Major playoffs: “There was a lot of pressure but we handled it really well”

Phew, that was close! Vitality have earned a place in the BLAST.tv Paris Major playoffs following a 2-0 victory over Monte, narrowly wrapping Nuke up with a 16-13 scoreline to get the job done after initially winning Anubis, 16-10.

The map wasn’t the easiest to watch, with neither side able to post more than one round at a time from rounds 4-14 before Vitality almost let a 13-5 lead slip with Monte walking all over them.

Alas, Vitality were able to get the job done, allowing Peter “⁠dupreeh⁠” Rasmussen to breathe a sigh of relief after the Dane was worried about jinxing himself with regard to making playoffs in an interview with HLTV:

Read more

dupreeh: “Rio gave me more confidence in my own abilities”

“It feels amazing, I’m not going to lie,” Dan “⁠apEX⁠” Madesclaire explained, talking about making the Major playoffs for the first time since 2021.

“Yesterday was the most pressure I ever had; it was insane pressure. Best-of-ones are really tough and on top of that, we are playing on [French] soil and all of those things… the fans are waiting for us. There was a lot of pressure but we handled it really well.”

Vitality will begin their playoff campaign in front of the adoring French fans from the quarter-final stage, which begins on Thursday. Monte, on the other hand, will look to earn their own playoff berth in their next best-of-three on Monday.

Ukraine
Europe

Monte launch piercing comeback effort

Vitality‘s 10-5 start to Nuke has slowly been whittled down now, with Monte down by just three rounds, 11-14 heading into the dying stages.

While the first half was a back-and-forth brawl, the second period has been mostly Monte‘s, with the three rounds that Vitality have won coming as a result of a win the pistol round and the subsequent two-round conversion.

Vitality are going to be sweating a little bit now, they’re losing opening kills and there’s not a lot of time for the Franco-Danish mix to figure out what is going wrong.

Game on!

Liquid repel Heroic’s comeback to send series to Ancient

Heroic still have some fight left in them, and they repel a slow-paced B attack thanks to some more Casper “⁠cadiaN⁠” Møller frags to put an 8th on the board.

Both AWPers find a pick apiece to turn the next round into a 4v4 early, but Heroic push decisively to sniff out and then snuff out the B play.

The Danes move to a double-AWP setup for the next round, but neither sniper is needed as Rasmus “⁠sjuush⁠” Beck and Jakob “⁠jabbi⁠” Nygaard swat aside an attempted A execute. This forces Liquid onto a save, which is swiftly dealt with.

The most important gun round of the half followed, and it was Liquid who secured it for a 16-10 victory.

Liquid thoroughly outplayed Heroic in this map. They discombobulated the Danes with their varied setups and positions on defense, and then seemed to catch every timing necessary to give Heroic no chance when the sides switched.

NAF’s ace on B was the play of the map

Heroic in desperation mode as Liquid inch towards victory

A Terrorist pistol victory comes through for Liquid, putting them in a prime position to send us to the decider of Ancient.

Heroic make Liquid sweat with a force-buy that comes down to a 1v1 on the B site, but Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm clutches up to keep his side rolling. A hero-M4 purchase comes out for Heroic, but they’re quickly forced to save after losing the A site.

The first gun round comes through and Liquid go for the A execute. They trade down into a 3v3 post-plant, and Heroic don’t have a kit, so are forced into another save.

The pressure is on now for Heroic and they come up trumps, completing a 2v3 retake onto the A site to bring the score to 7-13.

Vitality lead Monte despite never-ending back and forth

It was a back-and-forth slugfest to end the opening half, neither side able to more than one round at a time between rounds 4-14.

This never-ending brawl ultimately favors Vitality, though, who now move over to the CT-side with a 10-5 lead to their name, six rounds away from a place in the Accor Arena.

I can’t lie, I’m glad this to-and-fro exchange has ended, it prevented proper Counter-Strike from being played as each side had to play with a rough economy.

Watch: cadiaN 1v2 clutch gives Heroic a chance

Liquid threatened to close things out cleanly for a massive half-time lead, but fortunately for the Danes Casper “⁠cadiaN⁠” Møller displayed his penchant for clutching, securing a vital 1v2 to give Heroic hope.

9-6 half for Liquid. Still a strong return, but they genuinely had the chance to go 11-4.

