GameNation SA – Preview: Bravado at ECS Season 5 North America Challenger Cup

March 2, 2018

The ECS Season 5 North America Challenger Cup is finally upon us. Bravado Gaming has the opportunity to qualify for FACEIT’s ECS Season 5 North America. It is one of the most prestigious and grueling Counter-Strike: Global Offensive leagues in the world. Should Bravado qualify, it would mean some of our very own are in the big leagues. It’s a huge deal. Let’s take a look at how Bravado got here, take a slight detour and then delve into who they’ll need to beat to make it all the way through.

Unlocking the Closed Qualifier

Bravado managed to get through the Closed Qualifier with two important wins. The first of those came against Iceberg, with the South African side pushing their way past with a 2 – 1 victory. Maps one and three were straightforward 16 – 4 (Inferno) and 16 – 3 (Mirage) victories to Bravado. On the middle map, Train, they had a tougher time of things. They eventually dropped the map 12 – 16 to the North American organization. The defence of B bombsite was particularly troublesome for site anchor Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek. A number of rounds went against the SA team after losing control of the inner bombsite. Overall, against Iceberg Sonic still found himself in his customary position atop the scoreboard come to the end of the series with a ludicrous 1.71 HLTV rating. Clearly, the star player didn’t allow CT side Train to affect his performance in the best of three series as a whole.

Next up was Team Dignitas, an ESL Pro League team that was widely regarded as favourites going into the match based on their recent achievements. This was going to be no easy task for the South Africans. First up was Mirage. After a porous defensive showing in the first half Bravado capitulated 7 – 16 to Dignitas. On Cobblestone, BVD struck back with an emphatic 16 – 8 triumph born off the back of a much improved defensive showing. It all came down to Inferno as the decider. In a very close encounter, Sonic proved to be the key difference maker in the team amassing 28 kills for a mere 13 deaths. Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali also had a great outing on Inferno, with the sniper claiming 24 kills to his name. Bravado closed out the map 16 – 14, taking the series 2 – 1. The most valuable player on the BVD side in this win was undoubtedly Johnny “JT” Theodosiou who put on a consistently impressive showing, even on the map they lost. He ended with a series-leading 1.25 HLTV rating.

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