Oct 1 2016 - 5:03 pm

Na`Vi and SK Gaming dominate in New York, while G2 Esports struggle

After the first day of play at New York's Barclays Center, reigning major champions SK Gaming look in commanding form—while French upstarts G2 Esports have struggled
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports

After the first day of play at New York's Barclays Center, reigning major champions SK Gaming look in commanding form—while French upstarts G2 Esports have struggled.

The Brazilians, who recently welcomed back rifler Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, ended the first day of ESL One New York with a flawless record of 2-0 after defeating OpTic Gaming and Astralis. The Danes did bring the game to SK Gaming, however, and were only trailing three rounds behind the Brazilians by the end of the map.

Na`Vi mirrored SK Gaming’s performance, with solid victories against both Team Liquid and favorites Virtus Pro. The team’s legendary AWPer Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács topped the scoreboard in both games, making it look as if the Slovakian player has overcome his personal slump.

For Fnatic, the new roster's LAN debut saw a resounding defeat against the team’s storied rivals Virtus Pro, who only gave away six rounds in total to the Swedish side. Fnatic recovered in time for its second match against OpTic Gaming, however, and completely smashed Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas and his men with a 16-3 scoreline.

This puts OpTic Gaming, along with French superstars G2 Esports, in a particularly precarious position heading into the event’s second day. Due to the swiss group stage format, the lack of victories can prove to be fatal for either team’s chances to progress.

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.