“ICE ice baby!” All the action at the CS:GO event sponsored by GG.bet
The ICE Challenge hosted by GG.BET at the ExCeL Convention Center in London kicked off February 5th featuring two CIS and two Danish squads battling in the Octagon for 50,000$ in prize funds.
The pre-event predictions quickly went up in flames after the first day showed an upset against tournament favorites NaVi (WR #4) by Team Heroic (WR #37). The first map of the match on Overpass had NaVi show what they can do, building momentum early and taking the map home (16:8). Heroic came out in full swing on Nuke defending as CT and then quickly going haywire as T and taking the match to a decider brawl on Inferno. The last map had both teams tying up at 13 each near the end, yet Heroic managed to take the last clutch rounds and send tournament favorites NaVi to the loser bracket.
In the second opener we had North (WR #11) meet CIS contender Avangar (WR #22) to decide who advances to the winner bracket against Heroic. The best-of-three series started on Mirage and after securing 5 rounds in a row, North went to the half leading 9-6. The second half had teams go back and forth once again but North ultimately prevailed and took first map with a 12:16 lead. The second map Cache was the closest of the best-of-three series. After the first half (8:7), Avangar rallied for 8 rounds straight and ultimately closed the match in the 29th round 16:13. This meant it will all be down to the decider map Inferno. North took the reins again and dealt Avangar a defeat in a more commanding fashion (9:16).
The upper bracket matchup for day two has been set and it was a Danish matchup between North and Heroic for the finals spot. Heroic kicked off the matchup strong and made quick work of North on Mirage (16:8). The following map (Nuke) we had Nicklas ‘gade’ Gade rally the crew and North bounced back to equalize the map score 1-1 after beating Heroic 16:11. Train was selected as the decider map of the matchup. North ran away with the lead in the first half 12:3 and ultimately closed the match 16:8, and secured their spot in the Final.
The loser bracket matchup had the CIS contenders meet and decide who leaves the tournament in the last place.
The first map Overpass reinforced the weaknesses noticed in the NaVi squad the day before. Both teams battled hard during the entire first map with S1mple netting 38 kills in the second half for NaVi but still unable to bring Na`Vi ahead after overtimes. Avangar managed to simply outplay NaVi entirely and take the first map 19:17. After losing the first map, NaVi chose Dust2 for the follower. At Dust2, Denis “electronic” Sharipov made several clutch plays to assist the “tilted” NaVi get ahead finally In the matchup and get their groove back securing Dust2 (16:8). The decider map Mirage had NaVi rally hard in the first half making the matchup look like a done deal (11:4), Avangar put up an impressive attack during the second half bring the matchup as close as 14:14. Finally, NaVi justified why they are perceived as the superior team and closed the match 16:14. Finally, NaVi can sleep at ease tonight as they live to fight another day.
This means we bid farewell to Avangar in 4th place and we will see NaVi rematch the tourney opener against Heroic tomorrow. The matchup decides who leaves the ICE Challenge in 3rd place and who moves to the final versus North later in the day.
Being one of the few remaining events before the massive IEM Katowice 2019 Main Event in just two weeks, the tourney was envisioned as a way for Na`Vi to get some last minute practice and AVANGAR to test the waters before playing the IEM Katowice Main Qualifier in a week. Ultimately we conclude early that Avangar has a lot of bite and NaVi is having serious problems with execution in their playstyle.
Action kicks off tomorrow 9:00 CET with a rematch between NaVi and Heroic.