Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Dignitas stun Liquid, move on at BLAST Premier Spring Showdown

Dignitas have advanced to the quarter-finals of the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown after securing a stunning 2-0 victory over Liquid (Nuke 16-5, Vertigo 16-13). The Swedish side has added a huge upset to their impressive resumé with the newest addition Lekr0, who played a key role in the opening win alongside HEAP.

“I’m feeling really confident right now,” Lekr0 said shortly after the match. “I have a new role, I should be able to frag more than I did before considering the role and the positions I play. I’m really happy with how I’m playing.”

“We beat Liquid today, so I think that shows what teams we can beat. I know it’s a really good team, and the last really good team we played against was EG, and it was a game we should have almost won, as well. We perform better against tier-one teams.”

Dignitas’ newest additions HEAP and Lekr0 put up key performances

It was to be expected that Dignitas would pick Nuke, the map where they had seen so much success after Lekr0‘s arrival with an 11-3 record, but few could have foreseen the level of dominance the Swedish-Norwegian squad would display on the opener against a team of Liquid‘s stature.

With HEAP in the spotlight, Dignitas put together a stunning offense, conceding just one round to a Deagle buy as they kept capitalizing on the mistakes of the North American team, who found themselves without answers even in advantageous situations. There was little hope for Liquid in the second half in spite of a pistol round victory, and it was all over just a few rounds later, when Dignitas secured map point with just pistols and ended their adversaries’ misery at 16-5.

Vertigo turned out a much closer battle after the Swedes got off to another solid start, with Liquid going on a big streak on the offense in the middle of the first half to take their first lead in the series. Momentum swung again with a Deagle win going Dignitas‘ way, however, and the underdogs went on to pick up an 8-7 half on the back of two triples from Håkon “⁠hallzerk⁠” Fjærli on the AWP.

After sides switched, the North American team regained the lead but soon lost it again to yet another pistol buy from Lekr0 & co. The pressure mounted on Liquid as the map reached the late stages, and they managed to keep their opponents within reach thanks to Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo‘s defensive AWPing on A, but ultimately some key multikills from HEAP put the series to rest at 16-13, 2-0.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

G2 edge past Liquid in ESL Pro League playoffs

G2 have booked their place in the second round of the ESL Pro League Season 13 playoffs following a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Liquid, who have been eliminated in 9th-12th place. The North American side produced the recipe for victory but were ultimately made to pay the price for their inability to win a single pistol round in the series.

G2‘s fans have Nemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač to thank for the reverse sweep as it was the Bosnian’s spectacular 30-bomb on Vertigo that kept the team in the series after a disappointing loss on Dust2. The final map, Inferno, was a nail-biting affair that almost ended in overtime as both teams put in resolute defensive performances.

“It feels great, it just sucks that we couldn’t win Dust2 because we won both pistols and we converted them,” Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač said after the match. “It was a really good game by Liquid. When you win two pistols, you need to get like 13 or 14 rounds. They played really well on Dust2.

“We’ve worked on our pistols, and Jackie is really good at pistols, which helps a lot.”

huNter-‘s 30-bomb on Vertigo inspired G2’s comeback

G2 made a bright start to the series, picking up a 3-0 lead on Dust2, but the pattern of the game changed once Liquid had money in the bank. The North Americans enjoyed a period of dominance – only briefly interrupted by a 1v3 clutch from Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković – before G2 staged a late recovery to keep the deficit to a minimum.

The second half began with nexa and NiKo overturning a 2v3 post-plant situation to restore parity at 8-8. G2 held firm against Liquid‘s force-buy in the following round, but there was nothing they could to stop the North Americans once they had guns in hand. With Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo leading the charge, Liquid took control of the game and ripped G2‘s ragged defence apart for a quick end to the map.

On Vertigo, G2 once again started the better of the two, but their grip on the game loosened as the half wore on. Despite a fantastic showing by huNter- (18-13 K-D, 143 ADR and six multi-kills), the international team went into the break down by three rounds after a 7-1 run by Liquid at the end of the half. The Bosnian’s dominance continued in the second half, when G2 were far too hot for Liquid to handle. The rounds that Liquid edged out were few and far between as nexa‘s troops put in a near-flawless T display to secure the map.

François “⁠AmaNEk⁠” Delaunay opened the action on Inferno with a pistol ace on Inferno to fire G2 into the lead, but their respite was shortlived as Liquid hit back immediately. Michael “⁠Grim⁠” Wince and Jake “⁠Stewie2K⁠” Yip picked up 16 frags apiece as the North Americans kept their defence tight to end the half on double-digit territory. G2 came out of the break a revitalised side and kept Liquid‘s players at bay for large portions of the half, sealing the victory in the final round of regulation after a chaotic end to the game.

G2‘s players breathed a sigh of relief after narrowly avoiding elimination against a team that had survived the ‘Group of Death’ with a 4-1 record. They’ll be fancying their chances for Sunday’s match against FURIA, whom they have already defeated this year (2-1 victory in the BLAST Premier Global Final).

“I think we’re going to play better than we did today,” NiKo said. “This was a really important win for our confidence. We won all pistols, but the games weren’t really convincing.

“We feel confident going up against FURIA, I think we’ve figured out how they approach the games and we know how to counter it. They’ve probably improved with junior since they’ve had a lot of time. It should be a good one.”


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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit vs. Astralis headlines EPL Play-In; G2, Liquid to face off in Round of 12

Following the conclusion of the ESL Pro League Season 13 group stage on Monday, ESL revealed the match-ups for the Play-In stage and for the first round of the single-elimination playoffs.

The four group winners — Heroic, NIP, Gambit and Astralis — have guaranteed spots in the Play-In stage, which will determine the first two semi-finalists of the tournament. The losing sides will be placed in the third playoff round.

The Play-In stage will be headlined by a mouth-watering clash between the current world No.2 and 3, Astralis and Gambit, two sides who last faced off in the DreamHack Masters Winter quarter-finals, in December. In the other Play-In encounter, Heroic and NIP will also face each other for the first time this year, with the pair separated by only one place in the ranking.

In the Round of 12, all eyes will be on the highly-entertaining encounter between G2 and Liquid, who have not faced each other since February 2020, in the group stage of IEM Katowice. The opening round will also see current world No.1 Natus Vincere take on Complexity in a rematch of January’s BLAST Premier Global Final lower bracket match — which marked the beginning of the CIS giants’ title-winning run.

Below you can find the upcoming match-ups for the ESL Pro League and the schedule for the rest of the tournament:


Denmark Heroic vs. Sweden NIP
Russia Gambit vs. Denmark Astralis

Round of 12:

Brazil FURIA vs. Europe FunPlus Phoenix
Europe G2 vs. United States Liquid
Europe Complexity vs. Russia Natus Vincere
CIS vs. Europe ENCE


Friday, April 2: