BIG and MAD Lions have advanced directly to the semi-finals of DreamHack Open Leipzig after play concluded on day 1 of the competition.
This event is the first notable Counter-Strike tournament of the year and, while not being attended by any of the top 10 teams, gives us a look at some of the hungry tier two teams that are hoping to improve their fortunes in 2020. The teams attending the event are BIG, Renegades, Virtus.pro, Ckoud9, MAD Lions, North, Heroic, and Sprout.
Day 1 kicked off with a series of best of 1 matches, the last two determining which teams would book their ticket to Sunday’s semi-finals. The first of these matches featured the native BIG taking on the Australian Renegades squad on Nuke. The second of these was an all-Danish match up, as MAD Lions played against North on Mirage. At the conclusion of these two games, BIG and MAD Lions stood victorious in their respective groups and earned an automatic berth in the playoffs.
Beginning with the first match, BIG steamrolled Renegades on route to a 16-8 victory on Nuke. Though it’s a map that is heavily CT-sided, North was able to win their T-Side half 8-7 on the backs of strong performances from Tizian “tizian” Feldbusch and Nils “k1to” Gruhne. BIG was able to frequently gain control of outside, which gave them easy access to the b site in multiple rounds. Renegades were unable to make the necessary adjustments on defense, and this allowed BIG to enter the second half in a strong position.
Once BIG swapped over to the CT-side, despite a strong game from Liam “malta” Schembri”, they were able to hold Renegades to a single T-side round before achieving victory. With their defeat, Renegades will play the winner of tomorrow’s Virtus.pro Cloud9 match up to see if they can also make their way into the semis.
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When MAD Lion’s banned Dust 2 and sent the game to Mirage, which is a map that they have not played much of, analysts were unsure whether the gamble would pay off or not. However, they soon showed that they’d made the right call, as they won their T-half 8 – 7. Despite the closeness of the scoreline North never really looked in the game, with in-leader and AWPer Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen pulling off a few dazzling performances to single-handedly keep his team in the game.
MAD Lion’s did not take long to close out the game in the second half however. Bolstered by strong showings from Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen, Fredrik “roej” Jørgensen, and AWPer Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand, who all ended up with 20+ kills, they made quick work of their Danish counterparts on the path to a 16 – 10 scoreline. Following the loss, North now has to fight for their tournament life tomorrow against either Sprout or Heroic.
Both these teams have the potential to win this tournament. BIG has looked very sharp coming out of the winter break. They have gotten major contributions from most of their players, and won both of their games in convincing fashion. The main question will be whether they can bring this level of play into Sunday’s semi-finals.
MAD Lions really impressed in their opening campaign. Bubzkji played extremely well in both games, and acoR was very active and effective with the AWP in their game against North. The team looks as though they have good chemistry, and are tactically sound. Their map pool could pose a problem, but that didn’t seem to hamper them in their game with North. Based on the performances of all the teams so far, MAD Lions seems to be positioned best to win the whole thing. Catch both these teams again in the semi-finals of DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020 this Sunday.
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