In the opening match of North American First Strike, it was the first seed Envy who took the victory, despite Immortals making the second map of Ascent rather close. Envy will advance to play the winner of Renegades vs. TSM, while Immortals are eliminated.
The first series for North America kicked off on Icebox, the first time it’s been played at such a high level in the region. Agents were quite standard for the attacking Immortals, while on Envy’s side, Victor “food” Wong took Reyna. It was Andrew “ShoT UP” Orlowski’s Reyna that won the pistol, but an eco clutch by Jake “kaboose” McDonald kept things tied early. Envy kept up the pressure, winning another five rounds, answered by only one from Immortals. Immortals went A every single round, and Envy were ready and waiting for them. In addition, food was able to take great advantage of flanks and the many angles the site afforded. While Immortals began to make a bit of a comeback, still never leaving the A site, Envy closed the half out at 7-5.
The second half pistol went to Envy in the first B hit of the match, and they followed it up with a nice string of rounds, winning their anti-eco, breaking Immortals’ economy with the rifle round win, and following it up with another anti-eco victory. A very well-played rifle round put Envy on a quick match point, and a 3k by food gave them a 13-5 win without Immortals winning a single defensive round.
Moving on to Ascent, picks were again normal for Immortals, while on Envy’s side, attacking first this time, food picked up Phoenix and kaboose piloted the Reyna. Again, the opening pistol was Immortals’, but again, Envy won an eco and followed it up with four straight rounds. With things looking eerily similar to the first map, Immortals needed to get back into it, and some very nice Operator work from Jason “jmoh” Mohandessi helped them do just that. Pujan “FNS” Mehta clutched a 4k on A site for Envy, though, and they followed it up with 4 in a row to close out the half 9-3, despite having to win a 2v3 and nearly getting eco’d.
With Immortals’ backs against the wall, jmoh grabbed four kills on the pistol round, but it wasn’t enough as FNS clutched the 1v1. Immortals won an eco and the follow-up to keep themselves somewhat in it, but it was then their turn to get eco’d. However, Envy couldn’t convert like Immortals had, and Immortals began to string rounds together. A 2v4 clutch by ShoT UP and Noah “jcStani” Smith meant the score was suddenly 11-9, with the team right back in it. They picked up two more partly thanks to ecos, before Envy grabbed their first round win in 6 attempts. In the end, the difference for Immortals to make up was too insurmountable, and Envy closed the map out 13-11, winning the match 2-0.
First Strike North America Regional Final