The first match yesterday revived what was once one of the biggest rivalries in the game.
About a year ago, both Fnatic and EnVyUs would constantly challenge each other for first place finishes and battled for the top spot in the world. But since the start of the year, EnVyUs has been in a steep decline, making the rivalry a totally one-sided affair in Fnatic’s favor.
Fnatic’s results have also suffered recently due to an injury that sidelined star player Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer for two months. But the Swedes are still able to consistently challenge the best teams in the world and reach top placements in tournaments. The former Swedish champions may not be performing at the level they were before olofmeister’s injury, but they still scored two straight wins against EnVyUs.
Series opener Cobblestone proved to be the only even game of the series as EnVyUs mounted a comeback after being down six rounds. Dan “apEX” Madelscaire and Kenny “kennyS” Schrub pushed their team to 13 rounds, but in the end it wasn’t enough to stop Fnatic.
The next map, Dust2, was the opposite. Fnatic never gave EnVyUs an edge, and quickly trounced their former French rivals. With a 16-7 victory, Fnatic secured their spot in the ELEAGUE semifinals.
This old rivalry wasn’t yesterday’s most exciting match. The series between Na`Vi and North American hopefuls Cloud9 went the full distance as both teams fought tooth and nail over the chance to play in the semi-finals.
Opening map Overpass went to overtime after Cloud9 strung together several rounds late into the second half. The overtime itself went completely in favor of Na`Vi, however, who won all four rounds in a row., securing them the first map of the series.
Cloud9 came back roaring on Dust2, and with a dominant half as CT the North Americans guaranteed themselves a third decisive match on Cobblestone.Cloud9 ended the first half in solid fashion, garnering a three round lead at the end of the their CT half. But just as the expert’s noted: Cobblestone is a Na`Vi speciality, and heading into their half on the CT side, they began grinding out consecutive rounds, clawing themselves to a lead. Cloud9 almost took it to yet another overtime, but in the end it was too much to ask of the North Americans as Na`Vi closed out the series with a 16-14 victory on Cobblestone.
This sets up Fnatic vs. Na`Vi semifinal. This looks like an excellent match-up on paper. But Na`Vi fans will be shaking in their boots as the CIS team is yet to defeat the Swedes in a best-of-three series.
The ELEAGUE quarterfinals conclude today with Astralis taking on mousesports at 5pm ET. Another old rivalry returns when NiP challenge Virtus.pro at 10pm ET.