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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

ESL to introduce Ancient into map pool for IEM Summer

Ancient will be introduced into the map pool for all ESL Pro Tour events starting with IEM Summer, ESL has announced. The decision was made following discussions between the tournament organiser, the ESL Pro League player council, and the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA).

Ancient was added to the Active Duty map pool on May 3 as a replacement for Train in what was the first change to the pool since Vertigo replaced Cache in March 2019. Valve then clarified that the new map would not feature in the current round of Regional Major Ranking (RMR) events, which offer points towards qualifying for the PGL Stockholm Major.

IEM Summer will be the first ESL Pro Tour event to feature the new map

IEM Summer is set to run from June 3-13, with $250,000 on offer. It will feature six of the top ten teams in the world rankings, as well as 11 teams inside the top 20.

Earlier on Wednesday, ESL announced a collaborative effort with BLAST to create a “unified approach to the governance of scheduling tournament dates, rulebook alignment and integrity policies.” It remains to be seen whether these aligned policies will see Ancient introduced during the BLAST Premier Spring Final, the culmination of BLAST’s tournament circuit for the first half of the year, with the event taking place right after IEM Summer, from June 15-20.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

G2, Spirit in the running for final IEM Cologne group stage invite

The ESL Pro Tour standings, which award eight spots in the IEM Cologne group stage and eight in the Play-in stage, are near completion, with the only thing left to be decided being which one of G2 and Spirit will go directly to the group stage and which will fight through the Play-in.

G2 are currently below Spirit in the ESL Pro Tour standings, but the French-Balkan side have their fate in their hands, as a victory against Astralis in the DreamHack Masters Spring quarter-finals will push them above the CIS side and ensure their qualification for the IEM Cologne group stage.

G2 require a win over Astralis at DHM to qualify for IEM Cologne groups

Should Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković‘s team lose to the Danes in the quarter-finals, Spirit will remain in sixth place in the European Pro Tour standings and secure the spot at IEM Cologne, while G2 will go to the Play-in.

The remaining 14 teams coming from the ESL Pro Tour — seven from the European standings, four from North America, and one from each of Asia, South America, and Oceania — have already been locked in.

Eight more spots in the IEM Cologne Play-in stage are still up for grabs. Six will be determined via the ESL World Ranking as of May 31, and two will go to the winners of ESL Meisterschaft Spring, whose playoffs will run from May 14-15, and the ESL National Championships Global Playoffs, taking place from May 25-30.

The team list for IEM Cologne, which the organizers plan to hold on LAN from July 6-18, currently looks as follows:

IEM Cologne group stage

IEM Cologne Play-in

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

OG, FPX qualify for IEM Summer 2021

OG and FunPlus Phoenix have become the two first teams to punch tickets to IEM Summer 2021 through the closed qualifier. OG did so by taking on Trident in the first stage and FaZe in their second stage opening match before going up against Movistar Riders, claiming all three series with 2-0 scorelines, while FunPlus Phoenix had to beat SKADE in the first stage of the closed qualifier before defeating BIG and G2.

Movistar Riders tripped up in the final hurdle as the only team left alive coming from the open qualifier in the first semi-final, as Owen “⁠smooya⁠” Butterfield and company trailed early on in their map pick, Overpass, which OG closed out without much fuss 16-5. Inferno started off in similar fashion, with OG taking a 10-5 lead on the attacking side, but this time around the squad led by Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen had to stave off a very real comeback attempt that took the map all the way to the very last round, which ended with the favorites closing the series out 16-14.

valde and co. had a clean run through the upper bracket

FunPlus Phoenix came out guns blazing in the second semi-final of the day, taking a 7-1 lead on the attacking side of Train, their map pick, on the way to a 16-6 victory. G2 then one-upped FunPlus Phoenix on Mirage with a 10-1 lead on the terrorist side as they rushed through their pick to secure a 16-3 victory, pushing the series into a decider map. Unlike the previous maps, FunPlus Phoenix and G2 kept it as close as can be on Inferno, with the former leading 8-7 after their CT side. Jesse “⁠zehN⁠” Linjala and company then charged ahead in a final effort on the terrorist side to secure the series 16-11 and claim their place at IEM Summer.

