DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019 starts today

DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019 starts today

DreamHack’s debut in Brazil starts today, with a $100,000 dollar DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro event. Five of Brazil’s top representatives will battle international competition.

Facing their South American counterparts will be two European invitees AVANGAR and Valiance. Joining them from the North American qualifier will be Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado’s eUnited. While Brazil’s favorite MIBR will sit out the event, many of the country’s top teams will gather to represent the local crowd.

Among them are FURIA, Sharks Esports, W7M Gaming, Redemption eSports POA, and INTZ eSports, headlined by Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe and Gustavo “yeL” Knittel. 

The opening match of the event will see AVANGAR (1.54) facing off against eUnited (2.44). Unlike the odds for the game, the competition between the two teams promises to be fierce. eU have been steadily climbing North America’s rankings in the recent months, even placing in the Top 6 of the recent DreamHack Open Atlanta 2018 event. AVANGAR cemented themselves as one of the best teams in the CIS region, promising a close battle between the two.

The second match of the day, between the European Valiance (1.11) and Brazil’s W7M (6.40) promises to be a landslide. Valiance have been showing top-notch performance since they snatched the trio from the former Imperial roster. Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas time and time again proves why he widely recognized as one of the most promising up-and-coming young talents in the scene. The only thing the Brazilian side will have going for themselves is a factor of surprise. 

Most Brazilian teams are unknown and remain a mystery to any foreign team. If W7M could find a way to use it to their advantage they might stand a chance, albeit a very small one. Even then, they would have to absolute explode with their performance. With some luck anything is possible, but Brazilian fans shouldn’t place all of their eggs in this particular basket.

In the third match, two local giants will clash early on in the event. To those unfamiliar with the Brazilian CS:GO scene, expect most local fans to root for either (or both) of these teams. At DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro most fans expect either FURIA (1.43) or INTZ (2.80) to be the ones to stop the foreigners. That by extent makes this el Classico a very interesting match. 

While FURIA are favored in this particular match, don’t let that fool you. INTZ carry a lot of experience in their line-up, even if they haven’t been playing together that long. Possibly even more importantly, some of the players on the roster have what FURIA lack the most — experience playing on the international stage. While FURIA have surprised in the past, most notably by qualifying to the Katowice Major 2019 New Challengers stage, they still lack that fundamental key to victory.

Considering a very high ratio, the game might actually be worth a bet on the underdogs — it might be a wildcard, but 2.80 odds offer a nice payoff for fairly reasonable risk. Besides, if the first game of the event for both teams and it’s a best-of-1. What more could you want for an upset?

The final game before Round 2 will be between Sharks (1.34) and Redemption eSports POA (3.15). Sharks might be familiar to those following North American Counter-Strike, as well as to those watching global events. Recently Sharks finished fourth at the PLG Grand Slam 2018, placing just below Fnatic and G2 Esports. Redemption, however, remains a completely unknown factor. They were invited to the event as a second choice team after the Polish AGO Gaming pulled out. Where do they stand against the local and the international competition we will be able to see throughout the event.

Do you know who will win in the opening games of the DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro? Take advantage of the opportunity, head over to VIE.gg and spice up your game with a free bet. Did you know that you will be supporting charity while playing as well?

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Fans invited to compete against Epsilon players and support charity

Fans invited to compete against Epsilon players and support charity

Belgium based Epsilon esports partner up with bet exchange platform VIE.gg in an effort to support charitable causes — team’s CS:GO players are set to put their game knowledge on the line in a month-long charity event against their fans.

Today Epsilon Esports announced they will be inviting their fans to join for charitable esports bets between the team’s pros and their fans until May 31, 2019, with all the proceeds going towards the charities of players’ choice.

The three players to take part in this event are team captain Teodor “SPELLAN” Nikolov, Kia “Surreal” Man, and Nils “k1to” Gruhne.

“I would like to donate my winnings from Vie.gg to Cancer Research UK,” said Surreal in a press release. “It has personal meaning to me and I would like to help further their research.”

