DreamHack Open Tours 2019 starts today

DreamHack Open Tours 2019 starts today

DreamHack’s return to a small French town of Tours starts today, with a $100,000 dollar Counter-Strike event featuring 8 up-and-coming teams, including mousesports, AVANGAR, Valiance, Ghost Gaming, G2 Esports and others.

AVANGAR will be entering the event as the champions of the last DreamHack Open iteration — DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019. There Ali “Jame” Djami and his team successfully overcame NA’s eUnited, Europe’s Valiance, and the local powerhouse FURIA esports to win the event.

Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas’ Valiance will be looking to reclaim their throne and get revenge on the CIS team. Valiance has been looking increasingly strong, following their victory at the United Masters League Season 1, where they overwhelmed Windigo Gaming.

The biggest name fighting for the title in Tours will be mousesports, currently ranked #12 in the global ranking. DreamHack will mark the first big trial for the new roster, featuring the newcomers David “frozen” Čerňanský, Özgür “woxic” Eker, and FaZe’s Finn “karrigan” Andersen.

Mousesports has been performing fairly well with the new roster, topping their group at the ESL Pro League Season 9 and finishing 5-6th at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV – Sydney. In Australia, mousesports defeated the likes of BIG Clan and Renegades but struggled against bigger teams, like MIBR.

But here at DreamHack Open Tours 2019 it’s a whole new day. Will mousesports be able to meet the expectations of their fans and win the event? Will AVANGAR continue their DreamHack winning streak? Can Valiance surprise and steal the show once more?

In their opening match of the event, the local heroes G2 Esports will be facing Ali “hAdji” Haïnouss’ FrenchFrogs, also known as ex-3DMAX. Even though G2 hasn’t performed that well on the international level lately, they’re still the favorites for this matchup.

G2’s Audric “JaCkz” Jug and Lucas “Lucky” Chastang will be facing off against their old teammates, giving them another edge over their opponents. The only chance for FrenchFrogs lies with the format — the opening match of the group stage is a best-of-one game. Anything can happen in a bo1, even more so in local matchups.

 However, while Ali “hAdji” Haïnouss and his team have nothing to lose at this event, G2 has a lot to prove. Even though they managed to top their group at the ESL Pro League Season 9 recently, there’s a painful lack of steady international results.

All that considered, G2 still look better, at least on paper. They may not be the biggest favorites to win the whole event, but if Richard “shox” Papillon and François “AMANEK” Delaunay can pop-off, it will be a walk in the park for G2 Esports.

Windigo facing off against Valiance is a replay of the United Masters League Season 1 grand finals. In the German city of Osnabrück, four teams gathered to fight it out for the prize pool of $100,000 dollars. In the finals, Valiance overcame Windigo over three maps.

Even though Valiance made it look fairly easy in Germany, this rivalry between the two teams is much closer than it may seem. Needless to say, Windigo will be out looking for blood and they just might get it.

Viktor “v1c7oR” Dyankov and Kamen “bubble” Kostadinov both have been performing incredibly well lately, making them a threat on almost any map. Valiance, on the other hand, while improved significantly after their merger with Imperial, are yet to really pop on the international stage.

With Imperial, Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas took first place at the Copenhagen Games 2018 and DreamHack Open Summer 2018 among other great results. With Valiance, things have been a bit quieter. In the long run, Valiance still seems like a better team of the two. And if Nemanja “nexa” Isaković and Nemanja “huNter” Kovač can show up to this match, they just might make this the one not to miss.

AVANGAR, of all teams at the event, has been showing the best results recently. First place at the DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019, WePlay! Forge of Masters Season 1 and first-second at the ESL One: Cologne 2019 – European Open Qualifier, among other achievements.

The CIS-based team will be coming in high spirits and ready to battle, but the competition will be stiff. While the Brazilian iteration of DreamHack had really strong teams on the lineup, Tours is considerably more stacked. The question is, can Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov and his team perform at the same level against much more experienced teams?

Ghost, on the other hand, has been struggling to impress lately. Their last tournament appearance was back in January, where they finished in the Top 4 at the iBUYPOWER Masters IV. Since then, the North American team played in several online qualifiers, showing unmemorable performances in most of them.

AVANGAR will be looking really strong in their opening match and most CS:GO fans will be looking for them to eliminate the North American team fairly easily.

DreamHack Open Tours 2019 starts today, and will end on Sunday, May 19, when two of the best teams will stand in the final showdown for the lion’s share of $100,000 dollars in prize money. If you’re looking to spice up your games, head over to the esports betting platform Vie.gg, and place your bets now.

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The last chance: community reactions to NEO joining FaZe

The last chance: community reactions to NEO joining FaZe

The legend himself, Filip “NEO” Kubski, joining FaZe Clan caught everyone by surprise. This is exactly how other professional players, casters, and analysts reacted to the news in this social media roundabout!

There are several good reasons for the news to come as a shock. For one, NEO hasn’t been performing on par for the past few years. Secondly, FaZe have been doing great (or at the very least *better*) in the past months. FaZe managed to win the ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019, as well as finish first at the BLAST Pro Series: Miami 2019.

The fact that NEO joining on a trial basis will replace the stand-in Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev was in fact expected. But what will help out Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and his team the most, is the fact that the Polish player will take upon himself the responsibility of leading this team. This, among other things, will allow the heavy-hitter NiKO to return to his fragging days.

These and other reasons made for some interesting reactions from the prominent CS:GO figures. For your convenience, here’s the collection of our favorites!

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svyat: “I consider every victory earned and every defeat deserved”

svyat: “I consider every victory earned and every defeat deserved”

After wins against Winstrike, Vega Squadron, and Team Spirit, DreamEaters caught everyone’s attention in the CIS region. It was their time to shine at the WePlay! Forge of Masters LAN finals, and after the event, team captain Svyatoslav “svyat” Dovbakh talked about the experience.