Vitality in control on Nuke despite Magisk whiff

In what will surprise very few, Vitality have hit the ground running on their Nuke pick, conceding just two rounds on the T-side as they nurture a 5-2 lead.

Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif, who secured Vitality the win on Anubis with a 1vs4 clutch, couldn’t finish his dinner versus Mohammad “⁠BOROS⁠” Malhas, giving Monte a way back into round six. It’s a tough whiff to watch, and one that had the potential to inspire an early-map resurgence from the Ukrainians had Vitality not won the ensuing round.

Watch: NAF aces Heroic as battle rages on

Liquid are starting to generate a commanding lead now, and their B hold, especially Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic, has been a key part of it. Heroic seem to be focusing heavily on the small site in this match, but it hasn’t really paid off.

After seeing their opponents grab five in a row, Heroic finally get back on the board thanks to a very slow crunch onto the A site.

Vitality look to continue 100% win rate on Nuke

Monte and Vitality are back in the server on Nuke after a slight delay.

As previously mentioned, we’re moving to Vitality‘s pick now, and it’s a map they’re yet to lose in the past three months (seven wins).

Do you think Monte can pull off a surprise win and force a trip to Vertigo, or is Vitality‘s place in the playoffs set in stone?

Heroic and Liquid neck and neck early on Mirage

We’re underway on Mirage, Heroic’s map pick, and the Danes should be heavy favorites. They start on the T side.

A chaotic pistol round eventually goes the way of Liquid, thanks to Nick “⁠nitr0⁠” Cannella dropping the bomb carrier on a flank.

Heroic opt for a force and they use it well, creeping out onto A for a contact play that catches Liquid unawares thanks to a Jakob “⁠jabbi⁠” Nygaard 3k. The resulting Liquid counter force-buy nets nothing, and they are forced to eco.

The eco gets a little bit dangerous, Liquid somehow turn it into a 2v1, but jabbi comes to the rescue and converts the clutch.

Heroic try to steamroll the A site into a Liquid buy, but the North American squad stands strong to grab their second, 2-3 now.

Watch: Magisk clutches a clean 1vs4 as Vitality steal Anubis

The answer to, “Can this be the start of a Monte recovery?” is a resounding “No.”

Vitality quickly recovered from letting that previous 4vs2 advantage slip, winning all but two rounds from that moment on to steal Anubis away, 16-10.

The Franco-Danish squad’s race to a win coincided with a surge in energy from Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut, who became a thorn in Monte‘s side all half long, finding impact with ease and putting up highlight-worthy plays.

Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif takes the biscuit, however, with a superb 1vs4 clutch to earn his team victory on Anubis. The Dane stopped any chance of a comeback, and in style too. He’s just like me in PUGs.

The series now moves to Vitality‘s pick of Nuke, where they sport a flawless 100% win rate over seven maps in the past three months. Anubis was always going to be Monte‘s saving grace, so they will lament being unable to convert their veto choice. Hard to see how they force a three-mapper here.

Watch: Liquid choke a 5v2 to fall to opening map defeat against Heroic

Oh Liquid, how you have choked this. They force-buy in a tough economical situation but they seem to be making the A hold work, thinning the numbers down to a 2v5. You can never count Heroic out however, and they flip the script thanks to some rapid-fire multi-kills.

Heroic don’t waste the opportunity, and they close things out 16-11.

Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic deserves immense credit for keeping Liquid in this, his clutch at the end of the first half and immense performance in the second pistol allowed the chance of a comeback.

Liquid stumble just as they are about to tie the score with Heroic

Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski is starting to heat up, and he finds multiple Heroic members through smokes as the Danes try to hit B, netting Liquid another round.

The North Americans then repel an attack through apps and lane, and now things are starting to get spicy, the score is 9-12.

Liquid have clearly scented blood in the water as the whole team has stepped up, and an aggressive push down middle gives way to a team ace as they narrow the gap to only two rounds.

Things get a little dicey in the following, a chaotic initial exchange sees Heroic get to the A site and get the bomb down 2v4, but Liquid get things over the line. A single round gap now.

In what seems a very Liquid move, the North Americans let things slip just as they are about to tie up the scores. Heroic resorted to a very simple B execute, but it catches Liquid off guard and grants the Danes 13-11.

Liquid wrecked by Tec-9 rush just as they start to come back

Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic is coming through with the impact in this game, a spectacular 3k nets Liquid an all-important pistol round. They duly mop up the following eco.

