Counter-Strike fans are a passionate bunch. This is not to be confused with loud, although they’re that too. Where the audience of DreamHack Rotterdam’s other games golf clapped slow drafts and politely applauded plays, hall six roared.
They were there at night and they were back at ten in the morning. There was no live commentary on site, but that didn’t bother anyone. Enthusiasm and love for the game fueled this audience.
DreamHack goes Dutch
Part of the city’s Rotterdam Games Week event, this weekend’s DreamHack Open Championship was one of the Netherlands’ first notable CS:GO events. It took place in the Ahoy convention center, which before this had played host to League of Legends’ European finals twice.
The event covered several warehouse sized spaces and featured everything from vendor demonstrations and cosplay competitions to a “Bring Your Own Device” LAN party.
The real action was in the back, however, where the organizer’s DreamLeague Dota 2 championship and the CS:GO tournament shared a space.
Eight teams took part in the latter, $100,000 competition, with AVANGAR, Hard Legion (formerly Dreameaters), forZe, CR4ZY and Heroic receiving direct invites.
The last three spots were taken up by European qualifiers HAVU, their Benelux counterparts Asterion and DreamHack Showdown winner Besiktas.
A Mixed Bag
The interesting thing about the DreamHack format is that it pits teams of varying skill against each other. Unfortunately, this can also make games appear a little lopsided.
This is what happened on day one, with AVANGAR and forZe destroying their competition in the opening matches.
In the first, the Berlin Major runner-up decisively defeated mostly-female (they played with stand-in Steven “blackie” Groeneveld) squad Besiktas on Overpass, putting down a 16-2 scoreline.
Local team Asterion did not fare better in their first appearance versus forZe, losing Inferno 1 to 16. AVANGAR and forZe would eventually top their groups 2-0, whereas Besiktas and Asterion would be eliminated 0-2.
The winners had a decidedly harder time versus the rest of the field though. In fact, in the best-of-three Semifinals it would be the second placed teams from both groups, Heroic and CR4ZY, who beat the would-be favorites 2-1 to move on to the Grand Final.
The Crowd Goes CR4ZY
A large crowd had gathered to watch Heroic and CR4ZY duke it out in the finals. The following meeting between these teams would be an exciting affair, if a streaky one.
Right out of the gate Heroic managed to convert their pistol round into a 9-0 rout, before CR4ZY’s new addition Georgi “SHiPZ” Grigorov could answer with clutch plays in the next two rounds.
These would not be enough to turn the tides. The Danes, looking very strong with a new member of their own in Casper “cadiaN” Møller, easily built their lead to a 16-3 finish.
Starting defense on Mirage next, Heroic took the first round here as well, but it was CR4ZY who followed through 1-5 with another strong performance by SHiPZ. They would only concede four more rounds, before closing it out 5-16.
After two fairly one-sided affairs, the final map would be Inferno. Heroic looked to capitalize early on another 5-0 lead, but again found SHiPZ in their way, who scored an ace.
Mainly through his and Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas’ efforts, CR4ZY then succeeded in clawing back 7 to Heroic’s 8 rounds by halftime. On offense next, they took the game 12-16 and with it the $50,000 first prize.
— DreamHack Counter-Strike (@DreamHackCSGO) October 20, 2019
More to Come
This year will see three more DreamHack Opens, with the next one taking place in Atlanta, USA, in November.
It has also been announced that the event will return to Rotterdam next year, on the weekend of Oct 16 to Oct 18.
The crowd approved of this too, loudly.
Written by Xander Teunissen