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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Video: s1mple – MVP of DreamHack Masters Spring 2021

s1mple was named the Most Valuable Player of DreamHack Masters Spring on Sunday following Natus Vincere‘s title-winning campaign at the event, where the CIS team took down regional rivals Gambit in a convincing three-map affair in the grand final and secured their second trophy of the year.

In celebration of the Ukrainian superstar’s incredible performance, which saw s1mple put up godlike numbers such as a 1.41 average rating, 0.91 kills per round, and a 1.52 impact rating, Filip “filq” Szatkowski has put together the best individual plays from the tournament’s MVP:

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI defeat Heroic in DreamHack Masters Spring to set up grand final derby against Gambit

Natus Vincere beat Heroic in the second DreamHack Masters Spring semi-final of the day to secure a spot in the tournament’s best-of-five grand final, making it an all-CIS bout in which they will face the world-beating Gambit. In doing so, they denied their Danish rivals the chance at a repeat of the ESL Pro League grand final, which they won in a marathon five-map series against Abay “⁠Hobbit⁠” Khasenov and company.

“Last time we played Gambit we had a really good chance to beat them,” Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev said about rematching the Russian squad in the final, “but they played much better and I don’t think we played our A game, so I’m just looking forward to the final. It’ll be our first all-CIS final with this lineup and it’ll be best-of-five, as well, so it’ll be cool.”

s1mple had an excellent showing in the semi-final with a 1.54 rating

Heroic and Natus Vincere kicked off their first confrontation in over half a year on Mirage, the CIS squad’s map pick, in a hotly contested first half that was at a stalemate after fourteen rounds with both teams in a constant struggle for control which ended in the Danes taking a minimal one-round lead as CTs. Heroic then set the pace from the get-go on the attacking side, extending their lead to 11-7 before a series of back-and-forth rounds, although they never lost control and closed the map out 16-11 to take the lead going into Nuke.

The Danes ran ahead on the attacking side of Nuke, a map they had played nine times this year with a solitary 14-16 loss to Spirit out of all of them, but despite taking a 6-2 lead they weren’t able to run away as Natus Vincere found their groove and clawed their way back to an 8-7 lead after winning six of the seven final rounds on the defense. The CIS squad continued going on a tear on the attack, reaching a comfortable 15-8 lead to hit match point, and although the Danes tried to put some pressure late in the map s1mple shut them down with a 1vs3 ace clutch, hitting a round 30 frags in the map, which ended 16-12, to tie the series up.

Heroic regained composure and took the lead on the CT side of Inferno after the pistol round, but were quickly on the back foot as s1mple and company started to get on a roll, moving ahead on the scoreboard momentarily, although it was finally the Danes who were able to regroup with René “⁠TeSeS⁠” Madsen getting several multi-kill rounds to go 9-6 up at the switch. The second half started back-and-forth, but Natus Vincere were able to stabilize and tie things up 10-10. After taking the lead, it looked like the CIS squad could give it up, going into an eco at 14-13, but a slip-up by Heroic put NAVI on match point, after which they were able to close the map out 16-13 to secure the series and their presence in the DreamHack Masters Spring grand final.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit secure DreamHack Masters Spring grand final spot over G2

Gambit have advanced to the DreamHack Masters Spring grand final following a convincing 2-0 victory over G2 (Inferno 16-6, Vertigo 16-9). Vladislav “⁠nafany⁠” Gorshkov‘s squad will take on the winner of the second semi-final between Heroic and Natus Vincere in the best-of-five title decider on Sunday.

When asked about his preferred grand final opponent in the post-match interview, nafany admitted Heroic have been a tough nut to crack in their recent encounters in ESL Pro League and BLAST Premier Showdown. “I don’t like to play versus Heroic, to be honest,” nafany said, laughing. “They prepare really well for us, that’s why.”

Hobbit stands atop the board with a 1.52 rating and 101.6 ADR

Unlike in the first encounter between the two in the group stage of the tournament, G2 picked Inferno on the back of a solid record on the map in the past two months, but like many others ended up finding themselves a step behind Gambit after a slow start on the offense.

With Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov consistent as ever and Abay “⁠Hobbit⁠” Khasenov in tandem, the Russian side maintained control in the first half on the way to a clean victory on the opener. Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković & co. struggled for momentum and only put together four rounds as Terrorists, and there was little they could do when Hobbit denied them a second pistol round win with a 1v2 clutch.

