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Published: September 15, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The Brazilians defeated 9z 2-0 in the lower bracket of group C of the ESL Pro League
  • 9z will now have to face M80 in an attempt to stay alive in the Maltese tournament
  • Imperial’s boltz⁠ and IGL ⁠VINI⁠ both shined with impressive performances during the match

Brazilian CS:GO team Imperial relegated their regional rivals 9z to the Last Chance Bracket at Malta after defeating them on Nuke and Anubis.

Imperial Defeat 9z

ESL Pro League Season 18 is rapidly moving forward and some teams are already being sent to the last chance bracket. South American CS:GO team 9z is one of them as the squad was relegated to the single-elimination bracket by their counterparts from the same region – the Brazilian organization Imperial.

Now, the Maximiliano “⁠max⁠” Gonzalez-led side will have to face M80 in an attempt to stay alive in the tournament in Malta. The team found itself in this situation thanks to FaZe, who defeated 9z in a somewhat one-sided match recently. The South Americans are currently tasked with survival, and will also have to string together a total of three victories if they want to qualify for the playoffs.

The match itself started on Nuke, 9z’s pick, with the team winning the first pistol round. Unfortunately for them, Imperial quickly answered on the following force buy and stole the round with just a few Deagles. This led to the Brazilians gaining enough momentum to finish the first half with a very comfortable 10-5 lead.

Imperial’s Ricardo “⁠boltz⁠” Prass showed excellent performance, recording an impressive 2.02 rating and 10 opening kills in the first 15 rounds. Although 9z woke up when the sides switched and narrowed the gap in scores, boltz and company quickly dashed their hopes as Imperial eventually regained control and wrapped up the map with a 16-11 lead.

The second map was Anubis and it started in a similar way to Nuke, with 9z claiming the first pistol round. Imperial, who found themselves in the lower bracket against 9z after suffering defeat at the hands of Fnatic, seemed in much better shape and once again quickly responded to their opponents’ challenge with yet another force buy. The Brazilians were very successful on the offense, thanks in part to Henrique “⁠HEN1⁠” Teles and Jhonatan “⁠JOTA⁠” Willian’s fragging output during the 11-4 half.

Viewers might have thought they were experiencing déjà vu, as when the sides switched 9z once again started narrowing the gap in the score before Imperial could respond. But the Brazilians obligingly did so and captain Vinicius “⁠VINI⁠” Figueiredo did much of the rest with his AWP to lead his team to a 16-10 victory on Anubis and a 2-0 match.

Thanks to this triumph, Imperial secured their lower bracket survival in Group C and progression to the next round, where they’ll face off against Apeks, while 9z will have to fight for the right to stay in the tournament in the Last Chance Stage.

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