Gambit defies the odds at DreamHack Austin

Gambit celebrates its win at DreamHack Austin. Provided by Robert Paul/DreamHack

DreamHack Austin's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event concluded Sunday after a long day of intense action at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Both semifinal series went the distance, with the grand finals being the lone 2-0 sweep. Gambit Esports proved to be the team to beat and defied the odds to take home the DreamHack Austin crown as well as a large chunk of the $100,000 prize pool.

Immortals outlast Heroic to earn grand finals berth

Opening up the day was a closely contested battle between Immortals and Heroic that started off in Overpass. Heroic faltered coming out the gate as Immortals went up 7-3 early on. Heroic won a few more rounds in that half, but the Brazilians still came out on top with a 9-6 lead going into the break. Immortals came out firing once again in the second half, winning the pistol round before Heroic won 10 of the next 14 rounds to complete the comeback and secure a 16-14 win in Game 1. Moving over to Inferno in Game 2, Heroic took the pistol round and used the advantage to jump out to a 4-1 lead early on. All of its CT-side strategies seemingly went up in flames, however, as Immortals took 10 straight rounds for an 11-4 lead at the half. Heroic took the next pistol round, but couldn't muster much else and were pushed to a Game 3 after a 16-6 Immortals win.

The final round, on Cobblestone, saw the teams trade rounds back and forth in the early game. Heroic was the team to finally shake off the back-and-forth action, ending the half with a 10-5 lead. That didn't seem to faze Immortals as it opened up the second half with wins in eight of the first nine rounds to take a 13-11 lead. Heroic answered back with two round wins of its own, but Immortals, led by Lincoln "fnx" Lau, secured the final three rounds it needed for the 16-13 win that propelled the team into the grand finals.

Gambit upsets G2 to advance to the grand finals

Gambit Esports and G2 Esports were up next, and the teams immediately put on quite a show. Game 1 was on Nuke and saw the teams go back and forth all the way into multiple overtime rounds. G2 and Gambit traded runs in the first half, with G2 taking an ever-so-slight 8-7 lead into the half. The second half saw more back-and-forth play from both sides until Gambit squeaked out a Round 30 win to force overtime. Three overtime sets were needed before G2 were finally able to break away from Gambit for a 25-22 win.

G2 seemed to carry over a lot of momentum from the Game 1 win into Game 2, rushing out to a 10-3 lead to start out on Train. Not to be deterred, Gambit came rushing right back, winning six straight rounds to close the gap. G2 won Round 20, but then Gambit went on another run by winning seven of the final eight rounds to take the map 16-12 and force a Game 3. In the penultimate game of the series, Gambit was the first to earn a distinct advantage, at one point claiming an 8-4 lead. Much like it had done all series, however, G2 came firing right back, winning eight consecutive rounds to gain commanding control of the match. Gambit dominated the final set of rounds, though, as the Brits went on an 8-3 run to secure the 16-14 win and move into a match with Immortals in the grand finals.

Gambit completes surprising run with a grand finals victory

The grand finals got underway on Train, with Immortals rushing out to a 3-0 lead early on. What followed was a series of runs from both teams, as both tried, and failed, to fully break the game wide open. This resulted in an 8-7 score at the half, with Immortals holding the narrow lead. The teams then traded four-round runs to open the second half, which allowed Immortals to hold onto its narrow lead, this time at 12-11. Gambit then flipped on its hyperdrive and rattled off five straight to take the map 16-12 on the back of Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov's 27/19 KD (kills/deaths).

The action then moved over to Inferno for Game 2 where Gambit, holding on to the momentum from Game 1, pushed out to a 9-1 lead after 10 rounds. Immortals proved to be a formidable opponent and went down swinging, though. After Gambit used a big second half run to take a 14-7 lead, Immortals made things interesting, winning five straight rounds to close the gap. It was at that point that Gambit decided it wanted to go home after a long day of competition and won the final two rounds for a 16-12 championship clinching round.

Gambit certainly likes the DreamHack limelight, as Sunday marks the second win at a DreamHack event in the last six months, following its first place finish at DreamHack Winter in November.