Counter-Strike’s Polish powerhouse once again made clear their status as one of the world’s best.
Virtus Pro triumphed at the Acer A-Split Invitational this weekend, moving past a field of Germany’s top teams before defeating Danish Reason Gaming in the final.
That final was competitive at times, but never truly close. Having advanced to the grand final from the upper bracket, Virtus Pro began the best-of-five series with a one game lead. As the first map was Reason Gaming’s pick—Cobblestone—it was clear that the Danes would need to strike fast.
Instead, Virtus Pro were buoyed by strong performances from both Pawel “Byali” Bielinski and Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski to a 16-11 win. Bielinksi may have made the best showing of any player at the tournament, but Pogorzelski deserved equal credit for his own contributions given he also acted as captain for Virtus Pro during the event.
Virtus Pro cruised to the title with a 16-7 victory in the third game of the series, resulting in a clean sweep.
Runners-up Reason Gaming were nearly unable to attend the event. The former myXMG squad was temporarily sponsored by the Reason Gaming esports organization in order to allow the team to travel to Krefeld, Germany to compete.
Asger “Acilion” Larsen played particularly well for the Danish side, helping to keep his team in the first game of the grand final series. But Larsen’s efforts ultimately weren’t enough to stave off Virtus Pro’s ascendance.
Overall, the event was a disappointment for German Counter-Strike fans, as six of Germany’s best teams were among the eight-team field in which the two finalists were from Poland and Denmark, respectively.
Penta Sports was the highest-placing German team. Still riding the momentum from their surprise quarterfinals appearance at DreamHack Winter, Penta were nearly able to defeat Reason Gaming in the consolidation match. After easily winning the first game of that best-of-three series, Penta took Reason Gaming to the final round of regulation in the second game on Overpass. But Reason were able to hold the Germans off, and ultimately took the series with a decisive third map victory.
In fourth-place were Mousesports, who continue to disappoint after having shown flashes of promise in online competition. Failing to make the top-three at an event where many expected the side to at least make the final will be a bitter pill to swallow following a last-place finish at the ESEA global final in Dallas, Texas.
Planetkey Dynamics and Alternate were among the notable group stage eliminations. The former team failed to follow up their recent ESL Pro Series championship, while Alternate’s new roster faced similar struggles as neither team managed a single series victory.
Screengrab via TakeTV/Twitch