With guns up Heroic opt for a slow default, and from boiler they punish Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm overextending for a peek at top middle. This leads to an apps pop, but Liquid are equal to it and repel the attack.

Just as the Liquid recovery is gathering momentum, they fluff their lines as Heroic storm B with Tec-9s, granting the Danish side their 12th round. Liquid might have just lost they key round there.

Vitality lead Anubis despite being on unfavored CT-side

It’s as close as it could possibly be at halftime between Vitality and Monte. The Ukrainians enjoyed an ideal 5-1 start, but the French-Danish team have since awoken from their slumber to lead 8-7 at the break.

Surprisingly, it isn’t the Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut show in the server, although he is his team’s best performer. Regardless, he’s actually slowed down a little bit compared to what we would usually expect from a player of his caliber, instead sitting on a 13-12 K-D. Dan “⁠apEX⁠” Madesclaire has come alive to support the prodigy, though; the Frenchman is the second-best player on his roster with 12 kills, enough to give Vitality a slender one-round advantage.

To be frank, it is this slowdown from ZywOo which is keeping Monte alive. I struggle to see a way in which the Ukrainians can outright win should the Frenchman awake properly and start bulling in the server, especially as they make their way onto the more-favored T-side. We’ll see though.

This duo is powering Vitality at the moment

Watch: NAF clutch gives Liquid glimmer of hope

Well, that’s at least something for Liquid to work with.

Honestly the North Americans were a tad fortunate to get as many rounds as they did, needing some individual heroics from Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic to get one of the rounds over the line.

11-4 in favor of Heroic, it very much feels like they will close things out with relative ease.

Heroic dominating their defensive half

Things are starting to get out of hand for Liquid now, this half is in real danger of spiraling out of control.

Heroic just seem so comfortable in all situations, even if they do find themselves in a sticky scenario, they always find the right play or timing to get themselves out of it.

The Danes just comfortably dispatched of a slow crawl out into top mid for 8-1, ensuring they win the half.

demQQ showing his skill as Monte lead Vitality early

Monte‘s prowess on Anubis continues to be on full display as the Ukrainian-majority lineup have accrued a 4-0 lead to start their time on the T-side.

Viktor “⁠sdy⁠” Orudzhev and company sported a 15-map winning streak on the Egypt-inspired battleground, only for it to be ruined by paiN earlier in the Challengers Stage.

Alas, the squad, who have continued to raise eyebrows from the RMR all the way to the Legends stage, are eager to get that winning streak back to where it once was, holding Vitality to a slow start to the playoff-qualifying series.

It’s currently Sergiy “⁠DemQQ⁠” Demchenko who is on a roll at the moment, sitting on a 6-0 start to power his side to victory.

cadiaN’s hype grows as Heroic run out to early lead against Liquid

We’re underway with Heroic vs Liquid, the NA side starting on the T half of Inferno.

Heroic won the first pistol and duly converted for a 3-0 lead.

It seemed the first gun round would also go Heroic’s way after Casper “⁠cadiaN⁠” Møller found a pick in middle with his AWP, but some crispy Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm entries recovered the round for Liquid to get them on the board early on their offense.

A lane take came through for Liquid in the following, but cadiaN’s AWP was waiting for them and it smacked them silly as they tried to enter the A site. The IGL got a bit excited after that one and broke his headphones!

Back to A and back to losing for Liquid, they are struggling to make much headway so far. 5-1 in Heroic’s favor.

kyxsan: “We already proved that we can beat almost any team”

Apeks are also surprising in Paris, and like Into the Breach they sit one win away from playoffs. For Damjan “⁠kyxsan⁠” Stoilkovski, Apeks have “already proved that we can beat almost any team. Yesterday against Heroic even though we lost we showed some great CS. I don’t want to give any expectations exactly how far we can go but I think we can do good even in the arena.”

rallen: “ENCE didn’t want to fight us”

Karol “⁠rallen⁠” Rodowicz is the only Into the Breach player to have played at a Major before, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the Brits are playing. We asked him what is powering this ITB machine:

“To be honest, if you see it from outside the server it seems something unreal that a UK-based team can beat these teams but we have good team combinations, everyone feels really good in their roles, that’s the most crucial thing in our team. We didn’t have much time to prep because we are a fresh team, 3 months isn’t much compared to other teams.”