His teammates SPELLAN and k1to chose to support Teach For Bulgaria and Holidays From Cancer, respectively.

“I know that life in Bulgaria is really hard for some children that deserve a better life,” SPELLAN stated in a comment. “I feel very proud and happy that I am able to help them through my esports play.”

The unique model offered by VIE.gg, which allows its players to bet against one another in a bet exchange format, is perfectly suited to let the team’s fans battle Epsilon players face-to-face. Unlike a traditional sportsbook model, where players bet against the “house”, at VIE players are betting against other players.

Several times per week, each of the Epsilon players will examine the markets and place a bet of their choosing on a team that they think will win. The fans will be invited to challenge their bets and bet against the team chosen by the professional player.

All bets won by fans will be theirs to keep, while all bets won by Epsilon players will be donated to their respective charities.

To further support the cause, the organizers will be giving all the fans that sign up through this promotion a free bet on VIE.gg for up to 20 euros.

“This is a fantastic initiative between VIE.gg and our players, and we are extremely proud to take part in helping make the world a better place,” Gregory Champagne, Chief Executive Officer at Epsilon eSports told Vie esports. “The trio, K1to, Surreal and SPELLAN have chosen to donate their winnings to worthy charities that have important meaning to each of them and I know they look forward with great excitement to challenging esports fans.”

“It’s a pleasure to get to work directly with players that genuinely want to make a difference using our website,” said Brian Cordry, Head of Esports at VIE.gg. “I’m excited to see how much money the guys can raise for their great charitable causes.”

Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has approved the charitable event, and the players were cleared to bet on matches during this period. According to ESIC announcement, the players won’t be able to bet on their own games, nor will they be betting their own money or making a profit — all of the players’ winnings will go directly to support their charity of choice.

To participate in the event, fans should head over to the player page, where they can find out more about the event, the players and their charities:

Bet against SPELLAN and support Teach For Bulgaria HERE.

Bet against Surreal to support Cancer Research UK HERE.

Bet against k1to for Holidays From Cancer HERE.

This weekend Epsilon CS:GO are in Belgium, playing in Charleroi Esports 2019 for their share of €100,000 euros. Epsilon will start in group B with the likes of G2 Esports and Virtus.Pro.

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A premature April Fools joke: Pro players react to Vertigo

A premature April Fools joke: Pro players react to Vertigo

The introduction of Vertigo to official map pool caught everyone off guard and pro players, commentators and public figures once again went online to vent their frustrations.

Some were defending the developers and their decision, most were actively complaining. Others tried to maintain calm and offered how the current meta might look on this new map.

These and other reactions to Vertigo in our collection of tweets from top CS:GO personalities.

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Liazz: “I played in front of such a large audience for the first time”

Liazz: “I played in front of such a large audience for the first time”

During the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019, Renegades experienced an extraordinary adventure. Despite the complete lack of expectations from the fans, without losing a single map they advanced to the New Legends, and then, yielding only to Astralis, made it all the way to the playoffs.

It was a long journey for Renegades to the CS:GO Major. They qualified via the Asian Minor where they remained undefeated. In the New Challengers stage at the IEM Katowice 2018 the Australians picked up a win after win against the likes of AVANGAR, Ninjas in Pyjamas and ENCE.

Even in the New Legends stage Renegades shocked everyone after beating ENCE, FaZe, and Vitality, losing only to the eventual winners on the Major Astralis. The fairytail run at IEM for the Australians ended after a defeat against MIBR in the playoffs 2:0.

Team’s newcomer Jay “Liazz” Tregillgas talked a bit about the problems in the match with the Brazilians, impressions about playing on the biggest stage and plans for the near future.

You played very well in the first two phases of the Major, and then you lost in the quarterfinals against MIBR. What went wrong in this match?

Before the start, we were considering the choice of Cache, but we gave up the idea, thinking that they would expect it and prepare for it. It turned out that they were really ready for Cache, but they were also going to choose Dusta2.

Unfortunately, we were convinced that we would surprise them by choosing this map, instead, they got a free map. Moving to Train, we have prepared a little for it, but not enough to fight with MIBR. They are a really strong team and it’s hard to play against them.