The action shifted over to Vertigo, where G2 were able to put up a better fight after they didn’t let Gambit run away with another strong start featuring a 1v3 clutch from Sergey “⁠Ax1Le⁠” Rykhtorov. The first gunrounds went the nexa-led team’s way after Audric “⁠JaCkz⁠” Jug found consecutive openings on A ramp, and despite Gambit‘s powerful reply the French-Balkan side stayed in contention going into the second half with six to their name.

Forcebuy battles ensued and that spelled trouble for G2, who couldn’t capitalize on their economic advantage and Gambit took over, with sh1ro‘s last-second 1v3 clutch on A putting one of the final nails in their opponents’ coffin before his team closed the series at 16-9, 2-0.

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G2 eliminate Astralis from DreamHack Masters Spring

The first playoff game of the tournament saw G2 take down Astralis in three maps, with Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač standing out for his team, posting a 1.35 rating. G2 proved to be the better team Train and Vertigo, securing them with 16-7 and 16-8 scorelines, respectively, and only Nuke went the way of the Danes as Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif and Lucas “⁠Bubzkji⁠” Andersen shined.

“It is a really good feeling, it is really important for us to win a couple of games in a row,” Nemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač said about eliminating Astralis in the post-match interview. “Now we need to prepare for Gambit to try and get our revenge.” G2 lost the group stage bout against Gambit 2-1 and will be hoping to put up a better showing against the No.1 team on Saturday.

The game had wider implications than just this tournament, however, as the victory over Astralis saw G2 surpass Spirit in the ESL Pro Tour ranking. Due to that, NiKo and co. have grabbed the last invite for the IEM Cologne group stage, ESL’s flagship event which is planned to take place as a studio LAN event in July.

NiKo was the highest-rated player for G2 on all three maps

A second-round force-buy by Astralis countered G2‘s clean pistol round win on their map pick, Train, and set up the Danes for an early 3-1 lead. A strong T side from the French-Balkan team followed, though, seeing NiKo and co. finish it 8-7 ahead after back-and-forth action. Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković‘s double in pop put G2 in position to claim the CT pistol, with the in-game leader showing up with multikills in the following two anti-ecos to fill the gaps for his team. From 11-7 up, G2 rode the momentum to close out the game with a flawless CT side, 16-7.

G2 looked poised to close things out on Nuke as they built an 8-4 lead on the defensive side, NiKo and François “⁠AmaNEk⁠” Delaunay shining for the team as they locked down the late-round situations. However, as the half-time neared, Astralis got back into it thanks to great plays from Bubzkji (8-7), and equalized the score with a 1v4 from Magisk in the CT pistol. Nothing was decided yet, though, as turnarounds, clutches, and eco wins filled the second half, but Astralis managed to close out at the final moment, 16-14.

Apart from an early CT side streak, Astralis struggled to find a footing on the defensive side of Vertigo, the decider map for the series. Strong trading and post-plants ensured NiKo and co. a massive lead heading into the break, 10-5. Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander‘s squad weren’t going to go down without a fight, claiming three rounds early into the offense to make it 12-8. The comeback attempt was stopped by two multikill rounds from nexa, who alongside a stellar NiKo pushed G2 towards a 16-8 victory.

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DreamHack Masters Spring playoffs bracket set

The DreamHack Masters Spring playoffs bracket has been set following the conclusion of the last matches of the group stage on Sunday, which saw FURIA secure the last spot in the playoffs and Gambit and Heroic lock in first place in their respective groups for a place in the semi-finals.

In the opening round of the single-elimination bracket, G2 and Astralis will kick off the action on Friday in a matchup that has been rather one-sided as of late, with the Danes having won the last three encounters, all of which took place in December-January.

G2 look to make a deep run off an impressive group stage performance

The second quarter-final clash between FURIA and Natus Vincere will follow on the same day in a rematch from the ESL Pro League Season 13 group stage, where the Brazilian side clinched their first-ever victory against Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and company in late March.

The current top-two teams in the world, Gambit and Heroic, await a round ahead in the semi-finals, which will take place on Saturday. The Russian side will be up first in a match against the winner of G2Astralis, before the Danes lock horns with one of FURIA and Natus Vincere.

The playoffs schedule of DreamHack Masters Spring looks as follows:

Friday, May 7 (Quarter-finals)

16:45