While DreamHack Open Montreal 2018 may have fallen into the shadow of the Major, it turned out to be a fairly interesting experience with an upset winner: Team Kinguin have triumphed against the odds, continuing their upward trajectory since the player break, sometimes aided by vintage performances by TaZ throughout the event. Also, the Danish disappointments keep piling up, Luminosity’s players mark the lamest anniversary in the gaming world and ENCE hit the first snag in the road: there’s a lot to take away from this one.
In many ways, the DreamHack Open circuit has become its own distinct entity this year: with the Masters events integrated into the Intel Grand Slam – plus the continued growth of the LAN scene as a whole – these $100 000 prize pool events no longer attract the best teams of the world, creating a unique environment of the second-tier outfits to regularly fight in. Looking back at the previous events in 2018, you’ll find that The Imperial, AGO, Heroic, Luminosity, Red Reserve and eUnited have all featured previously – likely why they’ve received invitations for this event that had no qualifiers because of scheduling issues –, which created some interesting subplots for Montreal, especially when you consider that three of the teams have also met at the European minor as well.
Considering how well these teams know each other by now, they probably weren’t as surprised as some of the onlookers were by yet another demonstration of Heroic’s incredible inconsistency: the team that has done a very impressive job in Stockholm against a set of teams that were a cut above their current opponents has flunked out without winning a single map, bidding adieu by losing 16-3 on Train to The Imperial. Similarly, Red Reserve have failed to capitalize on their experience as Team Kinguin got to avenge their embarrassing defeat at the minors here.
Similarly, the only interesting development to come out of Luminosity Gaming was their players’ attempt to re-litigate old controversies over the players’ unacceptable conduct at last year’s Montreal tournament back when they were still playing under the Immortals banner: they’ve marked the world’s lamest anniversary by a group stage exit, their sole map win coming against Heroic in overtime on Overpass as their opening match.
The new kings of Poland?
One of the underreported aspects of ENCE’s meteoric rise since making their mark at Cologne is how obscenely good their recent record has been: they’ve won fifteen out of sixteen best-of-three series between the European minor and DreamHack Montreal, and even with their heavy defeat on the first map against The Imperial in the semis, their 2-0 defeat to Kinguin came as a real surprise. Still, this team is clearly on the up and up with time also on their side: it’s well-established by now that sergej is a ridiculous talent and the Finns clearly boast one of the most promising lineups in the second tier of Counter-Strike.
And yet, the glory goes to Team Kinguin, continuing their impressive upturn in form since the end of the player break: they’ve bounced back from their disappointment at the minor in impressive fashion, making it two out of two final appearances in this new season. Their comprehensive defeat to MiBR in the final at ZOTAC Cup clearly shows they have a long way to go if they want to challenge for a top spot in any capacity, but this is still probably the best this team has ever been and are currently in pole position to claim the Polish crown after Virtus.pro’s complete and total collapse. It seems like AGO is struggling to replace the impact of snatchie and the outcome of the domestic derby was never in doubt as TaZ put up a very impressive performance, rolling back the years in terms of his antic both on and off the server. Their next LAN tournament is coming up at the end of the month on home soil – pitting them against AGO, The Imperial, Red Reserve and Heroic once again alongside HellRaisers and a team they definitely have a score to settle with: Sprout. It’s a small world in the second tier of CS:GO.
If you loved watching DreamHack Open Montreal 2018, hop on the Rivalry Discord and get involved, have more fun watching the best events with a couple of bucks on the line, chatting with fellow CS:GO fans!