For the first time in your career, you played in Spodek in front of the Polish audience. How do you rate it?

Playing at Spodek is amazing, there are so many people here. Personally, for the first time, I played before such a large audience. When I came out on stage, I was nervous, I felt insecure. It’s a crazy experience.

Two more important tournaments ahead of you, StarSeries i-League Season 7 and IEM Syndey 2019. How are you going to prepare for them?

Now we are coming back to the USA and we will start a two-week bootcamp before leaving for Shanghai. Considering our results at the Major, we will go there with quite considerable expectations. We hope that we will prove to everyone that we can play with the best of them.

Few people believed in your success. Did the game without more pressure help you achieve such a good result?

For sure, I think that playing as an underdog gives a really big advantage. The opponent feels he must defeat you. Before the matches, some teams may disregard you, I do not know it, but sometimes it looks like this from the side. Anyway, our preparation was really good, I’m happy with how we presented ourselves here.

You spent a lot of time in Katowice, then bootcamp in the USA, followed by more events. Are you aching to finally return home?

Not at the moment. We’re from Australia, so we do not have time to go home. We are currently living in America, so now we will be in our quarters for a few weeks. Then we will go to Shanghai and Sydney. We had a great time at this tournament, it’s a pity it’s over, because it was really nice.

At the beginning, you only aimed at promotion to the playoffs. Did you feel disappointed after the defeat in the quarterfinals?

For my team it may have been a dream to play in the playoffs, but for me, it was my first Major. I have never played it before, so placing in the top 24 was already extremely good for me.

The promotion to the best sixteen was already something great for the rest of the boys, and reaching the knockout stage was something absolutely incredible, in fact I still can’t quite believe it.

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Fallen: “Astralis is the best team that has ever existed in CS:GO”

Fallen: “Astralis is the best team that has ever existed in CS:GO”

Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo talked about MiBR’s run at the last Major, the reunion with Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, João “felps” Vasconcellos, and Wilton “zews” Prado, and the evolution of AWPing throughout the years.

Today marks the start of BLAST Pro Series: São Paulo 2019 — a $230,000 event, headlined by the likes of Astralis, MIBR, FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and ENCE.

On their home ground, MIBR have a great chance to reclaim their throne as the world’s best, but according to Fallen, with the way Astralis have been playing, defeating them right now just might be an impossible task.

First of all, let’s talk about the Major. Do you feel satisfied with the result you got there? 

I think it was a good performance from the team. Top 4 is always a good result at the Majors. Of course, we wanted to go further but that wasn’t possible. We didn’t play that well to beat Astralis, but we had some good moments. Overall, I think it was a good performance from the team. And from myself, I think I can play better. I’m trying to get back to my high-level shape, but it’s shaky sometimes. I’m already working to fix that.

Now that you are with Epitácio “TACO” de Melo and João “felps” Vasconcellos again, what has changed in terms of tactics, roles, and approach to the game? 

I think that the approach is pretty similar to what we did in 2017. The roles are pretty much the same. TACO came back as an entry-fragger, felps is a bit more into the lurker role, but it changes a lot depending on the maps and situations. It’s pretty much the same as it was in 2017, but we are trying to integrate greater tactics and have a better understanding of the game because it has changed a lot since then. We had to update ourselves for a little bit.

What can you tell me about the reunion with Wilton “zews” Prado? What kind of ideas did he bring when he joined the team?

I’m always saying that zews’ speciality is creating new stuff and coming up with new features we can use in rounds during the game. He is a very good person to be around as well. He created a good atmosphere for the team. He is always making sure that our pracs are efficient, he is always calling out mistakes, and he is a great guy with a great vision of the game. And that’s important: sometimes you need a pause, sometimes you need to change the strategies a little bit, and zews has always had very good ideas to change the game a little bit. Zews is just a very good coach who can do everything.

Right now you have the very same lineup just like back in the SK days. Why do you believe that it is going to work this time around?

