by Esports Pocket in

G2 keep their ESL One: Road to Rio title dream alive after edging past Vitality 2-1 in the lower bracket final.

The world No.6 move on to Saturday’s consolidation final after another scrappy encounter in which all three maps went the full distance. After picking up a narrow victory over Heretics on Thursday, G2 were made to work hard to come out on top of another French showdown as Vitality battled back on Vertigo after losing their map pick of Nuke.

Confidence was rippling through Vitality’s players as Dust2 kicked off, but they were unable to go all the way as G2 came back in the second half to end a three-game losing streak on this map and set up a clash with the loser of the match between FaZe and Astralis in the next stage.

G2 made a promising start to the series with a flawless pistol round on Nuke, but the momentum of the game changed once Vitality were able to buy up. Dan “apEX” Madesclaire’s charges took control of proceedings and put six rounds together to amp up the pressure on their opponents before a 1v2 clutch from François “AmaNEk” Delaunay put G2 back in charge for the remainder of the half.

Nemanja “nexa” Isaković’s troops were unwilling to let the pace drop and continued to add to their lead after a bright start to their T side. Vitality tightened up and enjoyed a spell of dominance, but they were unable to bridge the gap as nexa picked up two quick headshots in a 2v2 situation to put his team on 14 rounds. The game then entered a scrappy period as nerves began to set in, but G2 would not let things get out of hand and put the game to bed in the 30th round.

Vitality did not let that setback get to them and took the opening two rounds on Vertigo, but their lead wouldn’t last long: G2 kept poking holes in the defense and raced to a 10-3 lead before apEX’s troops responded with two frags to keep things competitive.

Vitality came out of the break with a vengeance and won eight of the initial nine rounds of the half to pick up a 13-11 advantage. G2 put their foot down to hold back their French rivals and retake the lead, but those hoping for a swift conclusion to the series were left disappointed: Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut rescued his team with a series of entry frags, with apEX and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy landing the finishing blow to take the series to a third map.

It all came down to Dust2, a map that nexa had promised that his team would not shy away from despite their recent poor record on it (35% winrate in the last three months). G2 were put on the back foot from the outset as their defense was ruthlessly prised apart by Vitality, but they kept themselves in the game by winning the final three rounds of the half with strong retakes.

Now playing on the T side, G2 took control of the match and grew in confidence as their opponents faded away. Vitality still attempted a response after finding themselves down 11-13, but a comeback was not on the cards as G2 were the first to hit series point, leaving their opponents with a battered economy for the final round, which was decided by a trio of AWP frags from Kenny “kennyS” Schrub.

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