DreamHack Masters Stockholm, the first large-scale Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event in nearly a month, started off with an unexpected result.
North American hopefuls Ghost Gaming took down international heavyweights Na`Vi in the first map of the tournament, after defeating the CIS team in an overtime battle on Dust2. Ghost, who qualified for the event on June 28, ended up winning the map with a narrow 19-17 scoreline, setting up the makings of a dramatic group stage.
The result was surprising. Na`Vi has reclaimed its status as one of the best CS:GO teams in the world throughout 2018, and are considered one of the favorites to take home DreamHack Masters Stockholm.
Dust2 opened up in favor of Na`Vi, who took home the opening pistol round. A successful forcebuy by Ghost on the second round, however, led to Ghost winning the three following rounds in a row—setting the North American roster up for a competitive first half. Na`Vi’s response came on round five, and from there on the CIS roster was able to establish a lead. Ghost were presented with few opportunities for the remainder of the first half, which Na`Vi won 9-6.
Ghost answered back on the Terrorist side, and won the three opening rounds of the second half. Unwilling to let go of their lead, Na`Vi once again pulled away from Ghost and won three rounds in a row.
Ghost responded by winning six rounds in a row, which put them only one round away from taking home the first map. Na`Vi, however, won the two remaining rounds of the half, and secured themselves a second shot in overtime. But Ghost seemed more than prepared, and only dropped two rounds in the first overtime—ending the map 19-17 in the North American’s favor.
The players on Ghost have gradually been rising through the ranks in their domestic North American scene throughout the year. The team’s initial result at DreamHack Masters Stockholm, however, could be considered a milestone for the players, given Na`Vi’s status as a current top three team in the world.
Ghost’s next match will see the team face off against the winner between NRG and NiP on Aug. 30. The match will determine whether the team advances to the playoff stage of DreamHack Masters Stockholm, which is set to start on Sept. 1.