Gambit take down fnatic after anti-climactic finish to book last IEM Winter playoffs spot

After a messy first two maps that saw three overtimes played, Gambit locked down the series 16-4 on the deciding Overpass.

In a late-night final series of the IEM Winter group stage, Gambit booked the last playoffs spot following a 2-1 victory over fnatic. The back-and-forth battle saw the Swedish-British mixture miss out after winning the opening Inferno in overtime, as the Russian side replied with a double-overtime triumph on Vertigo and outclassed their opponents on the Overpass decider.

Gambit will play Vitality on Sunday at 19:15 next in the quarter-finals, a match where the CIS squad will be the underdogs on paper, looking to pick up their first-ever victory against the French side having lost to Dan "⁠apEX⁠" Madesclaire's team on the two occasions they faced one another at IEM Summer and ESL Pro League Season 14, in 0-2 series each time.

Although the final loss will undoubtedly be difficult to accept for Alex "⁠ALEX⁠" McMeekin and company after they had the chance to close the series in two, overall it has been a positive showing from the team that had recently added Owen "⁠smooya⁠" Butterfield, as they finish IEM Winter in the top eight in their first appearance at a tier-one event with the current lineup.

The ever-consistent sh1ro made life difficult for fnatic

The final series of the IEM Winter group stage began on Inferno. It was a map that took a couple of big turns, as at first fnatic looked to be in cruise control after a key 1v4 clutch from in-game leader ALEX but later found Gambit a difficult opponent to finish off when it was the CIS team's turn to pull off big clutches.

Dmitry "⁠sh1ro⁠" Sokolov played a massive part in turning the scales after Gambit were down 6-13, stepping up to the plate with a 1v4 clutch, a quad-kill in a 3v5 scenario, and a double in a 2v4 situation to help his team deny fnatic a comfortable victory and force them to overtime. There, the British-Swedish combination salvaged the map after all, finally closing out the advantageous situations after finding early openings.

From the get-go, Vertigo looked like Gambit's domain after more unlikely clutches went their way early, this time courtesy of Abay "⁠HObbit⁠" Khasenov and Sergey "⁠Ax1Le⁠" Rykhtorov in 1v4 and 2v4 scenarios. Despite the crushing losses, fnatic remained competitive as they ended the half just three rounds behind and won the second pistol, and soon the score was even once William "⁠mezii⁠" Merriman saved a scary-looking anti-forcebuy round with a quad-kill.

Perhaps signifying fatigue from both teams as the series went long past midnight, a messy finish to the map full of last-second rotations and awkward retakes saw the two teams keep trading rounds in close situations until we reached overtime. There, fnatic survived up against two match points the first time around but couldn't withstand Gambit's offense in the seconds.

The series reached an anti-climactic finish on Overpass, which witnessed a show of domination from Gambit on the CT side as fnatic ran out of steam. A 14-1 half from sh1ro and company had the Swedes and Brits staring into the distance in breaks between rounds, and after a brief resistance they conceded the final map 4-16.

