The Counter-Strike team most famous for making big runs only to come up just short finally broke through on the big stage.
Team SoloMid emerged triumphant from the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship Series Kickoff final in Bucharest, besting three of the world’s best teams in a live playoff. The title is the first of significance for the Danish squad after joining the Team SoloMid esports organization in January.
To win it all, TSM were forced to go through Sweden’s best Counter-Strike teams and players. An opening round sweep of Fnatic was followed up by a sweep of Ninjas in Pyjamas, a team that had long seemed the kryptonite to this group’s powers.
Those wins preceded a grand finals rematch with Fnatic, widely considered the world’s best team today. Fnatic wouldn’t go down easy in spite of starting the series down two games to none, charging back with a strong performance on Dust2 for game three. But TSM remained composed and were able to close out the series in four games on Overpass.
The Danes received a balanced effort overall in the final, with Rene “Cajunb” Borg recording the most frags for the team.
It never came easy for TSM during the event. The biggest disparity in any TSM victory in Bucharest was 16-11. In the final, Fnatic stars Robin “Flusha” Ronnquist and Olof “Olofmeister” Kajbjer both came up strong. Even in the face of such adversity, Team SoloMid wouldn’t be denied, a marked change for the team widely considered to be good enough to go deep in any event but not quite strong enough to ever finish the job.
It’s the second consecutive runner-up finish for Fnatic, who managed the same placement after a loss to Virtus Pro at last week’s ESEA global final. It speaks to the tremendous standard set by Fnatic that many fans will be disappointed in the team’s failure to capture the title at either event.
The most notable result from the remainder of the tournament in Bucharest was likely Ninjas in Pyjamas’ two-hour overtime victory over Team EnvyUs. That match was ultimately overshadowed by Envy’s disappointing last place finish and Ninjas in Pyjamas being crushed by Fnatic in a lower bracket sweep by scores of 16-6 and 16-4.
Screengrab via PGL/Twitch