Beforehand, the inaugural ESG Tour event in Mykonos appeared to be a two-horse race between SK Gaming and Team Liquid. Nobody banked on a Mighty Mouse turning in one of the team’s finest ever performances.
The current season hasn’t been the most auspicious for mousesports. Perennial qualifiers at major events but seldom making the later stages, they were expected to finish around the middle of the pack at this very first ESG tournament. At 12/1, the bookies didn’t rate them too highly against CS:GO giants SK Gaming and Team Liquid.
The German-based side boasts players from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, and Slovakia, and the coach hails from the Ukraine.
In August, the team made two changes. The Estonian SuNny arrived from PENTA Sports to replace IoWel. Four days later, they signed Slovakian ace STYKO from HellRaisers, replacing denis. Those changes would prove to be significant in altering mousesports’ fortunes.
Prior to this win, mousesports’ last victory was in 2016 at the Acer Predator Masters Season 2. Their last win in a Premier event was way back in January 2010 at the IEM IV European Championship Finals.
Drawn in what looked like a very tough Group A alongside SK Gaming and Gambit Esports, mousesports put up a good account in their opening game, only going down 19-15 to SK Gaming in a classic battle. SK then went on to clinch the group’s top spot with a win over Gambit Gaming in the third game, which meant mousesports would take on Heroic.
In that best-of-three encounter, mousesports came through in comprehensive style. They won the first two maps, Train and Nuke, 16-7 and 16-8. Buoyed with confidence, they headed into the final group game as the underdog against Gambit Esports.
What followed were two classic encounters in which mousesports roared the loudest. They claimed two 16-14 victories on the opening maps (Cobblestones and Train) to secure a semis spot.
As No. 2 seeds in Group A, they took on the winners of Group B: Virtus.pro. Virtus took the opening map (Cache) 16-14, but in the second, Overpass, mousesports bounced back to win 16-6. That set up a tense decider on Train, and it was another close one. Mousesports clawed out a 16-14 victory.
If that was a shock, another was in store. Team Liquid overcame SK Gaming 2-0 in relatively comfortable fashion to set up a final few expected.
On Cobblestone, mousesports took a 16-8 victory, but then Team Liquid bounced right back on Inferno to register a thumping 16-5 victory. In Game Three, mousesports once again regained the lead taking the third map, Train, 16-9 before Team Liquid leveled matters once again winning Mirage 16-13.
On the deciding fifth map, Nuke, mousesports strolled to victory with a surprisingly straightforward 16-4 win to claim the $120,280 top prize.
These results mean mousesports, Team Liquid, and SK Gaming are confirmed as three of the invited teams to the next ESG event. It will be announced later this year.
The North remembers how to win
Over the weekend, North showed the lion on its logo can roar loudly on occasion.
North were the quality act of the entire DreamHack 2017 Montreal tournament. Starting in Group A, which was arguably the slightly easier of the two groups, they defeated Gale Force Esports 16-14 and then beat Team Kinguin 16-11.
In the first semifinal, North took the best-of-three contest 2-0, thanks to a 16-6 win on Train, followed by a 16-11 victory on Cobblestone. Immortals made short work of their opponents too, defeating Counter Logic Gaming 2-0.
Neither North nor Immortals had lost a single map heading into the finals.
Then something odd happened. With North waiting to play and the start time rapidly approaching, Immortals failed to turn up on time to play the first map. This meant a default loss for Immortals.
When Immortals did eventually turn up for the second map, things didn’t get any better. North claimed a 16-9 victory on Cobblestone.
There’s a short break now before the next DreamHack event in Denver, Colorado at the end of October. The eight teams for that event are not yet announced, but one hopes all of them would show the courtesy of turning up on time to contest the final.