Gambit took home the trophy at DreamHack Austin over the weekend, but a lot more happened beyond that. As part of a new feature, Slingshot’s Jarek “DeKay” Lewis will look beyond the results to see how the major storylines play out and analyze where to go next. Here are his “Final Five” takeaways from DreamHack Austin as the Counter-Strike calendar transitions to IEM Sydney, which begins late Tuesday night.
Gambit’s Map Pool
Without playing Overpass and only playing Cobblestone once, Gambit won six of seven maps in Austin. This event specifically showed the versatility of Gambit’s oft-maligned map pool, as the team leaned on Train, Inferno and Nuke to get the job done. Mikhail “Dosia” Stolyarov has cemented himself as a Train specialist after posting a +17 K/D in three Gambit victories on the map. At this point, it’s quite apparent that Train in particular plays into his severely passive play style. Who’d have thought the “X-God” would put up an MVP performance in 2017? Not me.
The Superteam is still Super
Even after coming into the event as the favorite, G2 should be proud of its performance after losing to the eventual winners in Gambit. Kenny “KennyS” Schrub is easily the best AWPer in the world on Nuke, with 31 AWP kills alone on the map in the semifinal. It’s been a total of two LANs and this team has already achieved a quarterfinal and semifinal finish. Expect to see them hoist a trophy in 2017.
After recovering from surgery and an injury, the Cloud9 AWPer resumed right where he left off with more volatile play in Austin. After a stellar map and beautiful eco 4K against G2 on Cache in the group stage, Skadoodle fell off later on in their best-of-three elimination match. An elevated performance from him and Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert could have easily propelled this team into the playoffs.
Liquid on LAN
Prior to the Counter-Strike Summit, the core of this lineup hadn’t played a LAN since the ELEAGUE Major in January. That event saw Liquid beat Ninjas in Pyjamas and then go on to lose to OpTic in a best-of-three, with stellar play from its new young star, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken. Had Liquid been in the other group for DreamHack, it’s entirely possible the team wins its elimination match and finishes with a more impressive result. Unfortunately for Liquid, the superteam had other plans.
Four teams. Two are entirely Danish. One is entirely Brazilian. One is entirely international. One of these four will win IEM Sydney, and all carry their own specific storyline. Does Astralis retain its grip as the best team in the world? Will North bounce back after disappointment and fulfill their potential? Can the SK Gaming players lock down their roles and win back-to-back events for the first time in almost a year? Is this the beginning of the FaZe era? Or was IEM Katowice a fluke?