The two lower bracket semi-finals, pitting mousesports and Movistar Riders on one side and FaZe and G2 on the other, will kick off the final day of play on Wednesday. The two winning teams will then play the qualifier’s last match, the lower bracket final, which will grant the winner the final spot at IEM Summer 2021.

Europe

Europe

Europe

Europe

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Trident, SKADE advance to IEM Summer 2021 Closed Qualifier

With the conclusion of the second open qualifier for IEM Summer 2021, a $250,000 tournament scheduled for June, two more closed qualifier teams have been found.

Bulgarian side SKADE, who have soared to No. 24 in the rankings after winning the Elisa Invitational Spring, will have another chance to prove their worth as they advance to the second stage of the qualifier. Denis “⁠seized⁠” Kostin‘s Trident came out strong to bag the final available open qualifier slot.

seized’s team earned a spot in the closed qualifier

The round-of-16 of the IEM Summer 2021 Open Qualifier 2 featured ex-Winstrike and Endpoint on opposite sides of the bracket, but two of the biggest favorites fell short.

The Russian squad that qualified for ESL Pro League Season 14 on Sunday had their run in the bracket cut short by 1WIN, faltering in overtime as Denis “⁠deko⁠” Zhukov posted a 1.70 rating. However, 1WIN were no match for Trident in the final match, who 2-0’d them after taking down 100PG and hREDS to advance to the closed qualifier.

SKADE kicked off the round-of-16 with a marathon match against Apeks, winning 28-26, before breezing past Endpoint, 16-5. Izako Boars were their final obstacle on the way to the closed qualifier, but Daniel “⁠STOMP⁠” Płomiński and co. mustered just 13 rounds over two maps, seeing SKADE take the series convincingly.

SKADE and Trident have joined Movistar Riders and K23 in the closed qualifier, where eight more invited teams will join them. Only the three best teams from the two-stage bracket will advance to the main event.

IEM Summer 2021 Closed Qualifier team list:

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

K23, Movistar Riders through to IEM Summer closed qualifier

The first IEM Summer open qualifier has come to a close, with K23 and Movistar Riders coming out on top to secure their berth in the next qualifying stage.

After passing through the best-of-one stage, the team around Dauren “⁠AdreN⁠” Kystaubayev beat the tournament’s biggest surprise, MASONIC, in a quick affair to earn the spot, while Lucas “⁠steel⁠” Lopes‘s side edged out Nordavind after two close maps.

AdreN’s team advanced after beating Sprout and Dignitas on the way

The closed qualifier, which will have three spots at the $250,000 main event on offer, is set to be played on April 26-28 and feature ten other teams, two of which will be determined in the second open qualifier (April 19-20) and eight via direct invites.

Some of the most notable teams who failed to make it through the first qualifier and will have to try again in the second were Sprout and Dignitas, who ultimately fell at the hands of K23, as well as Nemiga, forZe, Sinners, EXTREMUM, and ENCE, who suffered one of the biggest upsets of the qualifier as they fell short to Entropiq in the fourth round.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

[VOD] Examining new FaZe lineup, IEM Katowice results on HLTV Confirmed with karrigan

Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen will guest on the HLTV Confirmed show for the second time in the season, this time sitting down to talk about his return to FaZe, leaving mousesports behind, and what he aims to accomplish alongside Håvard “⁠rain⁠” Nygaard and Marcelo “⁠coldzera⁠” David.

karrigan joins the show to talk about his goals for 2021

The show will be hosted by the regular trio of Chad “⁠SPUNJ⁠” Burchill, Milan “⁠Striker⁠” Švejda, and Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin, who will consult with karrigan about the latest roster moves, IEM Katowice results, and more.

Topics for the show:

Hot seat with karrigan
-The decision to leave mouz
-Why return to FaZe?
-Roles and team chemistry
-IEM Katowice debut
-FaZe 2021 roster vs. 2018 roster
-Goals for 2021, coach, psychologist status
Recent news
-Ethan leaves EG for VALORANT
-OG bench NBK-, in talks with niko
-Heroic: -b0RUP, niko; +sjuush, refrezh
-MAD Lions to go international
-suNny to stand in for FPX
IEM Katowice
-Gambit’s unlikely victory
-Virtus.pro choked the final?
-Astralis and NAVI fall short
-How will the CIS teams rank in 3-6 months?
-Liquid’s streaky form
Playtime
-Viewer questions and leftover topics

Keep track of the show on social media:

HLTV.org on Twitch
HLTV Confirmed on Twitter
HLTV Confirmed on Youtube
HLTV Confirmed Audio

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Examining new FaZe lineup, IEM Katowice results on HLTV Confirmed with karrigan

Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen will guest on the HLTV Confirmed show for the second time in the season, this time sitting down to talk about his return to FaZe, leaving mousesports behind, and what he aims to accomplish alongside Håvard “⁠rain⁠” Nygaard and Marcelo “⁠coldzera⁠” David.

karrigan joins the show to talk about his goals for 2021

The show will be hosted by the regular trio of Chad “⁠SPUNJ⁠” Burchill, Milan “⁠Striker⁠” Švejda, and Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin, who will consult with karrigan about the latest roster moves, IEM Katowice results, and more.

Topics for the show:

Hot seat with karrigan
-The decision to leave mouz
-Why return to FaZe?
-Roles and team chemistry
-IEM Katowice debut
-FaZe 2021 roster vs. 2018 roster
-Goals for 2021, coach, psychologist status
Recent news
-Ethan leaves EG for VALORANT
-OG bench NBK-, in talks with niko
-Heroic: -b0RUP, niko; +sjuush, refrezh
-MAD Lions to go international
-suNny to stand in for FPX
IEM Katowice
-Gambit’s unlikely victory
-Virtus.pro choked the final?
-Astralis and NAVI fall short
-How will the CIS teams rank in 3-6 months?
-Liquid’s streaky form
Playtime
-Viewer questions and leftover topics

Keep track of the show on social media:

HLTV.org on Twitch
HLTV Confirmed on Twitter
HLTV Confirmed on Youtube
HLTV Confirmed Audio

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

sh1ro named IEM Katowice 2021 MVP

Gambit‘s 19-year-old AWPer Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov claimed the IEM Katowice 2021 MVP award after he and his teammates defeated Virtus.pro in the grand final after battling their way to the title from the lower bracket following an initial loss to Evil Geniuses.

The Russian squad, who were also the lowest ranking team in the field, eliminated five teams on the way to the final, leaving behind mousesports, Heroic, G2, Natus Vincere and Spirit before being crowned champions with a 3-1 victory in the best-of-five grand final.

sh1ro finished the tournament with a 1.27 rating in 17 maps

On his way to being awarded the MVP title sh1ro had above average ratings in 15 of the 17 maps played, topping five different stats leaderboards: KD difference (+111), damage difference per round (+20), deaths per round (0.48), KAST (77.8%), and clutches, with 19 1vsX situations won — the same number as the current Big Event record holder, Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev.

One of sh1ro‘s highlights in a consistently strong tournament all around came in the quarter-final match against Natus Vincere, where he topped the board with a 1.45 rating and 86% KAST, and although he wasn’t as impactful in the last two series, he was still a consistent positive influence in Gambit‘s victories deep in the bracket while everyone else on the team stepped up at different times.

In the end sh1ro was able to put in enough work in the grand final to outdo the other outstanding performer at IEM Katowice 2021, Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis, to come out on top in the race for the MVP and earn the accolade for the first time in his career.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit hammer Virtus.pro to win IEM Katowice 2021

Gambit have defeated Virtus.pro in the IEM Katowice grand final 3-1 (Vertigo 14-16, Dust2 16-6, Train 16-4, Overpass 16-12), clinching by far their biggest title so far along with the $400,000 grand prize. With the best-of-five win, the lowest-ranked team of the tournament completed an incredible upset run that saw them beat their three biggest regional rivals in the playoffs, having beaten Natus Vincere and Spirit in the previous two rounds.

Vertigo opened the final series as Gambit‘s first map pick and delivered a back-and-forth affair that went the distance. At one point Virtus.pro looked heavily favored to win the map after the Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali-led side went on a spree on the CT side once they got a hold of weaponry, in large part thanks to openers and multikills from Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis.

The tide changed when sides switched a second-round forcebuy went the way of Gambit, who then went on to win eight out of the next nine rounds, interrupted only by a 1v2 clutch from Sanjar “⁠SANJI⁠” Kuliev. With backs against the wall at 11-14, Virtus.pro found important timings in middle to break their opponents’ economy, before YEKINDAR‘s four consecutive openers pushed his team over the finish line at 16-14.