“Maybe ENCE weren’t comfortable today. They didn’t want to fight against us. We wanted to take duels and they were going back, going back. I want to say, we were like lions hunting the other animals. We want to play against everyone, we want to do our best.”

dupreeh on facing Monte: “There’s no weak opponent coming into this type of game”

Vitality will do battle with Monte shortly for a chance to earn an appearance in the Accor Arena and allow the organization, Dan “⁠apEX⁠” Madesclaire, and Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut to play in front of the home crowd.

The best-of-three matchup is a repeat of the two teams’ meeting at the RMR in Denmark, where the Franco-Danish combine prevailed in a hard-fought affair to earn a Legends Stage berth and bypass the inaugural phase of play entirely.

Monte would love to get revenge over the IEM Rio champions and be the first team to make it to the playoffs of the BLAST.tv Paris Major.

“Of course, Monte has surprised everyone,” Peter “⁠dupreeh⁠” Rasmussen began in a pre-game interview on stream, not being overzealous about his team’s chances about the Ukrainian team. “I think they are playing some really solid Counter-Strike and they’re definitely a team we have to look out for. There’s no weak opponent coming into this type of game.

“Sure, if you look on paper, then people would think that playing G2 or FaZe in the 2-0 game would be more difficult, but these games can be more difficult in so many other ways.

“We’re here to hopefully get the job done. We respect our opponent and we hope we bring the game that we know and get the win today.”

The veto is as follows:

1. Monte removed Inferno
2. Vitality removed Ancient
3. Monte picked Anubis
4. Vitality picked Nuke
5. Vitality removed Mirage
6. Monte removed Overpass
7. Vertigo was left over

cadiaN: “Liquid are one of the only top teams that swap positions a lot”

“Yesterday, FaZe and Apeks got a taste of what it is like to play against Heroic when they do they best, and we hope to show that level again today.”

“Liquid are one of the only top teams that swap positions a lot, so that can make it a little bit more difficult to prepare against.” – Casper “⁠cadiaN⁠” Møller in the pre-match interview with James “⁠BanKs⁠” Banks

The first series is ready to get underway for a spot in the playoffs as Heroic take on Liquid. It’s Inferno first and here’s the rest of the veto:

1. Liquid removed Vertigo
2. Heroic removed Anubis
3. Liquid picked Inferno
4. Heroic picked Mirage
5. Heroic removed Overpass
6. Liquid removed Nuke
7. Ancient was left over

kuben on besting BNE: “We knew their flaws […] so we abused them as much as we could”

Apeks are through to the 2-1 pool of the BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage following a commanding 16-6 victory over Bad News Eagles on Ancient.

The Kosovar roster continued to struggle on the CT-side of the Aztec-inspired map, adding just 10 defensive rounds over their two outings on the map (30 rounds in total).

Unlike their win versus G2 on Saturday, however, Bad News Eagles even failed to get the ball rolling on the T-side versus Apeks, with a win in the pistol round being their only victory before a triple kill from Justinas “⁠jL⁠” Lekavicius‘ Deagle allowed his team to snowball their way to a 16-6 scoreline.

“We knew their flaws on the CT-side so we basically abused them as much as we could,” Jakub “⁠kuben⁠” Gurczynski said after the game in an interview with Adam “⁠Dinko⁠” Hawthorne. “I think the score could have even been 11 or 12-3 [at halftime],” the Pole concluded in a confident manner.

Europe
Kosovo

Into the Breach claim the scalp of another big-name squad

It seemed ENCE were ready to recover the score quickly, taking the pistol win despite going down to a 4v5, but Joey “⁠CRUC1AL⁠” Steusel steps up with a 3k on the MP9 to win Into the Breach their force-buy.

This put ENCE under immediate pressure but they ran into CRUC1AL at ramp once again, this time with an AWP, to flop to another meek loss.

After an ENCE eco guns came back up and a chaotic round ensued. An epic brawl at ramp traded down into a 3v3, and in the chaos Marco “⁠Snappi⁠” Pfeiffer managed to lurk out onto B. As the bomb tried to make its way into the site a fist fight ensued, which Into the Breach managed to drag out so as to win the round to time.

This was the end of ENCE: they had nothing left in the tank and tamely fell in the face of Into the Breach’s momentum.

