Velocity Gaming survived an early scare on Icebox and managed to put brakes on ROG Academy’s blitzing start to secure a 2-0 series win (13-9 Icebox, 13-5 Bind) in the opening fixture in Group B of the TEC Gauntlet Group Stage.
Velocity Gaming started on the Defensive side and immediately showed their resolve, with Anuj ‘Amaterasu’ Sharma opening things with a triple-kill emerging from tubes to hand Velocity the opening pistol. Trailing 2-0, ROG Academy captain Atharv ‘Rio’ Ahire posted a triple-kill to get his team up and running on the scoreboard. Thereafter, it was all ROG Academy as they managed to capture the momentum of the proceedings and the same reflected in the scoreline, with ROG Academy leading 5-2. However, Velocity Gaming managed to turn it around with successful retakes of the A site and finish the first half with a meager 5-7 deficit. Pistols seemed to be where Amaterasu dominated as he converted a post-plant clutch against the adversarial Sage, Piyush ‘clouda’ Kalwania to seize the momentum back. During ROG Academy’s full buy round at 7-7, Chirant ‘Trance’ Saluja stuck the defuse and restored his team’s lead, with Velocity Gaming unable to react in time to thwart the cheeky defuse attempt. The match moved on to be evenly poised at 9-9 when Velocity Gaming started seizing more and more control of the map and the scoreline. With Agneya ‘Marzil’ Koushik creating space and taking entries at the same time, the map opened up for Velocity Gaming, who did not look back even once, closing out Icebox with a 13-9 scoreline.
As the two teams clashed once again, this time on Bind, Velocity Gaming won the pistol round once again but Rio came up big with a 1v2 on the eco to secure the round for ROG Academy. A triple-kill from Jai ‘glyph’ Mehtani on the 4th round saw ROG Academy take a 3-1 lead on the Attack. Velocity gaming pegged ROG Academy back to level terms by the 6th round and some swift rotation from Marzil on his Raze with his Showstopper restored the lead for the Defenders. Velocity Gaming began being utterly dominant on the defence from this point onwards and an early shutdown at A short saw Velocity end the first half with a strong 9-3 lead. ROG Academy finally managed to win a pistol round as they shut down Velocity gaming’s attempt to execute a B split. They converted the following anti-eco to shrink the deficit down to just 4 rounds. Velocity Gaming responded with a rather scuffed B execute but doubles from Sagnik ‘hellfR’ Roy and Tejas ‘rite2ace’ Sawant managed to close the deal on their first buy round. Vibhor ‘vibhoRR’ Vaid did his part with a triple-kill on the subsequent round to open up an 11-5 lead. Velocity Gaming denied even an inch of room of a potential comeback for ROG Academy as rite2ace finished things in style with a shock dart kill on Rio to grab Bind with a scoreline of 13-5 to close out the series in straight maps.
While Marzil led the way for Velocity Gaming in terms of first kills, with 9 of them over two maps, vibhoRR wasn’t as far behind with 8 first kills to his name. To add to it, vibhoRR was as solid as ever for Velocity Gaming, coming up huge whenever it mattered and that earns him the MVP award for this Group B opener.