Extra Salt claimed on Sunday the title of DreamHack Open March North America champions, dropping only a single map over the course of the tournament and culminating their run with a 3-0 sweep over paiN in the grand final to earn $35,000 and book a ticket to IEM Summer 2021.
“Words can’t describe the win, it’s been much waited on,” Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek said in a post-match interview. Regarding the team’s next steps now that they have cemented their place as the best team playing in North America, Sonic said that Extra Salt have always had their sights set on playing in Europe, where they plan to play for “quite a while.” When asked about the chance that Extra Salt passes Cloud9 in the world rankings following their win, Sonic simply said: “Expected.”
Extra Salt are set to travel to Europe in short order as they will compete in the FunSpark ULTI 2020 Europe Final from April 19-26, with appearances at DreamHack Masters Spring and IEM Summer also on their calendar in the following months.
paiN got off to a blazing start on Inferno, racing ahead to an 8-2 lead on the offense of their own map pick. It took a triple kill from oSee to get Extra Salt back in the running, but from there, Johnny “JT” Theodosiou‘s troops assumed firm control, going on a 13-1 spree of rounds to rapidly attain match point before closing out the map shortly afterwards.
A back-and-forth trading of rounds unfolded at the onset of Train, but this time it was Extra Salt who came out on top, with oSee leading the way in a 10-5 T side effort. An ace from Sonic in the second pistol and subsequent anti-eco conversion allowed Extra Salt to extend their lead, but paiN remained resilient, winning eight rounds in a row to keep themselves in contention before Extra Salt stabilized, winning four final rounds to go up 2-0 in the series.
oSee and company continued to show strong form in the starting moments on Mirage, with the 21-year-old AWPer leading the way in an 8-3 start for Extra Salt. Multi-kill rounds from Wesley “hardzao” Lopes put paiN back in the running as they clawed back to a one-round deficit at the half, and another six rounds off the break gave the Brazilian team a 13-8 lead. Yet again though, Extra Salt had a resurgence in the closing moments of the map, recovering a 2vs4 situation and later regaining control off the back of a crucial 1vs3 clutch from Justin “FaNg” Coakley to edge out a 16-14 win and take the series.
DreamHack Open March North America final standings: