BIG take home DreamHack Open Leipzig title
BIG swept Renegades in the grand finals of DreamHack Open Leipzig to take home the first CS:GO tournament title of ESL Pro Tour circuit, US $50,000 in prize winnings and the first LAN title since May 2018.
The DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020 launched on Friday, January 24, featuring eight teams in BIG, North, Renegades, Virtus.pro, Heroic, MAD Lions, Cloud9 and Sprout, who competed for the title at the opening ESL Pro Tour circuit and the largest slice of $100,000 prizepool.
The group stage took off on Friday, and BIG did not need long to establish themselves as the alpha dogs of their group, as they defeated Virtus.pro (16-8) and RNG (16-8) to clinch the top seed, which sent them directly into the tournament semi-finals. There the Germans met with Heroic, who proved to be no match for BIG, who decimated their adversaries 16-9 and 16-12 to secure a spot in the grand finals.
Renegades started their venture into DreamHack Open Leipzig in the same group as BIG, where they defeated C9 (16-10), lost to BIG (8-16) and managed to repeat their success against the North American squad in the decider match which they won with a commanding fashion (16-7 and 16-12).
After edging their way into the playoffs, Renegades met with MAD Lions who pushed the Aussies to their limits but eventually fell flat as it was Renegades who proceeded into the grand finals after a three-game series which they won 2-1.
After both teams established their dominance over their adversaries, it was time for BIG and RNG to lock horns in the grand finals, which was the rematch of the Group A winners' match where BIG came out victorious (16-8) on Nuke.
BIG picked Mirage as the first map of the grand finals, however, failed to see much success in the opening rounds. The Australians got off to a flying start and claimed a 4-1 lead, which made it seem like they are set to avenge their defeat against the Germans, but Can "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş had other plans as he singlehandedly won BIG an eco-round, which turned the whole match upside down.
The Germans took control of the match and thanks to their effective kill trading managed to keep Renegades off the bombsite, forcing their opponents to save one map after the other. BIG's efficiency on the T-side gradually earned them a substantial lead, having won 10 rounds in the first half alone, thus entered the second half 10-5 up.
After the swap, BIG continued where they left off, picked up the pistol round and powered their way on to a dominant 16-5 win to enter the second map of the series 1-0 up.
The second map of the series was Dust II, where Renegades once again started strong and gained a 3-0 lead, but their enthusiasm did not last for long. As soon as BIG earned enough money for a full buy, they started to cause problems for the Aussies, who had severe issues when trying to stop BIG's advances on T-side. Nils "k1to" Gruhne had one of the best performances since joining BIG as he led the charge to secure his team an 8-4 lead, which they further extended to end the first half 11-4 up.
Despite being seven rounds down, Chris "dexter" Nong and his team, did not give up that easily as they rallied and dominated the first seven rounds of the second half to equalize the scoreline (11-11). At that point, BIG found their stride and bounced back with two-back-to-back defuses to get themselves into a 13-11 lead. Renegades responded and reduced the gap to one round, but were unable to seal the deal as they lost two more rounds and fell at the feet of XANTARES, who sealed the series with a tripe kill to earn his squad the DreamHack title.
The grand finals ended with a commanding 2-0 win for BIG, who put up a show and deservingly claimed their first LAN title in almost two years. The man of the match was no other than k1to, who ended the series with a 1.43 rating, closely followed by Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz who finished the grand finals with 1.39 rating.
As for other BIG members, XANTARES came out of the grand finals with 1.20 rating, Florian "syrsoN" Rische with 1.19 and Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch with 1.04. On Renegades roster, however, no member managed to achieve a positive rating, with Jordan "Hatz" Bajic and Liam "malta" Schembri severely underperforming, earning 0.68 and 0.48 rating respectively.
By winning the tournament, BIG pocketed $50,000 and became the first team to qualify for DreamHack Masters Jönköping, the first Dreamhack Masters event which will take place in June later this year with 16 teams competing for the lion's share of $250,000 prize pool.