It is going to work the same way if we manage to keep working as we did before. Right now, we can’t know for sure if it is going to work or not, but what do we know for sure is that we are going to put the same effort and mentality that made us winners in the past. We know the path to get there, and of course, there are a lot of things you need to become the best team in the world. We are going to do our best to achieve that.

You also started working more on your Nuke?

Yeah, we have been preparing ourselves to play Nuke on the boot camp before the Major, but it’s still a map where we need a lot of experience. In this match, we thought that they would not pick it because AGO don’t play that much too. We just felt that if they are going to go with that map, we can play it. We thought about it and they went for it.

It surprised us as well. That is probably because they know that we don’t play Nuke that much. We have a history of not playing that map a lot of times, so they just wanted to see if we are good on that map or not. Luckily for us, we did a good job and won 16-5.

It has been more than a year since you won a premier CS:GO event, which is EPL Finals in Odense. Does it add more pressure on you? 

I definitely think winning a super good tournament would help the team a lot in terms of gaining the confidence. It would be a confidence boost for sure. People start believing more in what they are doing, people start playing better, and that’s why sometimes it is hard to stop a team that is winning a lot. We are looking for making it happen, but at the same time, we are not too anxious about getting it soon or not. We have in our minds that we are doing our part, we are working hard, and results are just the last part of our work. It’s going to come, sooner or later.

Right now, Astralis is the most professional team in the world, both inside and outside of the game. Have you borrowed any things from their approach? 

I think we are not doing anything special. We don’t try to copy anything outside of the game. Of course, there are some tendencies in some way they play the game. It’s a bit greater than what the other teams are doing and we are trying to catch up with their style to understand how they approach the game.

Outside of the game, we are just doing our own thing. That’s relative: what works for them might not work for other teams. For sure, they are doing a very good job, it’s working for them. We need to keep thinking what works for us. That’s how we approached the game in the past, so we have the same mentality for now.

There is a debate in the community. There are still people who don’t agree that Astralis is the greatest team of all time in CS:GO. What do you think about that?

I think we can say that they are the best team [in the CS:GO history]. They won three Majors, they’ve already started well this year. I think they are the best team we have ever seen in CS:GO. It’s going to be up to the other teams to try to catch up to their level. Let’s see how long they can sustain performance on that level. For me, they are the best team that has ever existed in CS:GO.

Let’s talk about AWPing. In the past, we had a lot of AWPers like Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, who used to own everybody on the server. These days, we have a lot of newcomers who are capable of going toe-to-toe with them. 

I think JW was first to dominate the scene because he was a very aggressive player. He was doing plays people wouldn’t expect from an AWPer. He had help of a good CZ-75 at the time because it was easier to switch the gun, so in case he was in danger, he could just bring the pistol and save himself. He was very good at doing those things. People didn’t expect those plays so he was catching people off guard.

But then, CS kept evolving, players kept getting better, running away from those plays. It started to be harder and harder because people in some sense knew which play he was going to go for, paying more attention to it. Finding those kills became harder and harder, even for JW to be honest.

Having a style of an aggressive AWPer, it’s not super consistent if you are playing on a top-level team and having very good performances over a long period of time. Every time an AWPer goes for an aggressive kill, he is kind of trying to win a game by himself. Sometimes it’s going to work, sometimes it’s not. You need to try to find this balance, and that’s why I think all the AWPers now are looking for finding this balance instead of being super aggressive, for example.

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bubble: “Everybody was cheering for MIBR, but we tried to focus on winning”

bubble: “Everybody was cheering for MIBR, but we tried to focus on winning”

Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov, the 27-years-old Bulgarian player for Windigo gaming, talked about their recent success in WESG, competing with world’s best teams, and changing organizations.

Last week the Bulgarian team successfully overcame all odds and became the World Electronic Sports Games 2018 champions, taking home a massive $500,000 winning cheque.

It wasn’t exactly an easy event for Windigo. After finishing first in their group, Kostadinov’s team faced off against some of the world’s best. In the quarterfinals they overcame MIBR 2-1, followed by a win against G2 esports in both maps.

