What we learned from DH Bucharest
DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest has come to a close and we're ready to take a look back and figure out what we've learned from the eight-team, $100,000 event.
Yet another event is done and dusted and $100,000 in prizemoney allocated, as Virtus.pro emerged victorious from DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest which took place this last weekend.
First of all we'll go over what has happened over the course of the last few days to give you a quick recap in case you missed some of the action.
The Romanian event featured seven teams who attended the previous weekend's SL i-League StarSeries in Kiev, which gave us a lot of context in terms of where the teams stood and what their chances were.
Virtus.pro added another trophy to their cabinet
Virtus.pro and Cloud9 topped their groups with ease, but the other two semi-finalists, Envy and Dignitas, had to fight hard for their place in the top four. Both of them lost their initial battle and had to go through two best-of-three's.
The Americans marched on to the grand final following a match with Envy in which both teams won long streaks of rounds, while Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas's squad escaped Dignitas by the skin of their teeth after the decider, Overpass, came down to a combination of mistakes on Dignitas' part and amazing play from Filip "NEO" Kubski in a 1v5 scenario.
Here are some of the best maps from the Bucharest event:
|Heroic||34-31||Envy||Mirage||BO1 Initial round|
What have we learned then?
Virtus.pro are just fine
When NEO and company shockingly went out in last place a week ago, we weren't quite sure what to make of the team that had broken into the top three following their win at ELEAGUE.
However, historically they've proven to be more than capable of fulfilling the promise that is usually just an awful cliché — coming back stronger. Numerous times have we seen them do poorly online or at select offline events, only to witness them triumph or at least impress at the next one, with MLG Columbus coming to mind as one of the examples.
We shouldn't have worried about Virtus.pro's form
This time it seems their disappointing run in Kiev wasn't quite the same story. In the winning interview, NEO admitted there was more to it than simply bad form and that they didn't take the result to heart whatsoever.
We can only assume there were personal or organizational issues that made them lose focus for the $300,000 event, but one thing we can be certain of is that the Polish roster are very much on their feet and should still be considered huge contenders.
Cloud9 are a force to be reckoned with
Since the addition of Timothy "autimatic" Ta, Cloud9 have been a completely different beast online, and now, after three offline events in as many weekends, we can safely say it has translated to offline competition as well.
They weren't greatly contested at Northern Arena, save for the grand final, since the level of competition there was simply not high enough for us to evaluate their true status.
StarSeries helped us understand where Cloud9 stood, but they were lucky enough to avoid most of the dangerous teams and reached the semi-finals with wins over a big underdog in VG.CyberZen, the incomplete Envy roster and FlipSid3.
We can't count Cloud9 out anymore
After the third event, Bucharest, where the American-Canadian lineup only lost to an elite team, we know where to put them. The big losses to NiP in Kiev and Virtus.pro at DreamHack mean they're not ready to break into the elite just yet, but they've also shown conistency against a number of teams below the elite, such as FaZe, Dignitas, Envy, Heroic and FlipSid3.
Cloud9 are floating somewhere in the middle area, between the elite-level teams and those just below. They haven't figured out how to take the next step just yet, but the days where we counted Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert's team out at bigger events are over.
EnVyUs are making good progress
StarSeries gave us a glimpse of Envy' role adjustments and how they affect the team's playstyle and results, but since they attended the Kiev event with Christophe "SIXER" Xia, we didn't get the full picture. DreamHack provided us with one, as Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt was back in the roster — and played very well up until his underwhelming display in the semi-final.
Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer retained his lurking role, but he finally realized his previous ultra-passive approach was doing more harm than good — making Envy awfully predictable and playing 4v5 more often than not.
At the last two events, he started taking a lot more initiative and became more of an aggressive type of lurker, using valuable information and picks to guide the team as he took over leadership once again.
Happy's transformation seems to be the key to improvement
The 24-year-old wasn't quite as effective in Bucharest as he was at StarSeries, but since the rest of the team delivered on an individual level, especially Dan "apEX" Madesclaire who had an amazing event, it wasn't all that noticable.
Thanks to Happy's transformation and recently assumed leadership, as well as some of the players being in form, Envy are making good strides towards becoming an elite-level team again. It might take a little while longer, as we saw in the very streaky semi-final affair, but they're getting there.
dignitas' lineup may be the best one yet
Since the beginning of 2016, when Dignitas had a few good tournaments with Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann and Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye in the roster, we haven't seen the Danes making significant improvement.
Parts of it came down to the team missing a dedicated AWP player. Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen took up the role because he had to, but he was nowhere near comfortable enough with the weapon.
dignitas haven't been nearly this good since February
MSL might be target of much criticism, but we can't get away from the fact that this version of the Danish roster is working better than the previous ones. The last two events proved just that — in both cases they were only rounds away from reaching the grand final, taking huge favourites G2 and Virtus.pro to their limit in the process.
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