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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Video: Hobbit – MVP of BLAST Premier Spring Final

Hobbit picked up his second Most Valuable Player award of 2021, and the third of his career, at the $425,000 online event following an extraordinarily consistent showing across four series (nine maps) on the way to Gambit’s title victory.

Hobbit added his second MVP award to his 2021 collection

The Kazakh rifler narrowly beat out teammate Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov to the accolade thanks to his incredible impact throughout the tournament, in which he posted a 1.21 average rating, 84.6 ADR and a +38 K-D. The 27-year-old’s worst map was a 1.11-rated showing on Dust2 in the grand final, a testament to Hobbit‘s dependability.

Press play below to watch the highlight movie, created by Radosław “MAKKU” Makuch, and relive the most memorable moments from Hobbit’s standout tournament performance.

You can watch all of HLTV.org’s highlights, as well as previous episodes of the HLTV Confirmed show, by visiting our official YouTube channel.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit beat NAVI in BLAST Premier Spring final to win third big title in 2021

Gambit have become the BLAST Premier Spring Final champions following a 2-0 victory in a rematch against Natus Vincere in the tournament’s title decider. The Russian-Kazakh side has secured the $225,000 grand prize as well as a spot at the $1 million World Final, which will take place in December.

The CIS squad’s consistency has been unmatched this year so far, as the BLAST Spring victory brings Gambit‘s big title count to three in 2021, more than any other team. Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov & co. secured their first big-event trophy at IEM Katowice in February and the second only a week ago at IEM Summer, all the while appearing in two more big finals and picking up a smaller title at the EPIC League CIS RMR event.

The team will remain just as busy until the beginning of the player break, as they will look to extend their run of success at the last two tournaments of the first half of the season, at the StarLadder CIS RMR (June 27-July 4) and at IEM Cologne (July 8-18).

Gambit extend their dominant run with the third consecutive title

NAVI had been the only team to take a map off Gambit at the BLAST Premier Spring Final prior to the title decider, but they couldn’t bring their regional rivals to the deciding map the second time around, with Vladislav “⁠nafany⁠” Gorshkov‘s team maintaining control for the majority of the title decider.

Dust2 was the playground on the opener of the grand final series. NAVI picked the map after having played it in every series of the tournament with varying levels of success, and they fell short to Gambit once more after the previous encounter between the two saw the nafany-led side pick up a 16-14 victory.

This time the world’s No. 1 team came out victorious 16-12, much thanks to a dominant run at the beginning of the first half on the offense, which saw them secure an 8-2 lead before NAVI could find some footing. Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev & co. slowly climbed back after the slow start, with a forcebuy victory in the second half and a combination of Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy and Valeriy “⁠B1T⁠” Vakhovskiy in a 2v5 situation helping them close the gap, but eventually faltered to Gambit‘s double-AWP setup.

NAVI hoped to turn things around on Mirage with a promising start on the CT side, but everything seemed to fall apart for them after they conceded the fourth round to just pistols. Gambit seized control of the map from that point on, and although a few risky plays and a 1v2 clutch from s1mple prevented the favorites from running away with the first half, sh1ro‘s side were back in the driving seat once sides switched as they rallied to a 16-11 victory.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

G2 eliminate NIP; advance to BLAST Premier consolidation final

G2 are through to the consolidation final of the BLAST Premier Spring Final after besting NIP 2-1 in the lower bracket. The European side claimed revenge against Hampus “⁠hampus⁠” Poser and company after being eliminated by them in Flashpoint 3, and are now faced with a header against Natus Vincere for a spot in the grand final – a match which marks the first time the two teams will meet since they removed Kenny “⁠kennyS⁠” Schrub and Egor “⁠flamie⁠” Vasilyev from their rosters.

The series started off in less than ideal fashion for G2 as it was NIP who put up strong defense on Dust2, only for the European roster to take firm control in the second half with a clinical CT side of their own. Nuke was a more back-and-forth affair as the teams remained deadlocked for much of the map, but it was a stellar showing from Linus “⁠LNZ⁠” Holtäng that helped NIP take the map over the line, only for them to fall on Inferno after forcing overtime from an 11-15 deficit.

“nexa has a very clear vision and that helps us in some of these tight games,” Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač explained after the match when asked about the Serbian’s leadership. “We win most of the tight games, but we shouldn’t let it get tight if it isn’t necessary.” Regarding their next match against Natus Vincere, NiKo said that G2 would need to prepare and approach the game differently, as they have always struggled against the team in their previous matchups. “We struggle in general against CIS teams, so we need to sit down and talk about how we’re going to approach this game.”

huNter- helped G2 take Inferno over the line with a 32-22 K-D

NIP got off to a strong start on their map pick, Dust2, a showing that was helmed by a spree of multi-frag rounds from LNZ and Nicolai “⁠device⁠” Reedtz. G2 finally cracked through on round 7 with a mid-to-B split, and added a second round to their tally before NIP answered back, pulling further ahead to a 8-2 scoreline before G2 created an opening with pistols. An ace attempt from device was denied by NiKo to grant G2 their fifth round, but Deagles from NIP shut down a long hit to close out the half as NIP pulled ahead, 10-5.

