It was the turn of Las Vegas to be the centre of attention in the CS:GO world this past week with the DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 event at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. A share of a $450,000 prize pool was on the line for the 16 participating teams, with the winners receiving a $200,000 payday.
Change is sometimes not a good thing
In a tournament filled with teams having undergone roster swaps, it was the ever-steady five-man line-up of Virtus.pro who came away as champions of DreamHack Las Vegas.
The Poles opened their group play matches with a best-of-one affair against North America’s Misfits, a team consisting of the former roster of TSM that was acquired in January. In a match most experts expected to be a slaughter, VP surprisingly struggled to find their footing on Cobblestone before eventually winning 16-12.
Many doubted VP’s ability to battle the top teams if they continued this form throughout the event. That sentiment was further enhanced when VP lost their next best-of-one, this time against Gambit 16-10, also on Cobblestone.
However, in the deciding best-of-three against Fnatic, the dominant VP of old came to the fore as they won 2-0 (16-9 on Mirage and 16-2 on Cobblestone) to move into the playoffs.
NiKo shines for mousesports
From there VP took on mousesports in the quarterfinals. This was the last event with this line-up for mousesports as superstar player NiKo is joining FaZe Clan. This entire event for mouse was all about NiKo, who single-handedly carried them to the quarterfinals with one of the most impressive series of games CS:GO has ever seen. While not being able to shut him down completely, VP were able to do just enough to surpass NiKo and crew 2-0, with an incredibly close 16-14 win on Mirage setting up a clash against the team many view as the best in the world; Astralis.
Virtus.pro turned up on fire against the Danes, dispatching them 16-3 on the first map, Nuke. Going against the best team in the world is no easy task however as Astralis bounced back to take the second map, Overpass, 16-9. In the end it came down to Train, which was an eerily similar situation to the ELEAGUE Major just weeks before when VP lost to Astralis, also with Train as the last map. This time, however, VP were dominant from the get-go, completely destroying Astralis 16-4 and avenging their earlier loss.
VP faces SK Gaming for the title
In the end the Poles of Virtus.pro battled it out with the Brazilians of SK Gaming for the championship. SK Gaming came into this event with a major question mark; how would new acquisition felps fair in his finals debut with the team?
SK Gaming took the early series lead, taking down VP 16-8 on Cobblestone. Once again Cobblestone proved to be a poor map for VP, but they bounced back on Train, defeating SK 16-11.
Every map was closer than the last, with Mirage the decider for the championship. In an incredible back-and-forth game, the pride of Poland came through 16-13 and were crowned champions of DreamHack Las Vegas.
While Snax was deemed the MVP of the tournament (and deservedly so), byali was the key that allowed Virtus.pro to win the competition. While not having the flashiest of plays, he was the anchor for his team and he seemed to get better as the tournament progressed. While having high kill totals, little is mentioned of byali due to NiKo’s incredible play for mousesports and Snax’s highlight reel AWP (or sniper rifle) performances. However, one could argue that had it not been for byali’s continued heroics, Virtus.pro may not have even made the final, let alone claimed the crown.