Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Spirit defeat Astralis to top Group A, Gambit eliminate G2 in IEM Katowice

The CIS squads are continuing their show of strength at IEM Katowice as Spirit and Gambit won their last group stage matches against Astralis and G2, respectively. Spirit are therefore through to the IEM Katowice semi-finals following their clean run in the Group A upper bracket, while Astralis will have to start their playoff run from the quarter-finals as the Group A runners-up.

Gambit and G2 both reached the Group A lower bracket final after losing their opening matches in the tournament. In their last group stage match Gambit came out on top in two maps, winning their map pick Vertigo and then besting G2 on Dust2 to seal the deal with 16-11 scorelines on both maps, knocking their European rivals out of contention while booking a spot in the quarter-finals.

Spirit came out guns blazing on their map pick, Inferno, taking an early 5-1 lead on the terrorist side, but Astralis managed to turn it around by halftime, albeit just barely as the CIS squad kept it within one before switching sides. Spirit tied things up in the second pistol round, but after losing to the forcebuy found themselves in a spiral until Abdul “⁠degster⁠” Gasanov downed four CTs to give his team a lifeline at 9-13. Spirit fought to swing momentum back in their favor, but finally faltered as the Danes closed out the first map 16-11.

Spirit kicked off Train on the preferred CT side, taking an impressive 9-2 lead early on before Astralis started to close the gap with two more rounds, but degster downed three opponents in a pistol buy to hit double digits before switching sides. Having won the second pistol round Spirit kept on track all the way to a 14-5 lead, but Astralis started to mount a comeback on the defense, only giving the attacking squad one chance to plant in seven rounds. Spirit finally posted match point at 15-12 before closing out the map two rounds later, 16-13.

Spirit manhandled Astralis on Dust2 to win the series

The decider map, Dust2, started off with Spirit taking the lead after three USP kills on an A defense by Boris “⁠magixx⁠” Vorobiev. From there on out they went on to dominate, not giving the Danish squad a chance to plant until the sixth round, then they were able to retake the A site to keep the slate clean, 6-0. The pounding continued as Spirit won the half cleanly, with Astralis only scoring one round to stave off the humiliation of a 0-16 loss before the CIS squad closed the map out.

Gambit started on the defending side of Vertigo, their map pick, where despite losing the three first rounds they were able to take complete control of proceedings in a team effort, losing only one more round in the half to a 1vs2 clutch by Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković. G2 also won the second pistol round, but even then they were quickly put on the back foot. Up against match point the European squad tried a late comeback linking four rounds in a row, but finally fell 11-16.

G2 and Gambit brawled early on in Dust2. Down by one in the ninth round Gambit had the equalizer in their sights, but a four-kill round by Kenny “⁠kennyS⁠” Schrub kept his team ahead. G2 kept the lead all the way to the half, but only by one round, 8-7. With Abay “⁠Hobbit⁠” Khasenov and Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov leading the charge the CIS squad found the cracks in G2’s defense as they gave up just three out of 12 rounds to win the second map 16-11, securing a spot in the IEM Katowice playoffs.





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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

G2 defeat Evil Geniuses in BLAST Premier Spring Group B opening match

G2 beat Evil Geniuses in their BLAST Premier Spring Groups opening match as both teams tried to bounce back from lackluster results at the BLAST Premier Global Final, where they went out in 5-6th place, and at DreamHack Open January in the case of the North American squad, where they ended in the same position.

G2 picked Veritgo in the veto, a map they haven’t been so hot on since the inclusion of Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač, playing and losing it three times since adding the Bosnian star to the team. The series started on Inferno, however, and although Evil Geniuses were quick to take the lead on the terrorist side, they weren’t able to hold on to a three-round lead at the half going into the defense.

The European team’s Vertigo pick eventually paid off, as G2 were able to take it 16-12, winning the series 2-0, and will now go on to face Complexity for a spot in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, while Evil Geniuses will play for survival in the elimination match against the top ranked team in the group, Vitality.

G2 will face Complexity next for a spot in the Spring Finals

Evil Geniuses put the squeeze on G2 early on in Inferno, their map pick, going up 5-0 on the attack before giving up a round. Their European rivals were then able to get into the game mid-way through the half, bridging the gap on the scoreboard, although Peter “⁠stanislaw⁠” Jarguz’s men stayed ahead throughout, 9-6.

G2 tied things up with a strong start on the terrorist side, and although they lost the first gun round getting mowed down by Tarik “⁠tarik⁠” Celik and Ethan “⁠Ethan⁠” Arnold, their attack proved to be too much for the North American squad as the Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković-led team went on to hit match point, 15-10, before closing the map out three rounds later.

