Vitality edge past mousesports to win EPICENTER 2019
Mousesports have had an incredible run at EPICENTER 2019, which was only an extension to their impressive run in the CS:GO competitive scene, which saw them claim last three offline CS:GO events in a row, yet they got stopped in their tracks this Sunday when they had to admit defeat to the French giants Vitality.
The title decider began with Vitality getting off to a flying start on Inferno, picking up a 5-1 lead on T-Side, thanks to Alex "ALEX" McMeekin's 1v2 clutch, which denied mouz an eco-victory. Despite their strong start, however, Vitality's enthusiasm did not last long, as mouz came back strong by winning six in a row, which helped them clinch an 8-7 lead ahead of the switch.
In the second half, Vitality won the opening three rounds before the teams started to go back and forth, with David "frozen" Čerňanský and Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut taking all the spotlight with their impressive display of skill.
As the map slowly winded down, Vitality held onto a 14-11 lead, and it seemed like they would secure the first win of the series, but mouz managed to hold on and pushed the map into overtime. There, Finn "karrigan" Andersen and co. finished what they started and sealed the map at 19-16.
Teams entered Mirage, where the French squad won the opening three rounds, followed by four straight rounds by mouz, who secured a 4-3 lead. Vitality retaliated and won another three in a row, only to drop the ball once more and let mouz secure a 8-7 lead heading into the second half.
Mousesports managed to keep their momentum going and won four out of the first five rounds on CT-Side to get themselves in a commanding 12-8 lead. Mouz already had their eyes set on their fourth successive title, but Vitality had other plans. Mouz were seemingly too comfortable with their four-round lead, which gave Vitality a perfect chance to strike back and with a streak of eight consecutive rounds, the French secured a 16-12 win and shock the world as they tied the series at 1-1.
The title decider came down to Nuke, where ZywOo and co. put up a dominant defence, which helped them win 10 out of the opening 11 rounds. Things looked dire for mouz, who have found themselves looking up to Vitality, who had a commanding nine-round lead in their hands. The pressure forced mouz to step up and while they managed to claim the remaining four rounds, mouz were entering the second half five rounds adrift (5-10) of their French adversaries.
Five rounds into the second half, Vitality were sitting 14-6 up and were already setting their eyes on the trophy, only to see mouz resurge as they claimed three straight rounds, reducing the gap to 9-14. The comeback was on the horizon for mouz, but thanks to ALEX and his clutch win, Vitality managed to seal the match at 16-9 before disaster struck.
The EPICENTER 2019 grand finals finished with an impressive 2-1 reverse sweep for Vitality, who claimed their first offline tournament victory since June, when they won ECS Season 7 Finals after smashing FURIA (2-0) in the grand finals.
It was considered a shock win by many, however, there is no denying Vitality played incredibly well throughout the tournament. A lot of their success is due to a phenomenal display from their star player and arguably the best CS:GO player in the world – ZywOo, who finished the series with 1.58 average rating and secured a total of 87 kills.
For his contribution to the team throughout the tournament, the 19-year-old Frenchman also won the fifth MVP award of his career. He finished the event with out-worldly 1.53 tournament rating, which ranks as the fourth-highest in the history of big CS:GO events.
The only three players with higher tournament average as ZywOo are Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg who earned 1.61 at Copenhagen Games in 2013, Håvard "rain" Nygaard (1.61) and Nikola "NiKo" Kovač (1.71) who both wrote history with FaZe at ESL One New York 2017.
On top of the highest rating, ZywOo also finished the tournament with the highest ADR (97.3), KPR (0.96), DPR (0.53) and KAST (79.8%).
EPICENTER 2019 MVP award was ZywOo fifth MVP award of his career and fifth of 2019, as he previously established himself as the Most Valuable Player at cs_summit 4, ECS Season 7 Finals, ESL One Cologne 2019 and DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019.