18-year-old CS:GO pro pulls off s1mple-like carrying performance in upset win over BIG

We could be looking at one of Counter-Strike 2 future stars.

A Counter-Strike character advances wielding a weapon.
Image via Valve

Swedish CS:GO pro Joel Holmlund was arguably just another unknown youngster to many fans until today, when he put absolutely dominating numbers in a surprising victory against BIG in the quarterfinals of the $300,000 online event BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic.

Joel’s performance propelled GODSENT, who are just 66th in the world in HLTV’s ranking, to eliminate the top-tier German team from the competition with a 2-1 upset.

Joel was solid on all three maps of the series—Anubis, Nuke, and Inferno—even though GODSENT dropped Anubis, their map pick, to BIG. The upset wasn’t looking as likely, however, until joel did his best s1mple impression in the final two maps and helped the Swedish team reverse-sweep BIG. The 18-year-old finished with 31 frags and just 15 deaths on Nuke (16-10), averaging a 1.80 rating and 123 ADR, according to HLTV, and was once again the best player on Inferno (16-10), securing 24 frags and only 13 deaths, averaging a 1.43 rating.

To determine how much of an impact joel had in the series, all that a CS:GO fan must do is look at the young player’s stats. The 18-year-old averaged a 1.44 rating over three maps, while William “draken” Sundin, the second-best GODSENT player in the series, averaged only a 1.00 rating and barely finished with a positive K/D ratio.

Screengrab via HLTV

Joel has been a part of GODSENT since January 2023, when the Sweden-based organization entered the professional CS:GO scene again with a full Swedish lineup after a six-month hiatus. This performance against BIG wasn’t a one-time show from joel as he has consistently been GODSENT’s best player throughout the year, averaging a 1.15 rating across 86 maps registered on HLTV in 2023.

As for BIG, this loss to GODSENT truly shows that the Germans are going through a slump at the start of the year. The team, led by tabseN finished at the bottom of IEM Katowice Group Stage in February, parted ways with long-time AWPer Florian “syrsoN” Rische to promote academy sniper Marcel “hyped” Köhn afterward. But they haven’t got any better with the youngster onboard as they also underperformed at ESL Pro League season 17 earlier this month and didn’t make playoffs.

Joel and GODSENT have another tall task ahead of themselves as they’ll play the winner of Cloud9 vs. Falcons, two higher-ranked teams, in the semifinals of BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic in the coming days.


Leonardo Biazzi
Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for HLTV.org between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.

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