The two teams got off to a hotly contested start on Vertigo, with G2 defending and Evil Geniuses on the attack, and they stayed neck-and-neck throughout, making it all the way to the last round of the half at a draw before EG took the one round lead at the half.

nexa secured a pistol round win for his team on the attack, leading tarik away from the bomb with no time for him to defuse. EG then took the lead back on the forcebuy, but with weapons in play it was G2 who set the pace and regained control of proceedings, going on to win the map 16-12 to close the series out 2-0.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NIP defeat BIG to qualify for BLAST Premier Spring Finals

NIP are the first team to book a spot in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals following a hard-fought 2-0 victory over BIG in Group A’s upper bracket final. The Swedes, who are playing with Erik “⁠ztr⁠” Gustafsson from their academy project Young Ninjas after Simon “⁠twist⁠” Eliasson was benched, pulled off another surprise victory in the $150,000 after previously beating world No.1 Astralis.

“The feeling is very good, there is no bad mood, and everybody wants to win,” Hampus “⁠hampus⁠” Poser said in the post-match interview, commenting on NIP‘s atmosphere after ztr was brought into the squad.

The Swedish team will be joined by seven other teams in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, which will be held from June 15-20, with $425,000 on the line. As for BIG, they’ll play Group A’s consolidation final against the winner of Astralis and OG on Saturday.

REZ was the difference-maker on Mirage

BIG had a dream start on Overpass, one of their worst maps, as they won nine rounds in a row thanks to a relentless defensive setup. NIP answered back and chained six together to keep their comeback homes alive in the second. The German team, however, had the game in their hands as they quickly reached map point at 15-7.

Just like in Thursday’s series against Astralis, NIP showed resilience and put up a good fight, winning eight consecutive rounds to take the game to overtime. The brawl kept going until double overtime, when hampus‘s men figured a way to clinch Overpass as they picked up two rounds on each side.

The series proceeded to Mirage, where the Germans had an 87.5% winrate in the last three months. However, NIP carried their momentum from Overpass and won eight of the 10 first rounds on their CT side. BIG fixed their Terrorist side in the closing stages and claimed the last five rounds to salvage their half.

ztr secured the second pistol round of Mirage for his team as he won a 1v3 clutch in the after-plant, but NIP were dismantled by the Germans’ force-buy in the following round. BIG won three in a row off the back of that anti-eco, but it all fell apart after Nicolas “⁠Plopski⁠” Gonzalez Zamora won a 1v1 clutch against Tizian “⁠tiziaN⁠” Feldbusch with just a CZ-75. NIP took control of the game after that and marched to a comfortable victory.



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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

MIBR defeat FaZe in cs_summit 7

After a drawn-out affair, MIBR managed a 2-1 victory over FaZe in the losers’ match of cs_summit 7. The Brazilian side will play a rematch against Heroic in the Group B decider game, where a win will earn them a playoffs while a defeat will send them to the last chance stage.

Despite their loss, FaZe are not out of the tournament yet, as the three third-placed teams from the group stage, as well as the highest fourth-placed side will face off the in single elimination last chance stage on Friday. If coldzera and co. are the “best of the worst”, based on map difference (with round difference and initial tournament seeding used as tiebreakers), they will have another chance in the $200,000 tournament.

chelo topped the scoreboard for MIBR

The series started with Dust2, where FaZe only managed sporadic success on the CT side, which together with the pistol win netted them six rounds for the half. Daniel “⁠danoco⁠” Morgado and Ricardo “⁠boltz⁠” Prass led the way in the first half, and continued to cause issues in the second pistol as MIBR stole it away.

The Brazilian side was 12-6 up before FaZe got rolling off the back of a few B hits, seeing the game reach a deadlock. From 12-12, the game went into overtime, where MIBR were convincing and took Dust2 despite Helvijs “⁠broky⁠” Saukants‘s impressive showing (34K-19D).

A 4-2 lead for MIBR saw them kick-off the CT side Inferno with an advantage, but FaZe took control of the game after that and reached 7-4 shortly. Gustavo “⁠yel⁠” Knittel‘s 1v2 clutch stopped their run, and gave MIBR enough breathing room to end the half just one round behind.

Olof “⁠olofmeister⁠” Kajbjer‘s triple in the pistol and quad kill in the first rifle round set FaZe up for a strong CT side. The veteran Swede was having a great game, reaching 30 kills in regulation as the European team reached map point, but the Brazilians fought back to force the second overtime of the series. It took two sets of added rounds before FaZe closed it out, forcing Mirage.

The Brazilian squad put down the foot from the start of the decider map, going on a seven-round streak following a second-round force buy win. Marcelo “⁠chelo⁠” Cespedes and yel were leading the way with a combined 10:2 opening duel record for the half, seeing MIBR finish it 11-4 up.

FaZe chained five in a row to start off their defense, but the close nature of the rounds resulted in MIBR breaking their bank with the first one they managed. Any chance of the Europeans making a comeback was out of the window after yel‘s 1v4 clutch on B (14-9), bringing Mirage to a conclusion, 16-9.



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