Following a shocking win from Team Heretics to gain them a place in the First Strike Europe Regional Final grand finals, SUMN FC and FunPlus Phoenix went head to head in a reverse sweep that had Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky stomp on Split, before Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s squad showed off their Haven, before their Viper and Reyna dominated on Bind.
Split started the series, being an extremely strong map for FPX, and saw both teams play their standard compositions, with Shao on Sage and his counterpart Muhammad “Moe40” Hariff picking Jett. FPX’s attack started strong, taking the first two, dropping the third to Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos in a 1v2. Bringing it into an extremely close 1v1 between Shao and James “Mistic” Orfila, a detonating spike gave FPX a two round advantage, which they continued to build on with five consecutive rounds while exploiting a weak B hold. SUMN finally mustered up their second in round ten, just edging out FPX and the clock. FPX answered by slow map control before, yet again, barrelling into an empty B site, closing out with a close post-plant in a 2v1 against Mistic.
SUMN now took to the attack, 2-10 down, which saw them belting over Shao’s Sage wall to clean up FPX’s B site flawlessly, following up by dismantling their enemies second round set up. Buying up five Vandals, FPX then shut out SUMN’s next attack, before Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow shut them out completely with a 4k to give over match point, closing the game 13-4 after a magnificent A hold.
Swiftly moving on to SUMN FC’s map pick of Haven, both Shao and Moe moved into a Sova role and tsack selected Killjoy. With a four man push at A for FPX, both squads argued out, leaving a low health retake for an FPX round. SUMN replied by forcing up with an A push of their own, winning them the follow-up but in another confusing push, SUMN slipped up and lost another round. Trading back and forth, both squads battled out a round each before two successful executions saw SUMN going 4-3 up. Pontus “Zyppan” Eek’s Showstopper was then used, completely closing down SUMN’s B push. Overcoming this blip, SUMN returned to form, with four clean set-plays, ending the half at 8-4.
With the start of a new half, SUMN continued in their round streak, winning another three. FPX finally answered back in an extremely close A execution which brought the round disadvantage to six. They continued to use their attacking prowess to bring in another two rounds. A heroic 3k by Doma saved SUMN from losing momentum, also gaining them their map point at 12-7, but had to save in the subsequent round with FPX dismantling their B hold. Adapting, SUMN then held off the B post plant to win their map pick, 13-8, bringing the series to 1-1.
The deciding map was Bind, with fans looking cheer on the Viper vs Viper, which wasn’t delivered with only Mistic choosing the agent and doma even picking into a rare Reyna. FPX chose to change ANGE1 into Omen but leaving the rest of their composition the same.
The map started with an explosive trade situation that had FPX losing out, and then being shut out of the three follow ups. FPX put a round on the board after a long fought out A retake with Shao at 5 HP but after another B site skirmish, SUMN edged out FPX with only Mistic surviving. This helped the British core return to winning ways with two exceptionally close rounds, followed by a shut-out retake on B. The tenth encounter saw SUMN pushing mid, being stopped, but having a lurk by Mistic and great shots by tsack winning them an upset 2v4 round, continuing a streak which helped SUMN win a close tenth for them. FPX finally found some footing for the last round, but ended the half trailing, 2-10.
Being eight rounds down, FPX ran down mid but were shut out, leaving Johan “Meddo” Lundborg in an unwinnable 1v2. With superior weaponry, SUMN then ran themselves into A, completely shutting down FPX with a flawless round. 12-2 up, SUMN then exploded out of A short but were finally shut out by Zyppan and ANGE1 with Zyppan repeating his strong hold with his Showstopper. An ace by ShadoW then saved FPX’s map yet again, winning a 1v2 and shutting down the Viper’s Pit. The following FPX hold caused SUMN to bring in a tactical pause to talk out the direction of the game and SUMN won out the map in an eco swarm of B site, taking out FPX, 2-1.
First Strike Europe Regional Final