DreamHack Open Winter concluded after Russian team ForZe bested Danish squad Tricked Esport in a 2-1 series. The three day tourney in Jönköping, Sweden saw eight teams duke it out on the server. Though the participating teams aren’t as hyped as Astralis or Fnatic, the tournament drew quite a crowd overall.
The eventual grand finalists went into the same group, Group A. Tricked bagged the first seed after going 2-0 and ForZe won its decider match against FURIA to qualify for the playoffs. In the semifinals, Tricked Esport dominated CR4ZY in a quick 2-0. The Danes limited CR4ZY to single digit round scores in both maps (Dust 2 and Vertigo). On the other hand, ForZe had to survive against a feisty GODSENT team. The other semifinal went the distance and was overall pretty close all throughout.
Given that, many people thought it would be a walk in the park for the Danish team to take the championship against ForZe. After all, Tricked already beat ForZe in the first day, albeit in a Bo1 match. Nevertheless, Tricked Esport’s exceptional play showed why they did not drop a single map until the grand final.
True to their form, Tricked raced off to a hot start on Inferno, easily capturing a 5 to nothing advantage. Through Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen’s shooting, they successfully fended off the T side pushes. However, the Russian side slowly clawed their way back. Suddenly, the 5-0 scoreline became a tight 8-7 affair by the end of the first half.
The second half of Inferno was pretty much back and forth. ForZe rode their momentum in the early rounds but Tricked recovered quickly after settling a bit. After letting the Danes string multiple rounds together, ForZe upped their tempo and successfully pushed towards a 1-0 map advantage in the series.
On Vertigo, the Danish squad seemed to have reversed their fortunes. After ForZe’s hot start, care of Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev, Tricked mounted a comeback that would give them a 10-5 advantage going to the second half. After the switch, the Russian quintet surged forward, going as far as tying the game at 12-12. Thankfully for Tricked, some clutch plays by their veterans allowed them to slither away with a 16-14 victory.
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On the final map (Train), Tricked continued their trend of great starts on CT side that eventually sizzled off. Similar to the first map, Train’s first half ended in a close 8-7 in favor of Tricked.
In the final half of the tournament, ForZe’s members decided to step on the gas til the end. They ran circles around their opponents, earning map point at 15-9. In the winning round, the Russians held off Tricked just about long enough to deny the bomb plant. With that, ForZe won the title 2-1.
Almaz “almazer” Asadullin played spectacularly in the grand final. He posted a 83 – 52 (+31) KD ratio, as well as a 108.1 ADR, good for a 1.58. Despite ForZe’s star fragger Bogdan “xsepower” Chernikov playing below his usual standards, the rest of the team was able to make up for the loss.
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