In the grand final Windigo battled the Polish AGO Esports, who defeated the likes of Fnatic and Valiance on their way to the final. In the deciding games, even after losing on the first map, Windigo managed to bounce back and win two maps back-to-back.

Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov talked about their performance in China, among other things, in an interview.

That bo3 series against MIBR was insane! What did it feel like?

It’s hard to describe such emotions! It’s just amazing. The game was very emotional with a lot of pressure on us. We did a lot of mistakes but also had pretty good timings. I respect MIBR a lot, but at the very end, we were the ones who managed to overcome the opponent.

On the first map, you beat Brazilians 16:8. From the side, it looked like an easy game for you. Was it that easy?

We lost two eco rounds, and the score was 7:8 in the first half. So, it wasn’t easy at all. But after I just told my teammates: “Guys, we lost two ecos but we still in the game. So, after we’ll switch sides, we just have to take a pistol round and just crush them!” And we did it.

On a third map you built a great advantage for CT side, but after you switched sides you struggled to end the game. What is the reason for it?

First of all, I have to say, that we didn’t play Overpass as we usually do. We prepared specifically for MIBR. We knew how they played, so we tried to do something different to counter their unique playstyle. It was very hard! Before out match up we had a practice on Overpass and they f**ked up us with our own strategies, so that’s why we tried something new. I think that our preparation was good, we lost one eco round and then Victor went crazy by killing four people with USP and then it was like a snowball for us.

But after we won pistol round for T-side and the next one, we struggled to make the right decisions and probably that mistake is mine. Because we didn’t start with our own rounds so we’ve just kept doing what our coach said. We played different strategies, but they didn’t work out, so we decided to play few our default rounds and we won few. But I saw that FalleN prepared for them.

Also, we didn’t communicate well, we were screaming a lot, the pressure was insane. It was hard for me to find myself and make the call to win a single round. I said: “Guys, let’s just go together. It’s doesn’t matter if I will suck, but you four go and make frags”. We just needed to go in close contact with the opponent.

It was announced that your roster was up to transfer at the beginning of February. What is your status in the organization just right now? Is it somehow affected your preparation to the tournament?

The thing is like when we found out that all of us in the transfer list, we had pretty bad moments. We weren’t focused on our game, our thoughts belonged to other stuff. In the end, we found the solution and I can confirm that we will stick with Windigo. We have already signed new contracts. So we will keep playing under Windigo wings. We pleasured a lot that we found the solution.

Do you consider your victory over MIBR as the reward for path what you did?

Definitely. That is something big for us, I feel great confidence in ourselves. It’s a good sign for us, we are on the right path. But at the same time, I understand that other teams will be prepared for us. We wanted to win MIBR so badly, that showed a big part of our preparations. Now we have to put even more in our game.

After such an opponent, did you even care about your next rival?

To be honest, no. We were ready for everyone. But G2 is a very strong team, we had to be careful.

Sometimes it happens, that players get burned out emotionally in such matches as you just had. Do you feel something like this?

No, I don’t. Before the match, I felt a huge pressure on me. Now I am calm. We had a team talk in the elevator with a team and I asked guys: “Will we play tomorrow?”. They told me that we don’t have a game on Friday and I felt such a release. I breathed out and relaxed because we had time to recover emotionally and prepare well.

It’s your first time at WESG. How do you like it?

Everything is perfect. PC’s, hotel – everything is perfect. I don’t have any complaints and negative feelings about WESG.

During your match-up against MIBR, were you affected by the fact that the crowd didn’t cheer for you?

I didn’t feel the pressure from the crowd, but at the same time, I saw that it pressured others. Players were shaking. Sure, we heard that everybody was cheering for MIBR, but we also tried to focus on winning every single round.

Do you think that MIBR underestimated you?

I would say no because they were ready for our strategies on Overpass. But it also looked like they didn’t have a clue about our Dust 2. That’s why they lost. Map veto was a key to success. At the very end, we played three of our best maps, but as far as I know, MIBR played only on two of their best maps.

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