Finally! After just over two weeks of competitive action, we have our teams going to the BLAST Premier: Spring Finals in Moscow! We also now know the teams going to the BLAST Premier Showdown. G2 and OG have joined the following teams in Moscow: FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere and Complexity. Whilst Astralis, Team Vitality, MIBR, NIP, 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses must do battle in the Spring Showdown if they wish to qualify for the Moscow Finals and fight for the lion’s share of that tasty $750,000 prize pool!
G2 Esports, Has It Finally Clicked? (1st Place)
G2’s journey to Moscow began with a Bo3 against 100 Thieves. Now, on paper, this should have been a comfortable victory for the Aussies. However, 100 Thieves let both Dust 2 and Vertigo slip out of their fingers, with IGL ”Nexa” giving an MVP performance. This gave G2 a 2-0 win and an upper bracket matchup against OG who they swiftly defeated 16-8 and 16-6! All of this led up to the Grand Final where a rematch against OG awaited them.
However, it wasn’t as easy this time, as OG put up one hell of a fight! G2 must have been smiling to themselves after taking Inferno, the map pick of OG 16-7. With Dust 2 (G2’s best map) up next, a 2-0 was surely in the bag! However, OG stunned everyone by slaying G2 16-5 to take the series to the third map decider: Nuke!
G2 looked to have the series in the bag after going 11-4 up on the CT-Side! However, OG then managed to pull the game all the way back to 15-14! Overtime looked to on the cards, but then in a 3v3 situation with the bomb planted on the B-Site, ”AmaNEk”, ”Nexa” and ”KennyS” were all able to secure a kill each and win G2 the $50,000 prize money!
After showing so much potential at the end of 2019, has this G2 Esports roster finally clicked into place? We don’t know for sure, but winning in London is certainly an exceptional start to the new decade! We will next see G2 in a week’s time at IEM Katowice 2020 where they will begin their tournament with a rematch against 100 Thieves!
OG Esports Up The Rankings They Go! (2nd Place)
After a disappointing showing at ICE Challenge London 2020, many expected OG to finish dead last in Group C, most likely getting 2-0’d in both series. However, “Aleksib” and his troops looked like a completely different team, taking down the 5th best team in the HLTV rankings twice to become the final team to qualify for the Spring Finals in Moscow. Although OG did fall to G2 in the Grand Final, they still took home $35,000 in prize money and sent a warning out the Counter-Strike scene!
Nobody expected OG to be this good so soon after forming. I guess it just goes to show how good of an in-game leader “Aleksib” truly is. I’m sure ENCE is looking on with deep regret right now. OG is currently ranked #25 in the HLTV rankings. However, after this impressive showing, I expect them to rocket up the leaderboards, at least into the top 20. In fact, as I was writing this, they have indeed jumped to the number #17 position. The question is whether OG can break into the Top 10 by the end of the year. Maybe, but up next for OG will be the European Minor for the ESL One: Rio 2020 Major!
Evil Geniuses, Avoid OG In The Future Eh? (3rd Place)
Much like their fellow top 5 teams, (Team Liquid and Astralis) EG struggled in London. Clearly rusty after the player break, the North American roster fell to OG on an opening day in a marathon of a series, with every map going the full 30 rounds! Whilst it was a fantastic victory for OG, the EG players looked very off their game, missing easy shots and making several poor decisions.
Although they did manage to defeat 100 Thieves the following day, they then once again fell to OG despite almost completing the 16-0 on OG’s map pick of Train! The North American squad were then demolished 16-3 on Dust 2 before once again going the full 30 rounds on Inferno! It just seems that OG has EG’s number in both Dota 2 and CS:GO! EG will next be in competition at IEM Katowice 2020 where they will begin their campaign against the up-and-coming Danish roster MAD Lions!
100 Thieves, I’ll Blame The Player Break… This Time. (4th Place)
I’m going to excuse 100 Thieves for their poor performance in London. Many of the top teams such as Team Liquid, Astralis, Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves have all struggled since returning from the player break. I can only suggest this was due to some ring rust and that all of these teams will be back to their very best by IEM Katowice 2020. Nevertheless, it was still a weak performance from the Aussies.
They managed to lose both maps in their opening game against G2 despite being in good positions to take both maps. But sloppy rounds and missed shots cost them dearly. The following day, 100 Thieves had to unfortunately play against Evil Geniuses, where they promptly got destroyed 16-4 on their own map pick of Train. The Aussies did manage to put up a fight on Nuke, but EG managed to take the series in overtime 19-16, sending 100 Thieves to the BLAST Spring Showdown.
Coming up in the Counter-Strike scene, we have DreamHack Open Anaheim 2020 starting on February 21st and IEM Katowice 2020. Commencing February 24th 2020!
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