Into the Breach were simply the better team in this match, there is no two ways about it, they deserved their 16-7 victory.

Europe
United Kingdom

Apeks up over BNE; close in on joining 2-1 pool

Martin “⁠STYKO⁠” Styk said in the pre-game that Apeks were going to be ready for Bad News Eagles‘ aggressive playstyle, and that is exactly what has happened as the European combine sit on a comfortable 10-5 lead heading into their CT-side.

Ancient is just about CT-sided in the past three months (50.9%), so Damjan “⁠kyxsan⁠” Stoilkovski and company are in a good position now to march forward and cast Bad News Eagles to the 1-2 pool in France.

Alas, it’s the same scoreline Bad News Eagles found themselves in yesterday. All Apeks have to do is stop Sener “⁠SENER1⁠” Mahmuti from clutching a 1vs3 in the pistol round coming up, exactly what the Kosovar did to G2 on Saturday to kick-start their comeback versus the IEM Katowice champions.

Can Bad News Eagles mount back-to-back recoveries on Ancient, or is victory for Apeks a done deal?

Watch: CYPHER clutch consigns ENCE to half-time deficit

Cai “⁠CYPHER⁠” Watson has provided some immense impact towards the back end of this half to ensure Into the Breach head into the second period with a solid 9-6 lead.

First he brought a 1v2 clutch over the line to prevent ENCE from stealing away a round with a bad buy, then he barreled up ramp and provided a sick double entry a round or two later.

ENCE just weren’t able to deal with their UK opponent’s slick and well-drilled T side, and they didn’t have success with their usual playmaking, flank-heavy style.

BNE struggle on Ancient’s CT-side in Paris

Bad News Eagles are struggling on Ancient’s CT-side in Paris. The Kosovar side only managed to post five rounds on the defense versus G2, despite eventually winning the match, and have so far been unable to stop Apeks‘ T-side onslaught for the most part, 1-6.

We’ve seen how well Bad News Eagles can be on the T-side, but they will also need to go back to the drawing board and work out how to improve their CT-side.

Can Apeks keep the ball rolling?

Into the Breach’s offense comfortably in control against ENCE

The approach has remained pretty simple more often than for Into the Breach, it’s a 4-1 or they group as five, but it is still finding some traction thanks to their strong spacing and trading.

It did feel like ENCE were starting to build into their defensive half, but they squander a round to what was virtually a full-eco in painful fashion. Not good enough from the European combine.

Into the Breach do get a little bit more flashy in the following round, seesawing back and forth between B stairs and A ramp to manipulate rotations before finding a pick on B to secure the round. 7-3 now for the UK squad.

STYKO on BNE’s playstyle: “We’re going to be ready for it”

Apeks are about to lock horns with Bad News Eagles for a chance to join the 2-1 pool in Paris.

The two teams last met at the RMR in Denmark, where the Kosovar roster reigned supreme — also in a best-of-one setting — following a trip to overtime on Inferno.

Ancient is the map of choice this time however, with Bad News Eagles even taking the win over G2 on the Aztec-inspired map after a strong recovery on the T-side. Can the Kosovar roster continue this form against Apeks?

“I think we lost to them on Inferno in overtime. I felt like it was a game that could have gone our way,” Martin “⁠STYKO⁠” Styk told Adam “⁠Dinko⁠” Hawthorne in a pre-game interview. “We just crumbled a little bit to their playstyle which is a little bit different from other teams.

“It’s annoying to play against but it’s super solid… we are just going to be more ready for it, and I hope it’s going to be that extra step that we needed at the RMR to close the game out.”

siuhy: “Everyone is showing up”

Kamil “⁠siuhy⁠” Szkaradek led by example on Overpass but he was quick to credit his team: “It’s a good win from the team, I think everyone is showing up lately and it’s nice to see.

“We knew it was going to be Overpass — Ancient was also in the talks — but we were really prepared for both maps and even if it went to Ancient we knew we would feel comfortable. [Overpass] is a good map for us and fnatic, but we’re feeling really strong on it lately.”

That’s now six wins in a row for GamerLegion on Overpass, with wins over ENCE, MOUZ, OG, and fnatic in that time. It looks like a pick they’ll be able to rely on now they are in the best of threes.

k0nfig: “Tomorrow we need to come better prepared”

Kristian “⁠k0nfig⁠” Wienecke reflected on Ninjas in Pyjamas dropping to 1-2: “Bad game against fnatic, bad game against NAVI, decent game against FURIA. Our T sides are lagging behind, our CT sides we’re not getting momentum, and we’re not in the driving seat. Tomorrow we need to come better prepared.”

