If the group stages served up some big surprises at Dreamhack Masters Marseille, the Quarter-Finals continued that trend. A busy day of Counter-Strike delivered some sublime highlights.
Natus Vincere vs Mousesports: 2 - 0
Mirage: 16 - 9
Until Marseille, the question with Na`Vi has usually been twofold. How hard can Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev carry and how will the rest of his team conspire to lose the match anyway? This time it was different. We finally got to see Denis “electronic” Sharipov play to his potential, with a magnificent 28 kills on Mirage. Mousesports never really had a look in despite their best efforts.
Inferno: 19 - 16
Mousesports were one of the favourites for the Masters title due to their impressive recent results. They gave a much better account of themselves on the second map. Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný’s 30 kills helped take it to overtime. Unfortunately Na`Vi and an incendiary s1mple were just too hot to handle on Inferno. S1mple with his second ace of the map to take it to match point:
Gambit vs Cloud 9: 2 - 0
Mirage: 22 - 20
New in game leader (IGL) for Cloud 9 Pujan “FNS” Mehta has certainly helped reinvigorate the team since his arrival. After gliding through the group stages, they met a determined Gambit in the playoffs. The former Major-winners have been in a downward spiral since their Krakow victory. Here they managed to finally best a determined Cloud 9 in double overtime on Mirage. All of Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev, Rustem “mou” Telepov and Abay “Hobbit”' Khasenov showed a return of form in the series. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham delivery a stunning 2K clutch to put Cloud 9 on map point:
Train: 16 - 7
Gambit has been in crisis since their Krakow Major win, with the IGL role being passed around after Zeus’ return to Na`Vi. With Denis “seized” Kostin taking up the role they seem to have been able to all return to a high level of play individually. While seized failed as the IGL of Na`Vi a year ago, he’s made a big difference in Gambit. They easily swept Cloud 9 aside on Train.
Astralis vs Faze Clan: 2 - 0
Mirage: 16 - 11
The Danish giants continued their upward trajectory in Marseille, with a comprehensive victory over pre-tournament favourites FaZe. Astralis did well to shut down FaZe’s superstars. Aside from a few moments of brilliance, FaZe never looked convincing on Mirage.
Nuke: 16 - 6
Had the recent swap of Richard “Xizt” Landström for Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer affected FaZe? It might take another couple of events to be certain on that point, as the traditional Danish stronghold of Nuke proved to be exactly that yet again. FaZe barely had a look in. Astralis decisively marched on with an amazing performance from clutch master Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. Xyp9x teaching FaZe the folly of going ramp against him with a great quad kill:
fnatic vs Ninjas in Pyjamas: 2 - 1
Mirage: 16 - 9
In recent times fnatic have seemed to have the edge in this matchup. The Swedes managed to beat their countrymen without much trouble on Mirage.
Inferno: 5 - 16
In a surprising twist, NiP were able to win Inferno in dominant fashion. They smashed the IEM Katowice and WESG World Finals champions with a fantastic team effort to take the series to the decider on Train.
Train: 16 - 13
NiP’s momentum continued on Train, with Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg turning in a vintage performance. Fnatic were forced to make a comeback. Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson took on the responsibility, delivering 31 kills and helping to secure the match for his team. A dramatic series ended in heartbreak for the Ninjas and elation for fnatic. In probably the play of the tournament, f0rest won the second pistol round on train for his team with a 4K clutch:
The Semi-Finals and Grand Final:
Sunday 22 April 2018:
All times CEST. 11 AM- Natus Vincere vs Gambit 2 PM - Astralis vs fnatic 6 PM - Grand Final You can catch all the action here.