True Rippers pulled off an upset in Group B of the TEC Gauntlet Group Stage as they narrowly beat Samurai Esports by a 2-1 series scoreline (15-13 Ascent, 12-14 Haven, 13-9 Split). True Rippers have confirmed their spot in season 2 of the TEC Gauntlet with the win but couldn’t do enough to make the Main Stage of the current season.
Samurai Esports opted for the Sova-Skye composition while True Rippers opted to run an orthodox Omen and Cypher lineup on Ascent. Samurai Esports began the map on the right foot, winning the pistol and the subsequent round. True Rippers responded with a win on their first full-buy but Samurai registered three flawless rounds in succession to race to a 5-1 lead. True Rippers came back to an extent and brought it to within a round quickly. The half ended in Samurai’s favour with a 7-5 scoreline with the two teams trading rounds. Some good late round defence at the back of B site from Pruthvi ‘RelliK’ Rathod yielded True Rippers the pistol round. And, they soon took the lead, winning the bonus round on the back of Crosshair’s triple kill. Samurai though, soon strung together a series of rounds and reached a 12-10 lead. True Rippers shut down Samurai’s A split the very next round. Samurai were in with a great chance to close out Ascent, with a 4v4 post-plant situation at A generators. But, True Rippers made it work somehow to force overtime. 1TapGoD propelled True Rippers to map point, with a triple kill on the Attack. Samurai though, forced a second overtime, refusing to budge. However, 1TapGoD continued to shine in Overtime, handing his team the map with a double kill on the A short defence.
Both the teams opted for an identical composition on Haven and it was True Rippers who made their momentum count in the early rounds, racing to a 6-0 lead right out the gates on the Defence. A triple kill from Shailesh ‘blackhawk’ Dalvi on the A post-plant saw Samurai register their first round win on Haven. True Rippers though, continued to ride the wave of momentum and finished the half with a strong 9-3 lead. TR soon touched double figures, with 1TapGod converting a 1v2 clutch on A site. Samurai Esports chose to force and the gamble paid off for the Defenders as a triple kill from blackhawk ensured they don’t lose sight of TR. However, after a couple of trades, True Rippers reached map and series points, with 6 of them to spare. Karan ‘Excali’ Mhaswadkar’s triple kill with the Blade Storm started the comeback trail for Samurai, who soon started shutting down TR’s attack with unnerving ease, getting to within a round of forcing overtime. Samurai were faced with a tricky 2v3 situation in the final round but Simar ‘psy’ Sethi got the triple towards the A-CT entry point to rescue his side and force overtime. Buoyed by the comeback, Samurai converted a 3v5 post-plant to move to map point, which they pulled off thanks to a triple kill from Saransh ‘whimp’ Dang to force the decider, Split.
Samurai went for the Breach pick of Split while True Rippers chose to field a more traditional Brimstone on the map. Samurai started the brighter of the two, winning the pistol and the anti-eco to gain a 2-0 lead. TR levelled up the scores soon as the full-buy rolled out. A quad-kill from 1TapGoD ensured a flawless round for TR, who moved into the lead. The lead was soon extended to 7-3. Samurai though, were unperturbed by the increasing deficit and soon levelled up the scores at 7-7, winning the last two rounds of the first half and carrying that momentum to win the second half pistol and the ensuing round. The two teams proceeded to trade rounds, with True Rippers edging Samurai to have a 10-9 lead. 1TapGoD found the entry on the Breach with his Showstopper to clear the site for the plant and force Samurai into a two-man save. TR soon reached 12 on the back of a triple kill from their money-man 1TapGoD. Kasif ‘Paradoxks’ Sayyed punished Excali’s mid push and took the Breach down as well, with TR converting a 4v2 post-plant to secure a 13-9 win over Split.
1TapGod was truly the saviour and messiah for True Rippers, coming up with multi-kills in crucial rounds and in overtime situations to push his team home. He ended the match with 64 kills to his name and an ADR of 161.8 to bag the WD Black MVP of the series award.