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Virtus Pro Edge Out Space Soldiers in ECS Qualification

Legendary Polish Counter-Strike side Virtus Pro (VP) earned their spot in the ECS League last night, though their opponents, Space Soldiers, certainly didn't make it easy for them. In fact, VP found themselves down 2-13 down after the first half of the opening map of the series, on one of their staple maps, Train. In typical VP fashion, it took a comeback on their almost impenetrable Counter-Terrorist side to force the game into overtime. By the time the Polish side had executed the comeback and secured themselves game point, Space Soldiers had only picked up a single round on the Terrorist side. Filip "NEO" Kubski was unable to clutch the 1v2 in round 30 to grab the win, however his team managed to get the job done in overtime, taking the game 19-17. Space Soldiers fired back on Inferno in map two. The Turkish side is usually led by the explosive Can "XANTARES" Dortkardes, but this time he was quiet. Instead it was hybrid player Bugra "Calyx" Arkin topping the leaderboards as VP were swept aside, with Space Soldiers making sure to not even allow the Polish side a chance to repeat their comeback performance of map one. If the viewers weren't rewarded well enough after the first map, they certainly were as the series headed into it's third. XANTARES seemed to be back on form after a disappointing second map, but even his 36 kill performance wasn't enough to swing the game in his teams favour. As each side traded blows back and forth, finishing the half 8-7, and the thirty rounds at 15-15. Another overtime beckoned, but once again Space Soldiers showed their lack of composure in crunch time, as VP swept the overtime 4-0 to secure their second win, and get themselves onto map point. A lesser team may have thrown in the towel, after throwing away a lead in the first and losing composure in the dying stages of the third, it wouldn't have been surprising to see Space Soldiers mentally out of the game, but that wasn't the case. Once again it was Calyx heading the charge for the Turkish side on Mirage, however neither him nor his teammates could defend themselves from the onslaught that was Jaroslaw "pasha" Jarzablowski, and Pawel "Byali" Bielinski. The combo managed to put up 64 frags between them, almost 20 more than their three teammates combined. We also enjoyed what may have been a mistake from Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas turned into a clutch play, mistake or planned? You decide.

With their qualification to the ECS, Virtus Pro have ensured they don't suffer the same fate as Danish side North, who will be sitting out the league after losing their qualification series against Fnatic. The league kicks off on Friday, though the initial schedule of first week's matches have not been released just yet. nor the details of the offline finals. Last season, Astralis toppled Optic in the grand final hosted in Anaheim to claim the first place trophy and $250,000.