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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

FURIA, NAVI advance through IEM Katowice Group B upper bracket

FURIA overcame NIP 2-0 in Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson‘s first match with the team, while the CIS derby between Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere went the way of Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and company with the same scoreline. The winners, FURIA and Natus Vincere, will face off in the Group B upper bracket, while the losers will play each other for survival in the lower bracket.

Virtus.pro set the pace on the attacking side of Dust2 by abusing mid splits and B executes, which Alexey “⁠qikert⁠” Golubev and company were able to exploit all the way to a comfortable 11-4, but Natus Vincere’s slow start didn’t stop them after the switch, when Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov and s1mple led the charge in a 12-round streak to snatch the map 16-11.

Virtus.pro had another early lead, this time on the CT side of Train, but Natus Vincere found a six round streak at the end of the half to turn the tides on their own map pick. Denis “⁠electronic⁠” Sharipov and company then kept their lead in the second half, going up 12-8, until a clutch by Timur “⁠buster⁠” Tulepov gave his team another lifeline. Virtus.pro tried to shift momentum, but unsuccessfully as NAVI closed the map and series out 16-9.

arT destabilized NIP with 16 opening frags

A strong early 5-0 lead by NIP on the attacking side of Overpass was met by an equally strong defense by FURIA after they managed to get their economy in order, as the Brazilian squad went on a tear winning a clean ten rounds to hit double digits before switching sides. NIP tried to hold their own on the CT side, but FURIA proved too much to handle and came out on top 16-12.

On Nuke NIP were first out of the gate on the CT side, but FURIA immediately took the reins of the map with Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan and Vinicius “⁠VINI⁠” Figueiredo both shining on the attack. Down 4-11 NIP weren’t able to make a dent on the score, as FURIA cleaned house to end the map 16-4 and secure the series to proceed through the upper bracket.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI overcome MIBR in BLAST Premier Spring group C opener

Natus Vincere put their best foot forward in the first game of BLAST Premier Spring Group C, taking down MIBR 2-1. The CIS side looked convincing on Mirage and Dust2, led by their star s1mple, but dropped Train where the Brazilians put up a flawless Terrorist side.

With Astralis, Vitality, G2, and OG faltering in groups A and B, failing to make it directly to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, Natus Vincere are hoping to live up to the favorites tag in group C in order to avoid joining them in the Showdown event, from which only two teams advance. The winner of FaZeLiquid will be Natus Vincere‘s next opponent in the group stage, with the winner securing the Spring Finals spot.

Despite a below-average Train, s1mple posted a 1.42 rating for the series

Natus Vincere took the lead early on the defensive side of Mirage, MIBR‘s map pick, with s1mple‘s 1v3 making the score 6-0. A low-buy worked out for the Brazilian side, getting them on the board, with some strong entry work from Daniel “⁠danoco⁠” Morgado seeing the gap shrink to 7-4.

The CIS side recovered from the setback to end the half strongly, 10-5, before a clean pistol round propelled them to map point in no time, 15-6. Double kills from Ricardo “⁠boltz⁠” Prass and Gustavo “⁠yel⁠” Knittel kept MIBR alive in the next round and they managed to push it to 15-10, when Natus Vincere closed out the map.

A different-look MIBR showed up on Train, taking the game by the horns and going 4-0 up as yel posted 10 kills, including an anti-eco ace. The Brazilians got six unanswered rounds before Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov started finding openings and got Natus Vincere back into it, ending the half just one round behind.

Bruno “⁠shz⁠” Martinelli‘s quad kill in the pistol got MIBR back on track, and Natus Vincere‘s defenses were no match for boltz and co. At 14-7, it seemed that Natus Vincere were good for their first round on the defense, but yel turned it around in the 2v3 and won the map after a flawless T-side, 16-7.

That momentum was brought over to Dust2, where MIBR took a 5-0 lead off the bat. s1mple started rolling shortly, with his AWP cutting down opponents, leading Natus Vincere to chain ten rounds in a row. The streak continued after the switch as Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy‘s men cleaned up the pistol and anti-eco, making the score 13-5. In round 20, Marcelo “⁠chelo⁠” Cespedes denied s1mple‘s 1v3 clutch, but only prolonged the inevitable. As the Ukrainian superstar reached a 28K-9D scoreline, Natus Vincere claimed the map dominantly, 16-6.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Complexity secure first place in BLAST Premier Spring Group B over Evil Geniuses

Complexity topped Group B at BLAST Premier Spring after beating Evil Geniuses in a convincing final series with 16-12 and 16-5 scorelines on Inferno and Mirage. Both teams are through to the Spring Final, which will take place on June 15-20.

