Gamereactor recently went to DreamHack Leipzig, where eight CS:GO teams competed in one of the first big tournaments of 2017, and we got a chance to see all of the action unfold as well as speak to some of the players and managers. The tournament certainly didn't disappoint, as there were plenty of thrills for fans to enjoy.
On the first day Heroic impressed by qualifying immediately for the semi finals, providing dominant wins over both newly-established team qwerty and LDLC, and favourites FlipSid3 Tactics did the same to qualify for the semi finals in Group B, winning against Vega Squadron and German team BIG, who consistently had the crowd on their side. Rogue and Fnatic Academy also suffered losses in this first day too, meaning that six teams were in elimination matches going into the second day.
The first match of Saturday saw Fnatic Academy take on qwerty for a chance to take on LDLC, however Mikail 'Maikelele' Bill's newest team struggled and lost 2-0, which will surely be a disappointing start for the as of yet unsigned team. They can take solace in the fact that players like Slap and Wenton performed very well, although Fnatic Academy's Karus and stand-in Jayzwalkingz did just that bit better.
BIG, another newly established side, had much better luck in their elimination match, and they were off to a flying start, grabbing an 8-0 early advantage on Mirage, going on to win 16-14 with a very convincing team display. BIG carried this through for a 2-0 victory, sealing a place in the second elimination match of the day against Vega Squadron.
Later on that day the stakes were raised as LDLC took on Fnatic Academy, with the winner sealing a place in the semi finals. The first match on Overpass was very close indeed, the scores staying relatively level throughout, with LDLC clinching it, however, Fnatic Academy had a much better start on the second map, Cobblestone, establishing a lead of 13-2. In one of the most exhilarating comebacks we've seen, though, LDLC brought it back, with players like xms really stepping up, and soon they had their own 14-13 lead, eventually going on to seal the second map and win 2-0.
Vega Squadron went in as favourites for their own elimination match against BIG, however, this tournament had plenty of surprises left for this match too, as tabseN led BIG to a great, confident start, and although a small comeback was on when Vega won five points in a row, the absence of big players like Mir didn't help anything, and BIG won the first game 1-0. On Train, however, that's when the unbelievable scenes started happening, as it was so close that it was carried to four overtimes, pushing the match into the night. It was only incredible performances from keev, who had an amazing tournament overall, that sealed it narrowly for BIG, and the crowd certainly went wild.
The first semi final between FlipSid3 and LDLC on Sunday had less in terms of dramatic finishes, however, FlipSid3 certainly impressed, winning both maps relatively comfortably, B1ad3 getting in some great plays during both. LDLC did manage to bring it close sometimes, but it seemed like it was always going to be FlipSid3 progressing.
BIG had to face the Danish team Heroic in their own semi final, and although they lost the first map, BIG's great start on the second helped lead them to a 16-14 win to bring the game level to 1-1, only getting closer because players like Valde were getting more into the game. That meant on Cobblestone it was all to play for, and was a much closer game, however, great plays from nex and keev secured the win for BIG, giving them a well-earned place in the final.
Unfortunately, the home crowd's cheers and the momentum couldn't push a win in the grand final for BIG, and FlipSid3 Tactics performed very well, including players like Denis "electronic" Sharipov. They won the game 2-0, not dropping a map all tournament, and although a loss in the final must be a bitter pill for BIG to swallow, they still did marvellously considering it was their first tournament, and the crowd certainly loved seeing them there.