Vegas Masters is around the corner
With 2017’s Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas taking place just around the corner in February, there’s no better time to look back at some of the standout moments from last year’s Malmö event. An unexpected success for old favorites Ninjas in Pyjamas, the tournament hosted a plethora of top performances from players across the board. From deadly AWP flicks to silenced pistol proficiency, collected below are ten of the tournament’s best plays. We can only hope this year will reach the same calibre of entertainment.
Kenny "kennyS" Schrub is best known for his lightning-fast AWPing, but at last year’s Masters he obviously felt the need to show off his M4 skills. After helping to secure a crucial first-round win, kenny annihilated Dignitas’ eco, acing the team in a matter of seconds. As terrorists poured into Mirage’s mid lane, a short series of taps ended any hopes for success.
Not content with just one highlight, kennyS took Dignitas to task a second time. Down 10-1, Dignitas took control of the A bombsite and finally looked set to earn a second round... until kenny arrived. Singlehandedly retaking the bombsite, he landed three beautiful AWP flicks before eliminating Dignitas’ final member with his sidearm. EnVyUs’ form has struggled over the course of 2016, but kennyS, with his flashy playstyle, continues to be beacon of hope for fans of the French side. With the potential of a french shuffle on the horizon, there’s every chance we’ll see kenny at the top of his game once more.
A 1v5 is never an easy proposition, but when your opponents assume you’re hiding and send all but one player to the other end of the map? It certainly helps your odds. Not long after Snax’s legendary defuse at Katowice, Dignitas’ Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye found himself in a strikingly similar situation. His whole team eliminated, Kjaerbye is left hiding in inferno’s B-bombsite ruins. EnVyUs, assuming a no-show, head out on the hunt, leaving just NBK to hold the site. Equipped with a defuse kit, Kjaerbye snatches an easy victory after killing the lone Frenchman, even throwing in a few cheeky crouches to celebrate.
Early in 2016, China’s Tyloo had begun to make a name for themselves in CS. Reaching the quarterfinals, it was up to Natus Vincere to halt their advance. Unfortunately for Tyloo, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács clearly saw this as the perfect chance to put the young upstarts in their place. At match point, Guardian offered no mercy. Landing AWP shot after AWP shot, he pulled off an impeccable ace to knock Tyloo from the tournament. As one of the first Asian sides to compete at the peak of international play, Tyloo have opened to door to the Chinese CS:GO scene. However, as last year showed, they still have a long road ahead before they can rival longstanding greats like GuardiaN.
Facing off in a tense semifinal against NiP, Godsent had just about drawn level at six rounds apiece. Hoping to push his team to victory, Simon "twist" Eliasson took the initiative. Scoring a lucky spray down through smoke, he then wrapped around the bomb cart on Train’s A bombsite to dispatch three further NiP players and win the round. From a 6-0 deficit, Godsent managed an impressive recovery to finish ahead at the half end. Twist’s highlight marked their first time ahead of Ninjas and truly brought his side back into contention. The full map proved especially close, with Godsent barely scraping the win in overtime.
Not wanting to be left out on the AWP front, mousesports’ Nikola "NiKo" Kovač provided his own impressive defence of Dust2’s A bombsite. After winning an AWP duel against Liquid’s s1mple down Long A, NiKo swiftly relocated to a position on Short, close to the approaching terrorists. Clearly never suspecting an AWP to hold such a position, Liquid were caught completely unawares. The bold play allowed NiKo to land two more beautiful flicks and give his side the advantage.
10-5 down at halftime, Liquid needed some big performances to gain a foothold in their match against Tyloo. Fortunately for the American side, their opponents weren’t expecting to find Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella tucked away in the back corner of Cobblestone’s A bombsite. After two of his allies fell, nitr0 revealed his inner 007, hitting a series of deft USP headshots to keep Team Liquid in the round. Pistol rounds in CS:GO can often seem messy and chaotic, with terrorists swarming over bombsites in a hail of gunfire. Composed and collected, nitr0’s well placed headshots were the perfect antidote to a cacophony of glocks.
Brazilians Tempo Storm may have failed to win a map against French side EnVyUs, but that didn’t stop their own AWPer, Henrique "HEN1" Teles, from showing his best. Struggling to hold a lead on inferno’s CT half, Tempo were in desperate need of some motivation. Fortunately, HEN1 stepped up to the plate by rapidly shutting down Envy’s pincer movement. After claiming two wallbang kills into the A bombsite apartments, he then flipped 180 to shut down a further two players and secure a much-needed round. While Tempo never quite recovered enough to contest the French side, isolated moments were still able to demonstrate their individual skill.
There’s no doubting that GeT_RiGhT is one CS:GO’s most famous players, notorious for his lurker playstyle and reliable spray control. At his best, you could always count on him to turn up where his opponents least expected it. At 10-10 in the first map of the Grand Final, GeT_RiGhT read NaVi’s eco round perfectly, pushing aggressively into Dust2’s lower tunnel before biding his time. A slip-up by GuardiaN not checking the corner rewarded GeT_RiGhT with a tasty four-piece spray. A far cry from their glory days, the 2016 Dreamhack Masters Malmö gave NiP fans a chance to rekindle that flame of hope. Showcasing impressive performances all round, NiP were well-deserved champions of the event.
Knife rounds don’t often make highlight reels, but then most don’t have Matthew "Sadokist" Trivett speedcasting over the top. Heading into the final map of Astralis and NiP’s group decider game, Sadokist decided to liven things up a bit. Much to the amusement of his partner, HenryG, Sadokist challenged himself to the task of commentating as fast as possible for the entire duration of the knife round. As it happened, he couldn’t have picked a better game. NiP’s Richard "Xizt" Landström surprised onlookers by succeeding in an impressive 1v3 knife fight to win.
Win tickets to DreamHack Masters Las Vegas!
Already excited about DreamHack Masters Las Vegas? Want to win some tickets? Then you've come to the right place! We've got multiple packages to give away for the finals on February 18th and 19th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena:
5x General Admission Package - each package includes four tickets, so if you win you can bring some friends!
1x Premium Package - assigned premium seating and priority access to merch and signings for you and a friend, as well as premium goodie bags
To win, all you need to do is tell us who you think will win DreamHack Masters Las Vegas and why. You can comment on this article or just tweet with the hashtag #DHMasters. The most convincing and/or creative contributions as judged by the organisers will win ticket packages! (Competition closes January 31st, winners will be notified directly.)
To find out more about Las Vegas tickets, which are on sale now, check out the DreamHack Masters ticket page. See you in Vegas!