Into the Breach start strongly against ENCE

ENCE are underway against Into the Breach, and the FaZe killers have gotten out to an early lead on their Vertigo T side thanks to a pistol round victory.

Into the Breach have been opting for a fairly straightforward, grouped-up approach to their T side, but the trades have largely been effective.

ENCE just got on the board thanks to stopping one of these hits towards A. 3-1 to Into the Breach thus far.

siuhy calls and frags GamerLegion to victory over fnatic

GamerLegion are through to the BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage 2-1 pool following a hard-fought and back-and-forth victory over fnatic, 16-11.

Fredrik “⁠roeJ⁠” Jørgensen and William “⁠mezii⁠” Merriman joined forces to win a 2vs4 situation, a round which fnatic had no business in winning, but the black-and-orange were unable to get a firm grip on the game from that moment on.

GamerLegion went on a four-round streak en route to the all-important 16th round, with Kamil “⁠siuhy⁠” Szkaradek and Isak “⁠isak⁠” Fahlén combining for consistent multi-kill performances to get their team over the line.

The Polish in-game leader was the key reason for his team’s success all map long, leading the server with 27 kills and 93 ADR. GamerLegion will be looking to keep this strong form going as they proceed to the best-of-three matches in Paris.

On the flip side of things, fnatic struggled in the server massively. Every player of the European combine posted a rating below the 1.00 threshold, with no-one managing to even sport a positive K-D ratio either.

Europe
Europe

B1ad3 gives his thoughts on npl

In a post-match interview on broadcast, Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy gave his thoughts on Andrii “⁠npl⁠” Kukharskyi‘s performance, opining that it was “better” than yesterday. He went a bit further when addressing npl‘s showing against Liquid:

“I expect for him to make mistakes. Yesterday was a really bad game for him, not a usual game for him, so what we must to do now is try to avoid games like yesterday. Try to chill him, make a proper gameplan where he feels comfortable, and he will feel fine.”

s1mple back to his best as NAVI cruise past NIP

Oh dear, Natus Vincere fake B and attempt to hit A late in the round, but they can’t find the kills required to enter the site.

This forces a slightly scuffed buy out of Natus Vincere, but fortunately Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev has his AWP and he uses to pick a defender at long. The majority-Ukrainian squad take that opportunity to burst out onto A, earning them their 13th round.

Now Ninjas in Pyjamas have to endure a scuffed buy of their own, and their gamble stack onto A doesn’t pay off, letting Natus Vincere get up to 14.

A hero-AWP purchase from Ninjas in Pyjamas gets them one more in response, but Natus Vincere duly close the match out 16-10.

Pretty straightforward stuff for Natus Vincere, they were comfortably the better team in this match. Their star trio were firing on all cylinders, particularly s1mple, and this team are starting to look like a very scary prospect.

Ukraine
Europe

Watch: FASHR aces in the pistol round

In another key highlight from fnatic vs. GamerLegion, Dion “⁠FASHR⁠” Derksen has pulled off an ace — with a 1vs4 to boot — in the pistol round to tie things up, 8-8.

FASHR said he thinks fnatic can take the win over GamerLegion on Overpass, and of course it’s the Dutchman who comes up trumps to earn his side such a crucial round win.

Can fnatic capitalize on this and march to victory?

GamerLegion win key rounds to narrowly lead fnatic

fnatic and GamerLegion are neck and neck in the best-of-one brawl, with both sides exchanging clutches and nail-biting moments time and time again. It could have very easily been fnatic who were leading, but GamerLegion have won the vast majority of the clutches to remain ahead.

With this in mind, it’s GamerLegion who go into the side swap ahead, 8-7, courtesy of a server-leading, 13-kill performance from in-game leader Kamil “⁠siuhy⁠” Szkaradek.

A slight technical pause did force the players to sit and wait for a few minutes, but the issue was resolved quickly; the Major has been smooth sailing so far so let’s hope we keep it that way.

Watch: b1t aces NIP as NAVI dominate

Ninjas in Pyjamas punish a Natus Vincere attempt to take short, only for Ludvig “⁠Brollan⁠” Brolin to be picked through monster. Natus Vincere wait a few moments before re-aggressing through short, and it catches their opponents off guard to end their three-round streak.

