NRG Esports are the winners of this year’s IEM Shanghai CS:GO event.
The North American squad dominated pretty much every team in the eight team, $250,000 event. Even though the competition wasn’t that fierce because of the ongoing August player break, NRG are seriously shaping up to be a strong contender in their region.
In their run through the group stage, they defeated 5Power Gaming in a best-of-one on Inferno (16-10) and HellRaisers in a three-map series (Overpass 16-10 and Train 16-11). NRG’s surprising showing against HR, however, could be overshadowed by the fact that Kristjan “FejtZ” Allsaar stood in for HR’s star player Ozgur “woxic” Eker. HR later dropped down to the decider match and were swept by Virtus Pro.
NRG’s next match in Shanghai was against Gambit Esports, and it was a fairly easy task for them to handle. Former FlipSid3 Tactics in-game leader Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy stepped up to the plate as Gambit’s new coach, but his tactical prowess wasn’t enough to help oust the NA firepower on Train (16-8) and Overpass (16-3).
Before NRG faced TyLoo in the grand final, TyLoo took down Virtus Pro in the most hectic series of the tournament. Both sides were displaying unconventional and messy playstyles, and it was obvious that sides struggled to find themselves throughout. TyLoo somehow emerged victorious by taking map one Train 22-20 and map three Cache 22-18.
TyLoo had a lacluster showing in the finals of the event, though. NRG stomped TyLoo on Overpass (16-9) once they reached the CT side. Then on Mirage (16-2) wasn’t even close. Bulgarian AWPer Tsevetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov topped the server in the last match with 26 kills per map and a nice average damage per round of 109.4.
Although IEM Shanghai wasn’t a true test of NRG’s firepower against the world’s top teams, it seems they’re definitely catching up to the likes of Team Liquid and Cloud9 in terms of vying for the top NA spot.