Hobbit led the way with 90 kills

Dust2 was heading in a similar direction in the first stages of the opening half, with Gambit securing the second round with a forcebuy and getting off to an early lead on the CT side and Virtus.pro bringing it back after a couple of low buy upsets of their own. Gambit pulled away at the end of the half on the back of three individual plays from Timofey “⁠interz⁠” Yakushin, however, and put together a flawless Terrorist side to equalize the series with a comfortable win on the second map.

Vladislav “⁠nafany⁠” Gorshkov & co. seemed to carry over the momentum to Train, with a couple of triples from Abay “⁠Hobbit⁠” Khasenov seeing Gambit get off to a great start on the offense. Virtus.pro struggled to find answers, only winning four rounds on the preferred side thanks to an ace from YEKINDAR and good AWPing from Jame, and it was all but over when they also conceded the second pistol round, with Gambit rallying to another whitewash victory at 16-4.

It all ended on Overpass as Gambit looked to put on another one-sided performance after a dominant defense, where Hobbit continued to put up great numbers to help his team secure an 11-4 lead going into halftime. After conceding the next pistol round, the nafany-led side took little time to reach match point once they had the money to buy up, and despite a commendable comeback attempt from VP they closed the series at 16-12, 3-1 with a well-timed B attack.

Russia

CIS

IEM Katowice final standings:

1. Russia Gambit – $400,000
2. CIS Virtus.pro – $180,000
3-4. United States Liquid – $80,000
3-4. Russia Spirit – $80,000
5-6. Denmark Astralis – $40,000
5-6. Russia Natus Vincere – $40,000
7-8. Brazil FURIA – $24,000
7-8. Europe G2 – $24,000
9-12. Europe FaZe – $16,000
9-12. France Vitality – $16,000
9-12. United States Evil Geniuses – $16,000
9-12. Denmark Heroic – $16,000
13-16. Europe OG – $10,000
13-16. Sweden NIP – $10,000
13-16. Germany BIG – $10,000
13-16. Europe mousesports – $10,000

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Virtus.pro take down Liquid to set up all-CIS IEM Katowice final

Virtus.pro are through to the grand final of IEM Katowice 2021 following a clean 2-0 victory over Liquid. Fresh off a three-map thriller with Astralis in the first round of the playoffs, the CIS team were on the front foot from the offset, out-playing and out-aiming their opponents with imperious displays from their star duo, Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali and Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis.

Dust2 was easier for Virtus.pro than the scoreline suggests as Liquid won both pistols but then faded away in gun rounds. The North American team still attempted to respond on Mirage but were overrun in the second half after Virtus.pro hit their stride.

The Flashpoint 2 champions will be hoping to recreate that scintillating performance in Sunday’s grand final against fellow CIS side Gambit as they chase their second title of 2021 after winning cs_summit 7 in January. However, they will need to be wary of the threat posed by the young Russian team, who came out on top the last time these two teams faced each other, less than three weeks ago.

Jame was the top performer on both maps of the series

The early signs were promising for Liquid, who took an early lead on Dust2 after a flawless pistol round. They were even to immediately respond after Virtus.pro got their first round on the board thanks to a 1v2 clutch by Michael “⁠Grim⁠” Wince. And then, things turned sour. Jame‘s troops ripped the Liquid defence for the remainder of the half, limiting their opponents to just six CT rounds.

The second half began in the exact same manner as the first, with a perfect pistol from Liquid, who then turned to Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic for a bailout as the Canadian pulled off a 1v3 clutch after YEKINDAR had wreaked havoc with a Scout. But just like on their T side, Virtus.pro took control of the game once they had a full economy: The CIS team dictated the pace and rhythm of play, shutting out Liquid seven rounds in a row en route to a comfortable victory.

Mirage began with a clean pistol by Virtus.pro, who were unable to convert the second round after being caught off-guard by Liquid‘s full eco. The North American team rode that momentum to a 3-1 lead, but then Virtus.pro tightened up and put some rounds together. Liquid put their foot down after the midway point of the half, though, and managed to head into the break with a narrow 8-7 lead despite Jame boasting a 17-4 score.

Liquid added to their lead after switching to the CT side, but just like on Dust2, there was no stopping Virtus.pro in gun rounds. Big individual rounds by Jame and YEKINDAR put the CIS team in full control, with Liquid mustering only one round before their opponents ran away with the game.

United States

CIS

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