By: Zachary Lange

With more opportunity to prepare for LAN action with newcomer Ryan “freakazoid” Abadir, eUnited Counter Strike claimed third place in Group B of Season 10 play in the ESL Pro League.

As a result, eUnited will travel back to Burbank, California for continued play in the second round of the EPL in mid-November.

Group B play in the opening round of EPL play began Friday when eUnited faced Evil Geniuses. Potentially a surprise pick, eUnited opted to select Vertigo as the opening map where the team claimed a 16-6 victory. All five players finished with a positive kill-death ratio, including a 23 kill performance for main AWP Austin “Cooper” Abadir to lead the lobby.

Needing to rebound, EG took their map pick, Inferno, by a 16-12 score line. After opening CT side in a 4-11 deficit, eUnited were able to win seven of the first eight rounds on T side, but stumbled in the late stages, losing four of the last five rounds, respectively.

On the deciding Dust2, eUnited held serve with EG at the half, down only 8-7 at the break. An opening half pistol and subsequent rounds proved too much for eUnited to overcome, however, with the team falling 16-9.

In what would end up being a battle for the final spot into next month’s final qualification into the Season 10 Finals, eUnited defeated Cloud 9 by a 2-1 final.

After dropping Cloud9’s pick on Nuke, 16-7, eUnited stormed back with a win on their pick of Mirage (16-10) and the deciding Overpass (16-12).

The trio of Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado and Cooper all eclipsed 60 kills in the three-game series, compared to zero players on the side of C9. On Overpass, Cooper’s 33 kills in the match was a weekend-high for an individual eUnited player across all nine maps played.

To close out the weekend Sunday, eUnited’s battle against Complexity saw the match go the to the decider once more, with Complexity winning 2-1.

Fresh off of their series winning performance on the map, eUnited opted for Overpass where they won 16-10 to go up in the series. Conversely seeing EG win on Dust2, Complexity’s pick ended in a 16-9 result in their favor, with the deciding Inferno left to determine a series winner.

Surprisingly, neither side had not played Inferno once all weekend until this point. What was once a heavily played selection for eUnited has, in recent times, taken a back seat to the likes of Mirage, Overpass and Nuke, with Inferno only being played a total of four times over the past three months for the team across all online and LAN play.

eUnited found themselves down 9-6 in the half but claimed a CT-sided pistol round to open up the second half. Unfortunately for the squad, they were unable to take advantage as a flurry of picks in the subsequent round was the opening Complexity needed to claim the round and six of the next nine to win Inferno 16-10.

Evil Geniuses were able to win Group B overall with a 3-0 record.

This is the second-straight season of EPL play where eUnited advanced to the second round, a last chance qualifier that will see only one member out of a four-team group make the season finale in Odense, Denmark on Dec. 3-8. Two groups, played on Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 16-18, will be announced at a later date.

Here is a final breakdown of set scores from the weekend (eUnited score listed first):

Evil Geniuses 2, eUnited 1
Map 1, Vertigo: 16-6
Map 2, Inferno: 12-16
Map 3, Dust2: 9-16

eUnited 2, Cloud9 1
Map 1, Nuke: 7-16
Map 2, Mirage: 16-10
Map 3, Overpass: 16-12

Complexity 2, eUnited 1
Map 1 Overpass: 16-10
Map 2 Dust2: 9-16
Map 3 Inferno: 10-16