OpTic Gaming has secured the final spot at ESL One New York following their successful run at GG.Bet New York Invitational. The currently #18 CSGO team on the world ranking had many close calls on its road to victory. On more than one occasion their matches could have gone either way. Nevertheless, the Danish formation kept their nerve and will be attending ESL One New York.
Group stage: Off to a steady start
Joined by Winstrike, Bpro, and Sprout, OpTic was definitely the favorite team to advance to the playoffs from Group B.
Despite coming into GG.Bet Invitational as the only qualifier and the underdogs overall, OpTic’s first opponent, Bpro, took the Danish side by surprise. The best-of-one Overpass match saw Bpro force overtime before finally OpTic was able to close things out. Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke led the charge, but it was an overall team effort that caused the green wall to deny the upset.
Next up was Winstrike in a best-of-three matchup. Even though OpTic won convincingly with a 2-0 score in maps, the results on Train and Vertigo were a close 16-13 and 16-12 respectively. Winstrike, now with Natus Vincere’s ex-player Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev, could have pulled away with any of the two maps with a little more luck. Without discrediting the Danish side, it was yet again a great overall team performance that was crucial in the win. OpTic advanced to the playoffs in the first place from Group B.
Playoffs: BIG fall short
After eliminating HellRaisers and AVANGAR, BIG was out for blood in the playoffs. With an altered lineup that brought back Owen “smooya” Butterfield and Johannes “nex” Maget (temporarily replaced by Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić), this was the chance for the German team to finally shine.
The two maps played, Vertigo and Dust2, were completely different battles. Vertigo was mostly a blowout in favor of OpTic, as on the terrorist side the halftime score was 12-3. BIG managed to clinch five more rounds of their own before finally losing the map 16-8 with k0nfig stepping up for his side.
Dust2, however, ended up being way closer than OpTic could have expected. The Danish team, this time on their counter-terrorist side, piled up a massive lead of 12-3 once more. Amazingly, BIG pulled off a massive comeback to force overtime following stellar performances from smooya, Ismailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş, and Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz. However, the green wall showed their resilience in overtime to quickly seal the deal, not allowing BIG to get any more rounds on the board and closing the semi-final 19-15 with a 2-0 scoreline. This time we saw Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen steer the ship with 36 frags on the map.
Grand finale: forZe stand their ground
The last opponent of OpTic was forZe, currently #21 on the world ranking and one of the best teams in Russia. This was the only opponent against which the Danish side dropped a map to during the whole tournament.
Right off the bat, Nuke came out to be an exciting matchup as yet again OpTic found overtime. This time, however, the resilience of the green wall faded as they were not able to outfrag the hungry forZe lineup. The Danish only found one point in overtime as they fell 19-16.
Next up was the more conventional Mirage. Straight away we saw a much different OpTic. The Danish formation clinched 10 rounds on their t-side at halftime before getting the final 6 to clinch the map. Nevertheless, Bogdan “xsepower” Chernikov and Dmitriy “facecrack” Alekseyev more than impressed, both getting 27 frags and making things more than uncomfortable for the opposing team as the overall score came to a close 16-13.
The final map, Overpass, showed the true power of OpTic. After failing to secure Nuke and barely bagging Mirage, Overpass went fully their way. We finally saw Rene “TeSeS” Madsen switch on by getting 27 frags over a 19-round span as OpTic outplayed forZe 16-3, not leaving any room to breathe for the Russian side.
After the three-map war, OpTic was finally able to take a deep breath. Having faced three overtimes and a lot of close matches, the Danish team definitely needs a break. The grind was worth it nevertheless.
What did you think of OpTic Gaming’s performance at GG.Bet New York Invitational? Will they impress at ESL One New York? Let us know down in the comments below and as always follow us at Daily Esports for all your latest news in the esports world.