The first international Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in Brazil has thrown up some surprises, as tournament favorites Dignitas have already been eliminated from the $500,000 event.
Dignitas, who last week took home their first major LAN victory at Epicenter, at first looked poised to advance out of their group after beating NRG eSports and narrowly defeating Ninjas in Pyjamas. But the Danish roster stumbled against its next two opponents, FaZe and SK Gaming. That put them in a must-win situation against opponent Cloud9.
Playing on Mirage, Dignitas started the first half of the series 9–6. Cloud9 looked to be in disarray, as Michael “shroud” Grzesiek appeared to be visibly upset at his own performance heading into the second half. And the North Americans initially found themselves deeper in the hole after losing the pistol round.
Despite this disappointing start to their CT side, Cloud9 rebounded and successfully strung together seven straight round wins, as Dignitas never seemed to be able to crack the Cloud9 defense consistently. In the end, the Epicenter winners were shut out of the bomb sites and the match, losing 13–16.
The win for Cloud9 could hint at a return to form after a period in the relative wilderness. While they’ve been riding a rather successful wave at smaller LAN competitions recently, first-place finishes have continued to elude the North American fan-favorites. Cloud9’s storied sniper Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham has entered into the worst slump of his career in the weeks leading up to ESL Pro League, putting up numbers far below what’s expected of a top-level competitor.
Skadoodle’s shortcomings aside, Cloud9’s main weapon has since become the duo of Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and Timothy “autimatic” Ta, who now consistently succeed in topping the scoreboard for their team. All the while Stewie2k provides in-game leadership and occasionally AWPs alongside Skadoodle.
Cloud9 have drawn an favorable match-up in the quarter finals against domestic rivals OpTic Gaming later today. Ninjas and Pyjamas will face off in the other match, with the winners going on to play Mousesports and SK Gaming respectively.