Sep 18 2016 - 11:10 pm

Virtus Pro triumph in DreamHack Bucharest final

Virtus Pro continue to be one of the most unpredictable teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive after winning DreamHack Bucharest against Cloud9
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports

Virtus Pro continue to be one of the most unpredictable teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive after winning DreamHack Bucharest against Cloud9.

After a disappointing result last week at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 LAN finals Virtus Pro looked a different team, fighting through both Team Dignitas and Cloud9 to take home yet another title. Of the two matches, the Danes of Team Dignitas provided the most resistance to the Polish plow as they forced the series to a third deciding map.

As most fans of the Polish squad have experienced by now, it’s never certain which Virtus Pro that will show up. In some cases the team looks reminiscent of their glory days in 2014, and some days they end up going home in last place.

In the end, however, Virtus Pro took down the Danish team and headed for the grand finals where the team would be matched up against Cloud9. Competing in its second international LAN final in as many weeks, fans were rooting for the North American team to pull through and finally take home an international title.

Unfortunately for Cloud9, the map-veto ended up sealing its fate. With both Train and Mirage being selected, Virtus Pro had essentially been given two of its favorite maps and the Polish team did not let them go to waste. Two 16-9 victories later, the oldest roster in CS:GO raised its third trophy of the year high into the air, and once again prove that they can never be counted out.

Despite Virtus Pro’s victory, the progression of Cloud9 since the acquisition of Timothy "autimatic" Ta is truly remarkable. The North American squad has consistently performed well on the international stage as well as dominating its domestic online circuit. 

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Jan 18 2017 - 8:14 pm

You’ll be able to watch DreamHack and ESL in virtual reality this year

A total of 14 events are set to be broadcast through the rapidly evolving technology.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Image via Valve

Two of the world's largest esports tournament organizers will broadcast in virtual reality in 2017.

ESL and DreamHack will air a total of 14 events through Sliver.TV, a virtual reality platform that allows viewers to immerse themselves fully in a 360-degree rendition of live tournament matches. This can be done on computers and mobile devices via the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard.

The platform was field-tested last year at ESL One New York and IEM Oakland, with the Oakland event attracting 130,000 unique viewers to its VR broadcasts. A result that appears to have convinced ESL and DreamHack that the demand for virtual reality in esports is growing in tandem with the increasing popularity of the technology itself, which is predicted to generate $30 billion in revenue by 2021.

The partnership between Sliver, ESL, and DreamHack will provide "360 virtual reality, live replays and stats technology to millions of esports fans worldwide," according to Sliver CEO and founder Mitch Liu. He added, rather ambitiously, that the company's vision is "to forever transform the esports spectating experience by providing new perspectives and insights into live esports streams."

The events that will feature broadcasting through Sliver's platform are:

  • DreamHack Masters Las Vegas - Feb 15-19
  • Unnanounced DreamHack Masters stop
  • DreamHack ASTRO Open Austin - Apr 28-30
  • DreamHack ASTRO Open Atlanta - Jul 21-23
  • DreamHack ASTRO Open Montreal - Sep 8-10
  • DreamHack ASTRO Open Denver - Oct 20-22
  • DreamHack ASTRO Open Winter - Nov 30-Dec 2
  • Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, Poland - Feb 25-Mar 5
  • 3 Addtl IEM Global events
  • ESL One Cologne - Jul 3-8
  • ESL One New York - Sep 1-15
  • Unnanounced ESL One event

While virtual reality may still be in its infancy, the billion-dollar industry looks to continue growing in the coming years, and it will be interesting to see its potential influence on esports.