Extra Salt have become the second DreamHack Open March North America finalists after besting High Coast 2-0 in the semi-finals, setting up a best-of-five battle against paiN for the lion’s share of the $70,000 prize pool and a spot at IEM Summer 2021.
“We did really want to play Liquid since they’ve been in Europe for a while,” Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek stated in a post-match interview, “but I guess we’re just going to have to wait for that opportunity. As for paiN, I know they’ve been prepping pretty hard, especially to beat us, so I think it’s going to be a good match.”
Sonic also praised the evolution in Johnny “JT” Theodosiou‘s leadership, stating that the South African captain’s reads had become “really good lately” and that he had grown as an individual. He then wished paiN good luck in the grand final on Sunday, saying: “they’re good friends, wonderful guys and definitely one of my favourite Brazilian teams, but this is CS man – there’s only one winner on the table.”
The series between the two teams kicked off on Dust2, where Ian “motm” Hardy was unable to claim revenge over his former teammates despite a close affair. What started off as a three-round lead for Extra Salt quickly gave way to strong offensive effort from High Coast, who managed to fight back and pull ahead 10-5 by the break.
The tides quickly turned in the second half, however, and it was Extra Salt who put the pressure on their opposition, with Sonic leading the way with a 1.80 rating and 33-19 K-D as Extra Salt narrowly edged out a victory in round 30.
JT‘s troops maintained momentum heading into their pick of Vertigo, kicking off the map with a 6-0 lead. High Coast rallied back, bringing themselves within one round by halftime before taking the lead off the break, 10-8. A triple kill from Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado put Extra Salt back in the running, and from there they gave up just one additional round as they put an end to High Coast‘s hopes of a third map, taking the victory 16-11.