Another playoff series, another 2-0 victory for the Gambit Esports roster. Gambit have dispatched yet another regional foe at the Intel Extreme Masters CS:GO World Championships in Katowice—this time in Team Spirit.
Gambit opened the series by securing their own map pick of Overpass, 16-11. Overpass was a surprisingly quiet affair for the previously red hot Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov, but Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov stepped up with a 23-12 KD performance.
The series turned to Spirit’s pick of Inferno, and for the second straight playoff series, it looked like Gambit would dominate their opponent’s map pick. Gambit controlled their CT-side first half, leading 12-3 at halftime, and increased their lead to 15-4 early in the second half. Spirit did not allow themselves to be completely bombed though, going on a late run with their backs against the wall. Spirit brought it back to 15-13 before a successful B site push by Gambit ended the comeback.
Spirit’s magical IEM Katowice run comes to an end. They advanced to the main event via the play-in stage and defeated G2 Esports, Heroic, and Astralis to earn their semifinals spot. In doing so, they catapulted up to a top 10 spot on the HLTV rankings. Amazingly, all four teams in the semifinals were play-in teams.
Gambit’s victory is their second straight 2-0 of the playoffs after stunning Natus Vincere in the quarterfinals. Their playoff appearance comes after an impressive run through the Group A lower bracket, where they dispatched mousesports, Heroic, and G2.