The group saw the blameF-led side regain some much-needed confidence following Valentin “⁠poizon⁠” Vasilev‘s return to activity ahead of the event, after the team had gone out in last place in three consecutive events without the Bulgarian AWPer.

jks topped off his return to form with a 1.44 rating in the final series

Complexity secured a series lead on Inferno at first, with blameF leading by example as he played a crucial role on both sides of the map. The Dane helped his team get a small advantage in the first half after putting up 20 kills on the defense, before correct late-game calls and clutches from him and poizon ensured the 16-12 win on the opener.

The European side completed their perfect map record in the group on Mirage, where Evil Geniuses had a tough time competing against Complexity‘s offense after Peter “⁠stanislaw⁠” Jarguz & co. were unable to convert the opening pistol round.

A quad-kill from Kristian “⁠k0nfig⁠” Wienecke in the forcebuy in a B attack set off a landslide as the blameF-led team exploited weaknesses on the same bombsite before switching the pace and focus to A at the right time to pick up an 11-4 half. Evil Geniuses‘s hopes relied on the second pistol, which they managed to secure but went on to lose the following round once again, and Complexity rallied to a quick 16-5 closing.

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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

BIG strike back against NiP to win BLAST Group A

BIG have topped Group A at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups after beating NIP 2-0 (Vertigo 16-2, Overpass 16-14), taking their revenge on the Swedish side after losing the previous encounter in the group’s upper bracket final. Both teams have already advanced to the $425,000 Spring Final, which will take place in mid-June.

After picking Mirage in the first meeting with the Hampus “⁠hampus⁠” Poser-led side, BIG opted for Vertigo in the rematch against NIP and found much more success there to open the final series with an incredibly dominant victory.

BIG made NiP’s undefeated streak with ztr short-lived

Starting on the Terrorist side, the German side kept getting openings towards the A bombsite while Nicolas “⁠Plopski⁠” Gonzalez Zamora was left to try to salvage the situation with flanks from B in what quickly became a near-impossible map to win. By halftime, BIG were up 13-2, with the only two rounds going the other way coming out of clutch scenarios, and this time NIP weren’t allowed to pull off another one of their massive comebacks, as the map was over three rounds later.

It looked like NIP were going to return the favor on Overpass at first, getting off to a flying start on the offense on the back of big clutch play from Plopski in the pistol round and Erik “⁠ztr⁠” Gustafsson in one of the first gunrounds. The Swedish squad then hit a wall, however, with Ismailcan “⁠XANTARES⁠” Dörtkardeş, tabseN, and Florian “⁠syrsoN⁠” Rische all putting up key performances.

The score was soon even after sides switched, as BIG also won the second pistol round and went on to come out on top of forcebuy shenanigans thanks to Tizian “⁠tiziaN⁠” Feldbusch‘s 1v2 clutch. Narrow situations continued to be the name of the game as NIP stayed alive, courtesy of 1v1s from Tim “⁠nawwk⁠” Jonasson and ztr, but the Swedes faltered at the last hurdle after openings from Nils “⁠k1to⁠” Gruhne gave BIG the 15th and 16th round.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

fnatic edge out OG to top cs_summit 7 Group A

fnatic managed to upset the second-highest-ranked team at the tournament in the winners’ match of cs_summit 7 group A, taking down OG 2-1.

The series started with a convincing win on Train for Maikil “⁠Golden⁠” Selim‘s boys, with OG striking back on Mirage with a CT-side comeback. The European mixture seemed in control as things went onto the final map, Inferno, but fnatic posted a strong T side to force overtime, and closed it out in the added rounds.

OG will have another chance to earn a playoff spot at the $200,000 event when they face the winner of DignitasComplexity, while fnatic have a few days off before the bracket play starts on Friday.

fnatic march on to the playoffs

On their map pick, Train, fnatic looked strong right from the start, grabbing a 7-2 lead on the Terrorist side of the map. Some back-and-forth ensued, but OG managed to salvage the half and finish it just three rounds behind. The Swedes extended that by winning the second pistol, and stopped the comeback attempt after Jesper “⁠JW⁠” Wecksell clutched a 1v3 to bring the game to an early conclusion, 16-9.

Golden‘s team stayed in control as the action moved to Mirage, limiting their opponents to just two rounds from the opening ten as JW and Ludvig “⁠Brollan⁠” Brolin shined. Deagle rounds were won by both sides as the end of the half neared, with fnatic finishing it 10-5 up. The scoreline gap was bridged by OG as they put up a solid defense and survived a couple of scary clutch attempts, going on an eight-round streak. The Swedes then got their first, but a great display from Valdemar “⁠valde⁠” Bjørn Vangså and Issa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad helped OG complete the comeback, 16-11.

fnatic‘s 3-0 lead on the CT side of Inferno was canceled out in no time as OG dominated on the offense, winning the Banana fight time after time. From 9-6 down, fnatic quickly got back into the lead with a convincing T-side of their own. The Swedes looked good to close it out, but OG defended against three match points to force overtime. In the end, it was all for naught, as fnatic sealed the deal after Freddy “⁠KRIMZ⁠” Johansson‘s quad-kill hold, 19-17.

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