Oct 11 2016 - 4:07 pm

Karrigan benched by Astralis coach zonic

After months of disappointing results, Astalis’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team appear to be undergoing a roster change, as in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen has been benched
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports

After months of disappointing results, Astalis’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team appear to be undergoing a roster change, as in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen has been benched.

Having played with the core unit of Astralis for nearly three years, karrigan’s in-game leadership was credited as being one of the factors behind the Danish squad’s success last year, where the roster started to be considered as one of the best teams in the world. Despite amassing consistent victories against top teams at the time such as Fnatic, the Danes’ results in 2016 pale in comparison. The team has failed to claim a single trophy throughout the year, and despite the addition of the incredibly hyped rookie Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye, good results just seem to evade the roster.

While no specific reason has been cited for karrigan’s benching, the official statement on Astralis’ website reads that he “has been benched by Astralis’ coach Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen,” which suggests he was removed due to his in-game performance.

In the 26-year-old’s stead, Astralis will now compete with Anton “notaN” Pedersen in the ongoing season of ESL Pro League. How long notaN will be present in the line-up has, however, been questioned already, given his lack of competitive experience as well as recent rumors, which claim that Astralis is potentially looking to acquire Heroic’s Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander.

Karrigan himself appears to be taking the decision in stride. The former in-game leader released a short video clip titled “Im benched in astralis.” The video features karrigan sitting down on a bench followed by him gleefully waving towards the camera.

Astralis’ debut series with notaN will be played in today’s ESL Pro League, where they will be taking on G2 Esports at 2.20 pm CDT.

Jan 20 2017 - 9:49 pm

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO tournament is going to be awesome

The final two invites went out today, and the tournament's guaranteed to be exciting.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

The final two teams to be invited to one of the year's biggest events have been announced.

FaZe Clan and Danish soccer club FC Copenhagen's esports venture, North, will be attending IEM Katowice's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals from Mar. 1-5, ESL announced today. The teams, which showed impressive form towards the end of 2016 at multiple international LAN events, will be competing against some of the best teams in the world.

The two teams are also the last to receive invitations to the event, as four teams will be added after a series of online qualifiers. In total, three more European teams will be attending IEM Katowice, as well as one North American team. With an already-stacked ensemble of teams ready to attend, such as Brazil's SK Gaming, Polish hometown heroes Virtus Pro, and Denmark's top team Astralis, the four teams that will be advancing through the online qualifiers will be making an already-competitive event all the more fierce.

In October 2016, the current North roster, which was signed to Dignitas at the time, took home the $500,000 EPICENTER event in Moscow. Aside from being one of the biggest events of the year, it had all the top teams in the world in attendance. Since then, however, North has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon them, and have recently fallen short at nearly all events they have attended since.

The opposite can be said about FaZe, since the team picked up former Astralis in-game leader Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. Since Karrigan's arrival, FaZe have had their best results since the team's inception, and have looked stronger at each event they have attended.

Taking place roughly one month after the ELEAGUE Major, which begins on Jan. 22, IEM Katowice will likely be the debut tournament of several new rosters—so make sure to keep an eye on what could be one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.