fitch: “Vertigo is very difficult for me”

fitch: “Vertigo is very difficult for me”

Coming out victorious at DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019 boosted AVANGAR up the world rankings all the way to #14. Team’s veteran Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov talked about their performance in Brazil and other events, as well as adapting to the new map in the rotation.

While the world’s best missed the first ever DreamHack event in Brazil, including the local superstars MIBR, it turned out to be an exciting event. In the opening match alone, AVANGAR were pushed to the limit against North America’s eUnited on Inferno.

In the end, AVANGAR defeated their opponents 25-23 and moved on to face Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe’s INTZ whom they overcame in a laidback manner 16-8 on Mirage.

The real trial was supposed to start in the playoffs, where AVANGAR faced Valiance. In a three map thriller, the CIS-based team overcame Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas and co securing their spot in the grand final.

For a lion’s share of $100,000 dollars, Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov and his team faced the local favorites FURIA in the final. Even though they were seen as the underdogs, the Brazilian FURIA opened the final with a 16-2 victory on Vertigo. What followed, were two straight wins for AVANGAR, securing them $50,000 US dollars.

But they didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate, as they had to return to Europe, to play at the WePlay! Forge of Masters Season 1 finals, which will take place this weekend in Kiev, Ukraine.

After the Brazilian event, Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov talked about their preparation, playing on Vertigo, and what’s next for the team.

How do you rate the group stage of WePlay League?

The group stage at Weplay was interesting for me, everyone plays with everyone to enter the playoffs. Fair and a lot of games.

How has your game plan and role distribution changed in the absence of Krizzen?

At the moment, SANJI took on most of the roles of Crizzen, and I took on a small part.

What is your goal in the WePlay League? Who is your main opponent?

The main goal, of course, is winning the tournament. I think HellRaisers is our main opponent.

Many expected to see Team Spirit in the finals. Why, in your opinion, did they fail?

Again, all the matches were BO1, and sometimes your luck runs out, and sometimes it is not the peak. For this reason, there are risks of this kind of thing happening.

At the same time, DreamEaters qualified to LAN. Expected result or not?

DreamEaters may have surprised many, but not me. These guys I know for a long time — I will not say that I watched them strongly, but the tag and the players are very familiar to me. Therefore, their journey was a warning to me that the guys are capable and that we need to be ready for them.

Can you clarify the situation between you, ESL and Winstrike, which recently appeared on Twitter?

Honestly, I did not understand about the match against Winstrike. From what I heard, the organizers of the qualification refused to postpone the match. And what was on Twitter, I did not see.

You recently won a tournament in Rio. What did this victory give you?

Victory at DreamHack Open Rio may have given some confidence on the LAN and more confidence that you can return to the game at any time. Yes, a victory in Brazil is a great feeling and a pleasant vacation, impressions of which are not easy to describe in words.

At DreamHack you had to play Vertigo. What can you say about this map? Do you like it?

Vertigo is very difficult for me. I hope that in time I will be able to adapt to it and I will be able to relate to it better.

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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 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 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 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, 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 for up to 20 euros.

“This is a fantastic initiative between 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 “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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