From here Natus Vincere run away with the half, their firepower trio bullying Ninjas in Pyjamas time and time again as the Nordic squad struggle to compete.

The play of the half certainly came from Valeriy “⁠b1t⁠” Vakhovskiy, the young Ukrainian marauding into connector and dominating the opposition with the help of a supportive flash.

Half ends 11-4 for Natus Vincere, and that probably means the map will go their way shortly.

NIP get themselves on the board

A Tec-9 buy from Ninjas in Pyjamas is repelled as it attempts to force its way onto B granting Natus Vincere their sixth.

Then finally Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen’s squad get on the board. They manage to punish Natus Vincere’s aggressive setup at top middle, trading down into a 2v2 and then opting to push through toilets into the A site, where they seal the deal.

The Nordic side followed their first up by taking a second round win, catching an unfortunate rotation timing from Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev to overwhelm the B site with a contact play. They duly deal with the Natus Vincere half-buy in the following to reel the score in to 3-6.

Watch: siuhy clutches 1vs2 to earn GamerLegion’s first round

Overpass has been well and truly fnatic‘s playground so far, with the European mix going 4-0 on the CT-side to begin with.

It could have been a flawless 5-0 start, however, if not for a 1vs2 clutch from Kamil “⁠siuhy⁠” Szkaradek — a play Anders “⁠Anders⁠” Blume said the Pole was “unlikely” to win.

But win he did, and GamerLegion have now added their second, 2-4. Are GamerLegion starting to wake up in the server?

NAVI set to clash with NIP on Overpass

Natus Vincere take on Ninjas in Pyjamas in a 1-1 bout to kick things off on the A stream.

Overpass is the field of battle, and it’s a map that neither team are particularly proficient on; the stats for the past three months give Ninjas in Pyjamas a slight edge, they have played it more and sport a marginally better win rate.

These two teams have already played three series this year, and all three went the way of Natus Vincere. The latest bout came at IEM Rio last month, where Oleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and company took a reasonably comfortable 2-0 win.

Predictions? Seems Natus Vincere should be pretty firm favorites.

FASHR on facing GamerLegion: “I think we can take them”

The first matchup of the B stream is due to go live shortly, with fnatic locking horns with GamerLegion on Overpass.

“We have a pretty good idea about how we want to play against them,” Dion “⁠FASHR⁠” Derksen said when asked about the team’s preparation in a pre-game interview. “But that goes the same for them because if they left Overpass open for us, then they should have a game plan. We should be prepared for anything, but I think we can take them on Overpass.”

The two teams are yet to face each other in a competitive setting, but fnatic are the bookies’ favorites heading into this one.

The match is only a best-of-one and it isn’t a do-or-die bout, but the winner will inch ever closer to a playoff appearance, joining the 2-1 pool should things go their way.

BLAST address mistake with visible TV from player booths

Yesterday, a TV was visible from one side of the player booths showing the live feed during a few rounds of the match between Into the Breach and FaZe.

BLAST has acknowledged the error and stated that it has investigated the matter and reviewed the match footage and communication, saying “there is no indication that Into the Breach were aware of or benefitted from any external information provided by the stream.”

One hour to round 3 kick-off

What a first day of the Legends Stage we had.

I certainly hope you didn’t miss it. If you did, you can catch up on what happened in the upset-filled first two rounds of the Swiss group and how FaZe and G2 ended up in the elimination zone in our recap, where you’ll also find our player of the day and the best match highlights.

Read more

The biggest stories and plays from day one of the BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage

Day two brings the third round, starting with the final four best-of-ones. The headline matchup of the 1-1 pool between Natus Vincere and Ninjas in Pyjamas is up first along with fnatic vs. GamerLegion. Later, ENCE will go up against Into the Breach and Apeks against Bad News Eagles.

We’ll find the first two teams advancing to the playoffs in 2-0 pool series after that, as Heroic face off against Liquid and Monte hope to continue good form against who now might be a top-two favorite to win it all, Vitality.

The day will end with heartbreak as two teams will be eliminated without a win to their name. G2, FURIA, FaZe, and 9INE find themselves in the 0-2 pool fighting for survival after the shocking first day.

1-1 pool

2-0 pool

0-2 pool

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