Matchpage
1
2
4th December 2021
19
Inferno
16
19
Vertigo
22
4
Overpass
16
 fnatic K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
66 - 72 -6 84.7 1.07
62 - 65 -3 75.4 1.06
68 - 65 +3 65.7 0.97
62 - 73 -11 72.8 0.90
50 - 71 -21 61.5 0.76
 Gambit K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
89 - 50 +39 86.4 1.39
81 - 63 +18 94.7 1.27
57 - 67 -10 69.9 1.01
60 - 64 -4 73.6 0.99
58 - 65 -7 64.2 0.93
Kazakhstan Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1095
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
United Kingdom Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.18
Maps played:
779
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.62
Russia Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov
Dmitry 'sh1ro' Sokolov
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.22
Maps played:
795
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.53
United Kingdom Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1096
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.71
France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1904
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.70
Russia Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Sergey 'Ax1Le' Rykhtorov
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
858
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
United Kingdom William 'mezii' Merriman
William 'mezii' Merriman
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
434
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
Time is adjusted to your selected timezone
ez gamgods
2021-12-05 02:09
4 replies
Luckbit strikes again
2021-12-05 07:17
3 replies
+1
2021-12-05 07:58
+1
2021-12-05 13:44
Stfu cuck
2021-12-05 16:21
edward still better
2021-12-05 02:10
4 replies
agreed
2021-12-05 05:17
+1
2021-12-05 10:00
+1
2021-12-05 13:43
#95
 | 
Sweden Madrigals1
unagreed, edward bot now
2021-12-05 17:02
gg fnatic
2021-12-05 02:11
gambit gonna get destroyed by Vit tomorrow thanks to dogshit ESL schedule
2021-12-05 02:11
I have to admit what a freaking strong mental strengh result we’ve witnessed by Gambit! That match vs FaZe could end up being a 2:0 for FaZe, but somehow Gambit were too good mentally to close that series out and now another thriller in this bo3. Multiple overtime maps played with Gambit coming out on top. What a crazy pro showing by Gambit! Richard Lewis is going nuts right now and spitting hatred that Gambit won, the team he was sure would not show a good performence. Crazy strong mental performance on 6 maps by Gambit! Regardless if gambit wins or loses the next quorte series todays’ 6 maps proved they are too good! Love and peace to all! Gg bb!
2021-12-05 02:17
16 replies
+1 and ax1le is looking way better now.
2021-12-05 03:04
#29
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Big +1 for this post. :D
2021-12-05 03:15
+1
2021-12-05 04:54
+1 Very well said. Gambit are indeed struggling to win, but they are winning in the end. Very strong mental fortitude being displayed. Well done!
2021-12-05 05:30
You can see the work! More and more experience playing on the LAN
2021-12-05 05:32
#45
 | 
Uzbekistan R_Sick
Don't remember Richard Lewis personally wanting Gambit to lose, he is just lamenting over the fact that Gambit's online form didn't fully translate into lan, and also that nafany was delusional thinking that lan stage won't affect him and his team's game. Either you don't get Richard's stance on the pro scene or you just don't watch enough of his content to make a more sound judgement about him as a person and esports journalist. To be fair, Gambit is my #2 fav team, so I really want them to succeed (besides the games where they face NaVi), but there is truth in what Richard says, not all of it of course, but it doesn't come out of hate but rather love for CSGO. So don't hate on that old man, guys
2021-12-05 06:55
3 replies
#52
 | 
North America DigWin1991
+1
2021-12-05 07:26
#63
 | 
Spain N0Love
+1
2021-12-05 09:24
#96
 | 
Sweden Madrigals1
> Richard Lewis > Not hating CIS teams
2021-12-05 17:03
#61
 | 
Russia mshkoda
+1 insane
2021-12-05 09:13
nah gamb0t onliners sh0r0 awp abuser (c) every twitch/hltv user
2021-12-05 09:59
1 reply
there is always a bilious person.
2021-12-05 13:29
+1 Lord Interz doing the works
2021-12-05 11:31
#76
 | 
Morocco Oxion_CS
Gambots were supposed to win this easily, fnatic are good but definitely not top 10 atm. yes gambit might have won, but the fact that they almost lost is not a good sign
2021-12-05 12:47
2 replies
after the restructuring of the European teams, I think the fanatic can definitely make it to the top 10
2021-12-05 13:31
1 reply
#117
 | 
Morocco Oxion_CS
yes but as i said not at this time, they still need more work
