One of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams clawed their way to their first major final only to lose out in the end.
Envy won a tight first game on Train before running away with the second map, Cobblestone. Kenny “Kenny S” Schrub was dominant in the tournament’s final series, and he wasn’t lacking for motivation. Long considered to be among the best players in the game, this is Schrub’s first major championship.
It’s also the first major title for Dan “Apex” Madesclaire, who joined Envy along with Schrub in a roster swap with fellow French team Titan. The move has paid dividends for Envy, while Titan has continued to struggle with inconsistency.
The loss to Envy is a difficult one for Natus Vincere. One of the biggest names in Counter-Strike and a top team throughout most of the game’s few years of competitive history, players for Na`Vi have been frank about their desire to finally capitalize on their potential in a major tournament.
A masterful semifinal performance, in which the team swept Ninjas in Pyjamas while allowing only nine combined rounds across two games, set the stage for that breakthrough. But even with stellar play from Ladislav “Guardian” Kovacs and Denis “Seized” Kostin, Na`Vi weren’t able to overcome Envy.
Gamers2 also had a breakthrough performance at the event. The team swept Virtus Pro in the quarterfinal round before coming achingly close to upsetting Envy in the semifinals. After winning the first game of the series, Gamers2 took Envy to overtime in the second and held multiple match points. They couldn’t finish the job however, allowing an Envy comeback that ultimately culminated in a championship.
The American contingent’s performance was perhaps one of the tournaments most notable disappointments. The region failed to send a single team to the playoff bracket, including Mousesports, who have made no secret of their aspirations to contend for titles but fell well short once again.
Photo via DreamHack/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf
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