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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

StarLadder announces RMR invites, responds to CIS teams’ open letter

StarLadder have announced the list of teams invited to the next Regional Major Ranking tournament in the CIS region. Spirit, Natus Vincere, Gambit, Virtus.pro, and Akuma have been invited to the main event, while Entropiq, forZe, K23, and Nemiga will kick off their campaign in the closed qualifier.

The invites were handed out based on the teams’ current standings in the ranking, which currently have Spirit in the lead following the conclusion of the first regional tournament in the 2021 Major circuit, EPIC League.

Spirit are currently in the lead of the CIS RMR standings

Two more squads have already secured their place in the closed stage via the first open qualifier, ex-Marlian and EC Kyiv, with the remaining two participants set to be decided in the second open qualifier (June 13-14).

Below you can find the participants list of StarLadder CIS RMR:

Main event

Closed qualifier

The tournament organizer has also shared details of how it plans to run the event from an administrative standpoint in response to the open letter that 14 out of 16 participants of EPIC League CIS signed and sent to Valve, in which the teams criticized how the security of the previous tournament in the RMR circuit was handled and suggested several protocols to help prevent cheating in multiple forms at future events.

StarLadder has promised to put in place the following five measures, all of which were proposed in the open letter:

1. We will not provide data to any 3rd party with a delay of less than 20 seconds

2. We will set at least 110 seconds delay on all of our GOTV

3. Voice communications of all teams will be recorded for every game

4. Webcams of the players will capture what is happening on the player’s screen; this video feed will also be recorded for every game

5. All matches of StarLadder CIS RMR will be played on FACEIT platform using the FACEIT anti-cheat software

The closed qualifier for StarLadder CIS RMR will take place from June 18-21, followed by the two-stage main event on June 27-July 4. The tournament will have $100,000 on offer, as well as between 1,500 and 2,000 RMR points awarded to the top-five teams.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

DreamHack Open June invites revealed

The invites to the upcoming DreamHack Open June have been announced by the Swedish tournament organizer, with the spots at the two events in Asia and North America being handed out based on ESL’s World Ranking.

The events, which have been rescheduled from June 30-July 4 to June 29-July 3, will be played out online in North America and Asia, with eight teams battling it out in a GSL group stage and single elimination playoffs in the former and four teams playing a double-elimination bracket in the latter.

Extra Salt were handed an invited for the North American tournament

The six invites in North America have been split between three Brazilian teams and three North American teams. The Brazilian squads that were handed invites are O PLANO, paiN and GODSENT, whereas the North American squads that will compete at the event are Party Astronauts, RBG, and the North American-South African combine of Extra Salt.

In Asia it’s D13 and Lynn Vision, the two finalists at Hyperion OEL Launch 2021, who have been handed invites to the four-team tournament. Two more spots at each of the two events are still up for grabs through the closed qualifiers, which will be played on June 17-20 in North America and June 19-20 in Asia.

The team list in North America so far is:

The Asian roster is:

Mongolia D13
AsiaClosed Qualifier

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

AcilioN open to offers as Copenhagen Flames undergo rebuild

Asger “⁠AcilioN⁠” Larsen is on his way out of Copenhagen Flames, the player and organization announced on Thursday. The in-game leader’s departure is tied to the inability to find the right fifth to complete the team, leading to a bigger overhaul of the lineup.

“We were unable to find a player that fits in well with roles and has the level of play we were looking for,” Daniel Vorborg, Copenhagen Flames Head of Esports said about the situation they encountered following the departure of Marcus “⁠maNkz⁠” Kjeldsen, who has since signed for Lyngby Vikings.

Vorborg noted that the remaining trio have been allowed to explore their options while the team “lock in what the future of our roster looks like”.

AcilioN will continue playing officials with the team until they find a replacement

Copenhagen Flames‘ Head of Esports stressed that he would do “my best to facilitate a transfer for Asger as fast as possible to a club that he feels is a good fit for him,” and won’t be asking for a big buyout for AcilioN, who is in his second stint with the organisation. In 2019, the in-game leader helped Copenhagen Flames break into the top 30 of the world, and he managed the same feat with a different roster after rejoining from MAD Lions at the end of 2020.

“I’ve been really happy with my stay in Copenhagen Flames, and I’ve had a great working relationship with everyone in the club. I’m sad that this ended up being the outcome – I felt like everyone really wanted to make this work and grow together,” AcilioN said.

“However, we weren’t able to find a good fit for a fifth player. Because of this, I think it’s best for both me and Flames if we look at other options.”

Copenhagen Flames are now:

DenmarkJakob “⁠jabbi⁠” Nygaard
DenmarkNico “⁠nicoodoz⁠” Tamjidi
DenmarkMagnus “⁠Nodios⁠” Olsen

DenmarkAsger “⁠AcilioN⁠” Larsen (transfer list)

SwedenDaniel “⁠djL⁠” Narancic (coach)

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

AGO open to offers for mhL

The up-and-coming Polish sniper is ready to compete professionally again.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Extra Salt sweep paiN to win DreamHack Open March North America

Extra Salt claimed on Sunday the title of DreamHack Open March North America champions, dropping only a single map over the course of the tournament and culminating their run with a 3-0 sweep over paiN in the grand final to earn $35,000 and book a ticket to IEM Summer 2021.

“Words can’t describe the win, it’s been much waited on,” Aran “⁠Sonic⁠” Groesbeek said in a post-match interview. Regarding the team’s next steps now that they have cemented their place as the best team playing in North America, Sonic said that Extra Salt have always had their sights set on playing in Europe, where they plan to play for “quite a while.” When asked about the chance that Extra Salt passes Cloud9 in the world rankings following their win, Sonic simply said: “Expected.”

Extra Salt are set to travel to Europe in short order as they will compete in the FunSpark ULTI 2020 Europe Final from April 19-26, with appearances at DreamHack Masters Spring and IEM Summer also on their calendar in the following months.

oSee averaged a 1.36 rating in the grand final

paiN got off to a blazing start on Inferno, racing ahead to an 8-2 lead on the offense of their own map pick. It took a triple kill from oSee to get Extra Salt back in the running, but from there, Johnny “⁠JT⁠” Theodosiou‘s troops assumed firm control, going on a 13-1 spree of rounds to rapidly attain match point before closing out the map shortly afterwards.

A back-and-forth trading of rounds unfolded at the onset of Train, but this time it was Extra Salt who came out on top, with oSee leading the way in a 10-5 T side effort. An ace from Sonic in the second pistol and subsequent anti-eco conversion allowed Extra Salt to extend their lead, but paiN remained resilient, winning eight rounds in a row to keep themselves in contention before Extra Salt stabilized, winning four final rounds to go up 2-0 in the series.

oSee and company continued to show strong form in the starting moments on Mirage, with the 21-year-old AWPer leading the way in an 8-3 start for Extra Salt. Multi-kill rounds from Wesley “⁠hardzao⁠” Lopes put paiN back in the running as they clawed back to a one-round deficit at the half, and another six rounds off the break gave the Brazilian team a 13-8 lead. Yet again though, Extra Salt had a resurgence in the closing moments of the map, recovering a 2vs4 situation and later regaining control off the back of a crucial 1vs3 clutch from Justin “⁠FaNg⁠” Coakley to edge out a 16-14 win and take the series.

Brazil

North America

DreamHack Open March North America final standings:

1. North America Extra Salt – $35,000 + IEM Summer 2021 spot
2. Brazil paiN – $15,000
3-4. United States High Coast – $6,000
3-4. United States Liquid – $6,000
5-6. United States Bad News Bears – $2,500
5-6. United States Triumph – $2,500
7-8. United States Rebirth – $1,500
7-8. United States RBG – $1,500

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Extra Salt through to DH Open March grand final over High Coast

Extra Salt have become the second DreamHack Open March North America finalists after besting High Coast 2-0 in the semi-finals, setting up a best-of-five battle against paiN for the lion’s share of the $70,000 prize pool and a spot at IEM Summer 2021.

“We did really want to play Liquid since they’ve been in Europe for a while,” Aran “⁠Sonic⁠” Groesbeek stated in a post-match interview, “but I guess we’re just going to have to wait for that opportunity. As for paiN, I know they’ve been prepping pretty hard, especially to beat us, so I think it’s going to be a good match.”

Sonic also praised the evolution in Johnny “⁠JT⁠” Theodosiou‘s leadership, stating that the South African captain’s reads had become “really good lately” and that he had grown as an individual. He then wished paiN good luck in the grand final on Sunday, saying: “they’re good friends, wonderful guys and definitely one of my favourite Brazilian teams, but this is CS man – there’s only one winner on the table.”

Sonic led the way for Extra Salt with a 1.61 rating in the series

The series between the two teams kicked off on Dust2, where Ian “⁠motm⁠” Hardy was unable to claim revenge over his former teammates despite a close affair. What started off as a three-round lead for Extra Salt quickly gave way to strong offensive effort from High Coast, who managed to fight back and pull ahead 10-5 by the break.

The tides quickly turned in the second half, however, and it was Extra Salt who put the pressure on their opposition, with Sonic leading the way with a 1.80 rating and 33-19 K-D as Extra Salt narrowly edged out a victory in round 30.

JT‘s troops maintained momentum heading into their pick of Vertigo, kicking off the map with a 6-0 lead. High Coast rallied back, bringing themselves within one round by halftime before taking the lead off the break, 10-8. A triple kill from Edgar “⁠MarKE⁠” Maldonado put Extra Salt back in the running, and from there they gave up just one additional round as they put an end to High Coast‘s hopes of a third map, taking the victory 16-11.

North America

United States

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

paiN upset Liquid to advance to DH Open March NA final

paiN punched their ticket to Sunday’s grand final of DreamHack Open March North America following a stunning 2-1 victory over World No.6 Liquid in the semi-finals. The ESEA Advanced team will look to defend their DreamHack Open January title against the winner of Extra Salt vs. High Coast in the best-of-five tournament decider.

Gabriel “⁠NEKIZ⁠” Schenato did not hide his delight with the victory, which comes just six months after paiN moved to North America, saying: “As I said yesterday, our team is so powerful, we’re so talented, and I knew that we were going to win.”

saffee put on a dominant display on Dust 2

It was just his first map ever against a tier-one team, but Rafael “⁠saffee⁠” Costa tore Liquid apart on Dust 2. The 26-year-old AWPer’s stellar performance was exactly what paiN needed to pull off an upset as he finished the map with a 33-11 K/D and a 2.07 rating.

Liquid looked a revitalised side on Overpass as they strolled to a 12-3 lead, with Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski finishing the half with a 22-7 score and a 143 ADR. The North American team lost just one round in the second half before wrapping things up to take the series to Inferno.

paiN jumped out to a 6-1 lead on Inferno before Liquid adjusted their defence, with only three rounds separating the two sides at the break. The Brazilians managed to steal an important round in the second half when they had just three rifles, putting Liquid against the ropes, and, with Rodrigo “⁠biguzera⁠” Bittencourt leading the charge, quickly put the game past their opponents.

United States

Brazil

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

High Coast, paiN round out DreamHack Open March NA playoffs

The final playoff teams for DreamHack Open March North America have been determined, with High Coast and paiN securing wins in their group deciders over Triumph and Bad News Bears, respectively, to secure berths to the top-four stage.

It took all three maps and two overtimes for High Coast to claim victory over Alan “⁠Shakezullah⁠” Hardeman‘s troops, a feat made all the more difficult as Ben “⁠ben1337⁠” Smith‘s side started the series with a one-sided loss on their own map pick, Inferno.

Although Triumph were the first to claim match point on both Nuke and Dust2, they were unable to take either map over the line, with Brandon “⁠bew⁠” Roberts powering his side to overtime wins on both maps to narrowly edge out the series for his side.

motm will take on his former teammates on Saturday

Bad News Bears, who were left without one of their key pieces in Jonathan “⁠Jonji⁠” Carey as he serves out a mandatory quarantine period in a hotel due to COVID-19 restrictions, were unable to maintain the strong form they had showcased in the first match of the tournament with their Canadian entry fragger, falling in two maps to paiN.

The Brazilian side recovered from a 6-9 deficit on their pick, Nuke, edging out a win on the map before putting up a stalwart defense on Inferno to take a clear-cut victory over Peter “⁠ptr⁠” Gurney‘s men.

paiN will take on Liquid in the first semi-final match-up on Saturday at 22:00