The Austin Convention Center in the Texas capital was the scene of the latest CS:GO event as DreamHack Austin 2017 concluded over the weekend. Gambit Esports dropped just a single map on their way to being crowned champions in an impressive performance.
Gambit were seen as the second favourites coming into the event after being drawn in Group A, a pool considered to be the easier of the two. However, Gambit struggled early on against the other team many expected to get out of the group; Heroic.
Heroic have always been a dangerous tier two team, possessing an ability to put in strong performances against top opposition. In a best-of-one battle on Train, Gambit and Heroic produced a game for the ages as they needed three overtimes to decide a winner. In a slugfest lasting over 80 minutes, Gambit secured the win without even defeating every member of Heroic in the final round as HObbit defused the bomb within the smoke of a smoke grenade that he had deployed.
After that marathon game Gambit faced off against HellRaisers team who have been on the rise in recent weeks. However, Gambit comfortably defeated their opponents on Nuke off the back of nine straight round wins (six to end the first half plus the first three of the second half) as they secured a 16-7 triumph.
Tough semifinal match-up
Gambit thusly finished top of Group A, and this saw them paired with tournament favourites G2 Esports in the semifinals. The French super team had only finished second in Group B after losing to Cloud9 on Cache to open up their campaign, making this something of a shock fixture.
In an incredible turn of events Gambit once again found themselves in a triple overtime game, this time on Nuke. However, unlike against Heroic, Gambit succumbed to defeat, falling to G2 by the same scoreline with which they had beaten Heroic; 25-23.
That Gambit were drained after such an incredible letdown was a distinct possibility, but the team bounced back to take advantage of the semifinal being a best-of-three affair. In another close back and forth encounter, Gambit took the victory on Train (16-12), their most consistent map of the tournament, to even the scores.
With everything on the line the two sides continued onto Cobblestone – a legendary map for Gambit – for the decisive game. This match-up proved to be a perfect summary of the entire series. Matching blow for blow in the first half, Gambit prevailed 8-7 before losing the first five rounds of the second half. Undeterred, Gambit then enjoyed an unbelievable run, pulling off eight wins in 10 rounds (including the final five in a row) to stun G2 and head to the Finals.
The Brazilians await
Gambit faced off against the Brazilians of Immortals in a series that was closer than many had initially anticipated.
Opening up on Train, Gambit did what they had done all tournament long; keep things pretty even at half-time. This is often a huge advantage, particularly for a side such as Gambit with strong late game play. With another 8-7 scoreline at the break, although this time in the opposition’s favour, Gambit cranked things up a gear in the second half. Following an exchange of four round runs for each team (leaving Immortals leading 12-11), Gambit secured the final five rounds to claim Map One, seizing the momentum heading into Inferno.
Inferno was controlled from the start by Gambit, yet the final 16-12 scoreline failed to reflect their dominance. Gambit came bursting out of the traps to claim a 9-1 edge before watching Immortals claim six in a row (including the second half pistol round) to pull the score back to 9-7. Gambit then countered with five rounds in succession to give themselves a 14-7 lead. Even when Immortals made a small comeback with their own five round run, the game never seemed to slip from Gambit’s grasp as they claimed the final two rounds they needed, the $50,000 first place prize and the championship.
Dosia was given the MVP for the event and deservedly so. A long time Counter-Strike player, Dosia has been a fan favourite for a while, with the Russian flourishing since Zeus was added to the roster. Dosia’s rifling skills have significantly improved of late and this allows for other playmakers such as AWPer mou to influence the map more heavily.
Dosia is the X-factor for Gambit, and if they hope to make winning championships a trend, he will have to perform at his Austin level for a long time to come.