DreamEaters had a strong start in the online group stage. Convincing victories against Vega Squadron and Team Spirit quickly got them attention from the other teams. They were still very young and raw, but the potential was there. Even more than that, as the Russian team continued getting wins against more achieved teams.

Svyatoslav “svyat” Dovbakh and his team did enough to qualify for the LAN finals in Kiev, Ukraine, but there their luck ran out. Team’s veteran Vladislav “Krad” Kravchenko faced with visa issues was unable to attend the event. A rare chance for DreamEaters to prove themselves took a big hit.

In the end, a Natus Vincere veteran Sergey “starix” Ischuk acted as a stand-in for the team, but it was not enough. DreamEaters lost in both of their games, 0-2 against AVANGAR and 0-2 against Vega Squadron. DreamEaters took fourth place and $2,000 dollars in prize money.

Your team has become a real highlight of the WePlay League group stage. Did you expect such a result?

Not to say that we expected it, but we understood that we are capable of it. The main goal was to show ourselves and play at the maximum — it happened sometimes, sometimes it didn’t, but the main thing was that we went to the next stage.

Can you comment on the victory over Vega Squadron?

In the match against Vega on inferno, we started to defend and in the first buy-rounds, we were given control of the banana quite easily. Due to this, we always understood at what point the opponent would come out and met them there.

Thus, we gained a significant advantage in the score and economy, and this made it possible not to do eco-rounds, when the “swing” began at the end of the side, and then to add pressure in the attack.

What came into your victory over Team Spirit?

Against Spirit, we also played inferno, but started offensively and dominated the entire side — we read the opponent well and went to the point, we could only play the post-plant situation in comfortable conditions for us, which we did.

During the game, someone of them burned down the computer and they changed it for half an hour, that probably ruined it for them, but we were already leading with a very significant margin and most likely would have won anyway.

And then you faced a much more experienced Winstrike.

The match against Winstrike was decisive for us and for them, so the pressure was slightly stronger than in the previous ones — it was decided who would get the 4th slot on the LAN. It was dust2, we started for defense and played just awful — bad positioning, bad decisions, bad exchanges.

Due to some crazy retakes, we managed to take a few rounds, especially the one with a score of 1-5, where speed4k entered the gate at plant B and crawled to the car, killing n0rb3r7, who was hiding there. Then we got a couple more rounds with the help of two AWP’s, and that was already enough to combine complete our plan.

In the second half, we carried out well-rounded openings, and then implemented them. And in the end, we did not lose a single round.

Do you think other teams underestimated you?

I doubt that our rivals underestimated us because it would be very unprofessional on their part. Especially in the group stage, where each game is super important and decides whether you will get to go to the LAN. So I consider every victory earned, and every defeat deserved.

At the same time, you lost to your former team — pro100. Why? The fact is that your old teammates knew you better than others?

We had a definite plan against pro100, but we failed to implement it, including due to the change of roles the day before. I think the fact that their players know me better had no effect on the course of the game. We completely failed the defense and because of this we lost the match, but the conclusions were made.

At the LAN finals you played with Starix, not Krad. How much does this affect your gameplay?

Any substitution weakens the team and forces you to use fewer strats and rely more on individual skill, play on communication, etc. Starix is ​​a good and experienced player and it was very interesting to play with him in Kiev, but the very fact of replacement diminished our ambitions for this tournament.

I think that made our main goal to be gaining experience when playing on LAN, rather than winning.

Who did you see as your rivals at the WePlay finals?

There were no rivals — but the number one team there clearly were AVANGAR, which means we had to prepare for them. Online, we lost to them with a score of 4-16, and both of them took the pistol, but in our opinion, the score was not at all in the game.

There were a lot of moments where we could play a little better and turn it over, so I would really like a second attempt. But on the LAN we had to play with a substitute and as such a rematch couldn’t happen as such, unfortunately.

CIS teams are historically very quick to swap rosters when things become hard. What helps you to stick together as a team?

Well, let’s start with the fact that we gathered in late December. Rather, I came 4 months ago, and when the team changes the lineup — it already becomes a new team. And during this time, we have very good results — two seasons QIWI, OGA Counter PIT, the tournament from Tricolor, passed on the WePlay LAN, went to the playoffs of the LootBet S2 tournament and already beat AGO there, a step away from the playoffs on Kalashnikov Cup. Is that not juicy enough for 4 months? Also, the Cup of Russia is ahead.

In a word, we are fine, but the fact that we are developing makes us stick together. It is clear that we have the potential and we are far from reaching our ceiling. We have a good atmosphere, good conditions, we are gradually evolving — so why would we split up?

Tell me about your team as a whole. Who is the main fragger? Who is a lurker?

My team is good, very comfortable and pleasant to play in. It is evident that everyone here is “necessary” and everyone wants to develop.

kinqie is a kind of rifler and seemingly a dolt but in reality he’s a very hard-working guy. Even not a guy, but a grandfather — each team should have its own grandfather.

Forester — the very same anime master. He will never wake up on time, and waking him up is a whole business on its own. And he is 100% aware that he is the best player on the planet, and everyone around plays like garbage.

Krad — a person who hears all the sounds in the game, even those that didn’t happen. And let’s you know. Does everyone have such a teammate? It also combines a teammate who is trying to ruin the training schedule with his rocking exercises.

speed4k — the stylish one of the team. All there are “Levi”, “Adidas”, “Calvin Kleins” — this is about him. And almost all of the most important clutches belong to him. Sometimes he should aim for the AWP and he simply gets USP and gets people on the character alone.

I … And what am I? I have 3 different mice connected to my computer and I use each one in turn, that’s all you really need to know about me.

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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 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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