Four of a Kind, the Aces at DreamHack Summer Part 2
DreamHack Summer comes at a crossroads in events. It is in the middle of the ELEAGUE tournament, after the Major Electronic Sports League Cologne Qualifiers and before the Esports Championship Series Finals and the ESL Cologne Major itself. While it doesn’t feature the best teams in the world, it has by coincidence or kismet gathered four aces in a crossroads of their careers. They are Ricardo "boltz" Prass, Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný, Simon "twist" Eliasson and Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye. You can read about botlz’s crucible and oskar’s purgatory in part 1 here.
Each are at an important moment in their careers and DreamHack Summer has now become an arena between the battle of these four aces as they must destroy the hopes of the others to advance their way forwards even that one extra step.
Rise of twist
Twist was part of the legendary LGB eSports team that lasted from June 20, 2013 to May 6, 2014. The lineup included Dennis "dennis" Edman, Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson. KRiMZ and olofmeister were picked up by Fnatic and both proved they were worth their weight in gold as they took turns carrying the Fnatic team to it’s greatest heights from 2014 to 2015. Eventually, Markus “pronax” Wallsten” left the Fnatic lineup which was then filled by dennis. Once dennis joined the team, Fnatic went on a tyrannical reign at the end of 2015 to the beginning of 2016 where they won six events back-to-back.
Twist is the last LGB hold out. The last one from that lineup that is recognized and respected as a player that may have potential equal to KRiMZ, olofmeister and dennis. His career, however, is still in its nascent stages despite playing as long as them. Twist has received the call multiple times from top teams, most notably NiP. Each time, he has refused the call as he could not abandon those who held the same dream as him to rise to the top. Because of his mentality, he has spent the majority of his post LGB career on the third or fourth best Swedish teams.
All of that changed once pronax left Fnatic and decided that he wanted to start over. Twist believes that pronax will be the one who unlocks his potential and makes him the best player. “I’ve always wanted to play with him. Because I know I will shine and become a new player. He’ll make the best out of me.” Together, they formed Godsent, along with Andreas "znajder" Lindberg, Mathias ”pauf” Köhler and Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson.
At DreamHack Malmo, the lineup showed promise of what the team could possibly do. At that tournament, they had a miracle run to the semi-finals, defeating G2, Counter Logic Gaming, mousesports and then losing to NiP 2-1 in the semis. Twist was a monster that broke sites with consistent entry frag kills that won them the game. Yet the follow up LANs were much less successful. They were eliminated by ENCE at DreamHack Tours and got fourth at StarLadder, losing to Dobry&Gaming and Na`Vi.
The road to the top isn’t so easy. For Twist, this is another step in a long journey, but for the first time in a long time since his days on LGB, he is going in the right direction.
Flight of Kjaerbye
Kjærbye’s career has elements of nearly every star player here. He went through an online phase that Emil "Magiskb0Y" Reif is going through now. Both Kjaerbye and boltz were passive observers on teams with bigger stars on their respective teams (In boltz case it was Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Marcelo "coldzera" David, in Kjaerbye’s case it was Philip "aizy" Aistrup and Jacob "Pimp" Winneche). Much like oskar, he was in purgatory on Dignitas. Whenever he was about to reach a higher stage of results, his team let him down in the clutch. Kjaerbye himself performed admirably like oskar, but neither could drag them across the finish line against the better teams in the world. The most notable example of this was Kjaerbye’s heroic fight against EnVyUs at DreamHack Malmo.
Now here he is today. All of the struggles and hard work has made him the best Danish player outside of Astralis. Astralis themselves were struggling to keep up the results and lost out in group phases at both DreamHack Malmo and ESL ESEA Proleague. This forced them to look for a possible solution and that solution is Kjaerbye. He has consistently performed on LAN and under pressure for all of 2016 and has grown greatly as a player. Astralis took notice and traded Rene "cajunb" Borg to Dignitas for Kjaerbye.
Kjaerbye’s first test came at ELEAGUE. There, Astralis beat the competition to secure first place in their group. Yet it wasn’t the curb stomp everyone was expecting as CLG fought them to the bitter end in the final matches of the group. The first map went as expected as Astralis stomped CLG. The second map had CLG play out of their minds. Most notably, James "hazed" Cobb and their coach and current sub Faruk "Pita" Pita had a large impact throughout the game and gave CLG the power to beat Astralis.
For Astralis, it was deja-vu. They had stomped the round robin, they easily swept through the playoffs and had destroyed CLG in the first game. Yet here they were on the brink of death once again in the most important match of the group. But this time, they had Kjaerbye and that would make all the difference. Along with Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, the two star players were able to get Astralis back on track and win the group.
Yet all of that was the prologue. In the end, Astralis were huge favorites going into that group. The real test for Kjaerbye will be at DreamHack Summer and ECS Finals. There, he will face much stronger competition and there we will see his true mettle; if he is the one that will solve Astralis’ choking problems and bring them a trophy.
It is time for Kjaerbye to take flight and DreamHack Summer will be his Orville.
Photo Credits: HLTV, DreamHack