The Swedish side took pole position with a pistol win following the side swap, only for the Scouts of Audric “⁠JaCkz⁠” Jug and François “⁠AmaNEk⁠” Delaunay to put a halt to that momentum and offer G2 a vestige of hope in saving the map. That opportunity was immediately seized upon by the European side, who went on to post a stalwart defense by entirely shutting NIP out of both bombsites, winning eleven rounds in a row to steal away NIP‘s map pick.

G2‘s momentum carried into Nuke, where they recovered a handful of man-disadvantage situations en route to a 6-0 lead of their own. A brief trading of rounds, during which AmaNEk prevailed in a 1vs2 clutch to grant G2 their eighth, ended with NIP finding their footing to bring themselves within one round by the break.

The second half was the LNZ show, with the 18-year-old providing pivotal trade kills for his team as they continued to claw back from an early deficit. G2‘s second round force-buy and subsequent conversions were not enough to keep them in control as NIP fought back to take the lead, securing opening kills and sustaining in late round situations to edge out a 16-13 map win, and force an Inferno decider.

A similar scenario unfolded on the final map of the series, with G2 blazing ahead to a 6-0 start before NIP got on the board, recovering a 3vs5 situation with a Deagle and Scout. The Swedes gave themselves some further breathing room with a handful of rounds, but it was still G2 who maintained a lead, 9-6, heading into the side swap.

An early spree of rounds once again gave G2 firm footing at the start of the second half, and it seemed they would quickly run away with the map before a crucial 1vs3 clutch from device kept NIP in the running. G2 responded soon after, moving up to match point, but a comeback effort from NIP saw the Swedes win five rounds in a row to force overtime. In the end, though, it was G2 who ran away in the deciding moments of the map, winning all three rounds on their CT side before sustaining a second comeback effort from NIP to secure a 19-17 win.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit move past NAVI to book BLAST Premier grand final spot

Gambit have secured a spot in the grand final of the BLAST Premier Spring Final following a 2-1 victory against Natus Vincere. The world No.1 team put a stop to a two-match losing streak against their CIS rival (0-3 in DreamHack Masters Spring and 0-2 in EPIC League CIS) with a dominant performance that sees them make their ninth final since the start of the year, the sixth in a row.

Fresh off 2-0 victories over Evil Geniuses and Complexity, the young CIS roster drew first blood in the series with a narrow Dust2 victory in a closely-contested game. NAVI replied on Ancient, showing marked improvements from Wednesday’s defeat to FaZe on Train’s replacement, but their map pool issues were laid bare for all to see as they were outclassed on Mirage, one of their worst maps in recent history.

“We need to play more Ancient,” Vladislav “⁠nafany⁠” Gorshkov said after the match. “It’s not the best in our map pool, but I think that after some time it will be one of our best maps. It’s like a new map and no one has much experience. It’s a bit like Vertigo, which is now one of our best maps.” The in-game leader, who put in a strong performance on Mirage, added that he expects a strong NAVI side if they manage to reach the final: “I think it will be the toughest game ever.”

Gambit advance to Sunday’s grand final

Gambit made a whirlwind start to the series, hopping out to a 4-0 lead on the offence on Dust2 before NAVI finally came to life, powered not only by their big guns but also Valeriy “⁠B1T⁠” Vakhovskiy, who raised eyebrows with an ace in the nith round. The 18-year-old was a joy to watch in the first half, racking up 15 frags, five more than Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev or Denis “⁠electronic⁠” Sharipov, as NAVI controlled the flow of play from the midway point and went into the break with a minimal advantage.

The second half began with Gambit retaking the lead on the back off a trio of frags from Sergey “⁠Ax1Le⁠” Rykhtorov in the pistol round. The game became more chaotic once it reached the gun stages as neither side were able to stamp their authority over the author, but in the end, NAVI’s insistence on letting the clock wind down backfired and allowed Gambit to make a late push for the win.

NAVI hit back immediately after losing the pistol round on Ancient and rode that momentum to a 6-1 lead. An ace clutch from Abay “⁠Hobbit⁠” Khasenov then breathed new life into Gambit, who began to fight their way back into the game, but the half still ended with a three-round lead for NAVI thanks to two key clutches from B1T in the closing stages.

The second half brought no relief for Gambit, who had no response to their opponents’ pace and power. One round was all that the young CIS side could muster as NAVI ran out comfortable winners in this one-sided affair.

Gambit came out on Mirage all guns blazing and raced to a 7-0 lead on the offence. NAVI then finally managed to hold back their opponents to earn some much-needed breathing room, but the respite was only temporary as Gambit quickly took control once again to end the half up 12-3, with nafany leading the charge with some impressive numbers (19-11 KD-D, 123 ADR and 9-2 opening duel record).

NAVI showed some signs of life in the second half and put some rounds together after losing the pistol, but by then it was simply too late. Gambit tightened up and immediately took the upper hand, shutting out NAVI for a swift end to the game.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

AmaNEk shines as G2 come back to send Complexity packing at BLAST

G2 have advanced to the lower bracket final at BLAST Premier Spring Final following a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Complexity. The French-Balkan team have secured their fourth consecutive top-four finish at the event as they hope to go one step further this time in their clash against NIP in the lower bracket final, taking place on Saturday at 18:30