First day of Elisa Invitational was full of action. After six best-of-one matches, ENCE went straight to the qualifier final, Dignitas and Apeks claimed semi-final spots and GODSENT saw the end of their tournament after three maps.

Dignitas vs Apeks (Nuke 16-8)

The first match of the day offered no surprises. Dignitas started off with a strong performance on their terrorist side, taking confident 8-2 lead. Apeks couldn’t string two round wins together during the first ten rounds, leaving their economy in a bad state. They managed to win four of the last five rounds, climbing the half-time score to 6-9.

Dignitas was leading confidently coming in their CT side. They won pistol round and three more, to gain 13-6 lead. Once again, Apeks couldn’t win two rounds in a row, meaning that Dignitas didn’t have to leave their comfort zone too much. Norwegians didn’t stand a chance, as hallzerk and NiP legends stormed their way to 16-8 victory.

Player highlight: hallzerk

The Norwegian ZywOo, Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli, definitely delivered, as he top-fragged with a 23 kill performance (99.1 ADR, 1.48 HLTV-Rating). He also led entry kills, winning six of his eight entry duels.

GODSENT vs ENCE (Dust2 10-16)

The debut match for Elias ”Jamppi” Olkkonen started a little slow for ENCE. GODSENT won pistol round and quickly gained 3-0 lead, but ENCE came back with guns, winning three rounds in a row. International side hit back by stealing the next round with pistols and five more, thanks to two clutches by Martin ”STYKO” Styk. ENCE won the last three, cutting GODSENT lead to 9-6.

ENCE lost their terrorist pistol round after the most awkward scenes. Allu couldn’t hit his USP shots during afterplant, granting GODSENT 10-6 lead. However, it was all ENCE after that, as they won round after round before sealing the deal 16-10.

Player highlight: allu

Jamppi had a solid debut match, but Aleksi ”allu” Jalli was once again the winning factor for ENCE. Pistol round loss wasn’t his greatest moments, but in the end he grabbed 22 kills (17 with AWP), 94.8 ADR and 1.43 Rating. He was also the best entry fragger, getting six entry frags out of nine entry duels.

ENCE vs Dignitas (Dust2 16-11)

Another Dust2 followed, and it was another #EZ4ENCE. During their T-side, ENCE lost twice against weaker buys by Dignitas. In spite of those surprising victories, Swedes couldn’t get enough momentum, letting ENCE win the half 8-7.

The second half started a little slow by ENCE. Dignitas won four of the first six rounds, including pistol, taking the lead 11-10. ENCE might have started slow, but once again they grabbed the momentum back and rolled into victory with six consecutive round wins.

Player highlight: Aerial

Allu was on fire once again with 20 frags, but Jani ”Aerial” Jussila managed to top that with 24 kills, 101.5 ADR and 1.53 Rating. He was the king of A Long, winning important entry battles. During their 12 CT rounds, he had amazing 100% KAST and 14 frags.

GODSENT vs Apeks (Nuke 11-16)

The first upset emerged in our third match, as Apeks shocked GODSENT with 16-11 victory. Similarly to their disappointing defeat against Dignitas, Apeks started Nuke in the CT side. Norwegians had a rough start, as GODSENT won pistol and quickly had a solid 4-1 lead. Suddenly Apeks stole the momentum by winning the next round with only pistols, and ran off to 10-5 halftime lead.

GODSENT had won both pistol rounds, but they still found themselves trailing 7-14. They started their comeback strong, but eventually lost against the Desert Eagle of Dennis ”dennis” Edman. Apeks sealed their first victory with pistols, 16-11.

Player highlight: akEz

Kristian ”akez” Kornbakk was easily the man of the match. Norwegian in-game leader led by example, gathering 29 kills, massive 115.2 ADR and 1.55 Rating. His aggressive yard plays seemed to throw GODSENT off a lot in the first half. Nuke might be CT-sided map, but 21 kills is still a lot for one half.

GODSENT vs Dignitas (Inferno 11-16)

GODSENT needed to win Dignitas to keep their hopes alive. Their terrorist side started slow, as Dignitas won pistol and three following rounds. They gained some confidence by winning the fifth round with a half-buy, but Dignitas won the half 10-5 in the end.

The second half started once again by dominant showing by terrorists, and GODSENT quickly reached 9-10 scoreline. It didn’t last too long though, as Swedes started to get the momentum back. GODSENT just couldn’t get their T side going during the gun rounds, and Dignitas closed Inferno 16-11.

Player highlight: hallzerk

One again, hallzerk and his AWP gave a lot of good early rounds for Dignitas. Dignitas won entry frags convincingly 18-9 – hallzerk mastered his entry duels 6-0. In addition to winning all his entry duels, hallzerk got 23 kills, 80.3 ADR and 1.48 Rating.

Honorable mention: Adam ”friberg” Friberg was rolling back the years as he top-fragged with 24 kills, 91.3 ADR and 1.31 Rating.

ENCE vs Apeks (Mirage 16-11)

ENCE was the clear favorite against Apeks, as they had already won convincingly against both GODSENT and Dignitas. Apeks had no pressure though, since they had already clinched playoff spot. GODSENT had lost their last match against Dignitas, meaning that Apeks was already in the playoffs, as GODSENT had been eliminated.

Apeks won T-side pistol and started with a solid 3-0 lead. When ENCE bought weapons, the momentum shifted right away, as they won eight of the following nine rounds. Double AWP setup by Jamppi and allu worked like a charm, even when they needed to retake in a 2v2 situation. Finally Apeks broke through and won the last three rounds, making it only 8-7 lead for ENCE before switching sides.

ENCE had a flying start for their T-side, as Apeks couldn’t find their first CT-side round win before ENCE was already leading 14-7. Soon it was 15-8, and the comeback efforts didn’t go too far as Jere ”sergej” Salo and Jamppi closed the match 16-11 with a pistol buy.

Player highlight: Jamppi

The young prodigy stole the show with 25 kills, 79.1 ADR and 1.25 Rating. He had 16 kills during their CT side and his AWP delivered 10 of those.

Honorable mention: sergej bounced back from practically invisible CT-side of six frags and 45.5 ADR, to destroy Norwegian forces with 17 T-side kills, massive 138.8 ADR and 2.06 Rating to close the game for the Finns.

Group B awaits

Group A is done and dusted, Group B starts 13:00 EEST today when KOVA and Nordavind meet for the first time.

Remember to tune in! Check the Group B Preview and Viewer’s Guide.