For the last Quarterfinal in First Strike Europe Regional Final, we saw Vakaris “vakk” Bebravičius’s nolpenki take on the European powerhouse, FunPlus Phoenix, where Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow’s men were led by example, sweeping nolpenki 2-0.
Starting on Bind, FPX repeated their most recent composition with ANGE1 selecting Viper for a second time. Splitting A with a Toxic Screen, they battled out and eventually took the pistol before cleaning up their second, only losing ANGE1 and Tobias “ShadoW” Flodström. Once again battling for A, FPX managed a third Spike plant but a great retake from Nolpenki had them take the first gun round, repeating this hold for the fourth. Flawlessly, nolpenki took the fifth, which gave them a lead but was instantly equalized by Pontus “Zyppan” Eek’s entry and 3k. At 3-3, Zyppan once again took an entry, helping FPX resecure a lead. With some great fights by ANGE1, FPX dominated the next few rounds, ending the half at 9-3.
Nolpenki picked up the pistol round in a very back and forth A Site Skirmish which had only Jesse “JESMUND” Terävä survive, who went on to help close out the following four rounds, leading to an FPX Tactical Pause. Losing five rounds in a row and only having a one round lead, FPX’s Sheriffs were dismantled with Nolpenki evening up with a flawless round before Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek opened B with a magnificent 4k. Not happy with being behind, FPX finally took themselves a defence round with two different Judge kills, repeating it with ANGE1 chasing Aron “xajdish” Fredriksson through the teleporter with the shotgun. FPX, in a successful retake of B, gave themselves a match point, before they held off B to take the first map 13-10.
Moving on to nolpenki’s Split, we saw FPX rolling back time, with Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky’s Sage while nolpenki continued their double Duelist set-up. The pistol saw a B take before a blunder by FPX, giving the spike over the enemies below B rafters. JESMUND then stopped all of FPX in their tracks with an eco 4k spray down. ANGE1 quickly replied with a 2k opener within twenty seconds running up middle and then traded by another 4k, this time by Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt. Nolpenki then quelled FPX’s next two rounds. FPX were finally able to punch through nolpenki on round seven, managing four straight rounds, flawlessly winning the equalizing round. Continuing this confidence, FPX took the B site and managed a scrappy round giving them their first lead, then winning another consecutive round to win the half 7-5.
With sides swapped, FPX continued their six round streak, winning the pistol and the follow-up with ANGE1’s 6hp 1v2 clutch. With another flawless round to succeed, FPX were finally backed against the wall, with ZEEK’s 3k winning nolpenki their sixth, continuing to find a seventh and almost an eighth, but a 1v2 from ShadoW gave it to FPX. Confidence was regained by the Swedish-CIS mix, giving them a twelth and series point before closing out the series at 13-7.
First Strike Europe Regional Final