2021-12-06 13:16
Fnatic forfeit on 3rd map
2021-12-05 02:13
#7
 | 
Belarus ChecksOut
Must've been 2-0 for fnatic and first map 16-10 at least They are not ready for tier 1 yet it seems
2021-12-05 02:13
8 replies
I think they should be top 10 rn
2021-12-05 02:35
2 replies
In your dream:) Any team with Alex has a dead end.
2021-12-05 02:44
1 reply
Vita won 2 tournaments
2021-12-05 13:47
#28
 | 
Argentina Saazu
aww come on mate! gambit is top4, tournament winning team! losing against them is not bad at all.
2021-12-05 03:10
4 replies
#34
 | 
World juize
they haven't won any tier1 lan tournament yet though.
2021-12-05 04:21
3 replies
+1 gamb0ts won nothing except t2 online shit
2021-12-05 08:35
1 reply
#93
 | 
World juize
0/8 they won t2 lan and t1 online
2021-12-05 16:03
Yeah, but this was the first one they atempted - so thats fine I guess. 5/6 place is ok. Gambit is the only team they lost against so far ;)
2021-12-05 10:23
#8
 | 
Russia cripdogg
sh1ro incredible stats o_o
2021-12-05 02:13
#9
 | 
United Kingdom Jerry2805
Sad :( Fnatic look good though, taking a top 4 team to a 3rd map after almost winning on vertigo. Looking forward to their future! :D
2021-12-05 02:14
#10
 | 
Russia mcs#
lets gooo
2021-12-05 02:15
Shiro konechno podzalil solyari na inferno Great performance by fnatic though, well played.
2021-12-05 02:23
Ax1Le shows up this tournament. It's promising for Gambit!
2021-12-05 02:23
fnatic should've closed it, but lost to pistols; can't believe they didn't go to the other site and were ramming on B until the end
2021-12-05 02:25
6 replies
#15
 | 
Belarus ChecksOut
This and 1v4 gift to hobbit This game was an actual chance to prove that they can be tier 1 im so fucking frustrated rn fuuuuuuckkkkkkkkkkkk
2021-12-05 02:32
5 replies
I mean they got further than a few other 1.5 teams in the debut and took gambit to a third map in a close series till that point , pretty good performance even if map 3 was a letdown
2021-12-05 02:43
1 reply
#22
 | 
Belarus ChecksOut
Yeah they doing actually good, but holy shit the dream was so close:((
2021-12-05 02:55
Sooner or later they will become Tier 1, theres no weak link in their roster and apparently they have good synergy too so experience will get them there.
2021-12-05 02:47
1 reply
#23
 | 
Belarus ChecksOut
Yeah I hope so
2021-12-05 02:55
#46
 | 
Uzbekistan R_Sick
They are already a legit tier 1 team, at least better than gatekeepers like OG and BIG
2021-12-05 06:58
matches at 2am gg ESL
2021-12-05 02:28
#17
 | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina IamErko
We loose cuz of that pistol round on Vertigo, but its ok we still performing as this good new roster, that ll be better soon, just feel bad for them on the 3rd game, painfull to watch, painfull to play... #alwaysfnc
2021-12-05 02:39
2 replies
#71
 | 
Germany midas1
'we'
2021-12-05 11:18
1 reply
#97
 | 
Sweden Madrigals1
'xem'
2021-12-05 17:05
ok now let these guys sleep
2021-12-05 02:41
#24
 | 
Germany Teztyment
Let's go Gambit! Hell Yeah baby. Russians + Germans = Elite Genes
2021-12-05 03:00
2 replies
nt ruski immigrant
2021-12-05 06:38
1 reply
#98
 | 
Germany Teztyment
nt I live in California, USA. Jokes on you noob nonamer.
2021-12-05 18:52
#27
 | 
Brazil Elakk
sh0ro once again baiting his entire team for stats, what a shame!
2021-12-05 03:10
12 replies
#47
 | 
Uzbekistan R_Sick
If it helps to close out games, manage the economy and lock down sites, then sure, why not. There is no inherently wrong style of playing, there is only bad results, and sh1ro is the best passive player in tier 1 scene.
2021-12-05 06:59
#92
 | 
United Kingdom legji
Tell me you're an idiot without saying you're an idiot. Shiro legit won them the entire game, if it wasn't for him Fnatic win both maps 16-10 at most. The impact he had was insane.
2021-12-05 16:00
9 replies
#99
 | 
Germany Teztyment
are you stupid? The entire Gambit team is playing good. Not just sh1ro. My god some people on HLTV are dumber than I thought. Dumber than people on ESEA and that's a hard thing to fucking do.
2021-12-05 18:54
8 replies
#100
 | 
United Kingdom legji
Show me where I said the rest of gambit weren't playing good? This guy was claiming Shiro was stat padding and doing nothing and baiting this game. He and You clearly didn't watch the game then. Shiro individually won them 4 rounds by himself on Inferno which broke Fnatics economy and was the ONLY reason they got to overtime and was pivotable winning them the CT half and T half on Vertigo continuously the first frag each round. God 30IQ idiots should be quiet when barking.
2021-12-05 19:03
7 replies
#101
 | 
Germany Teztyment
Are you fucking kidding me? I watched every single game. Last game on Vertigo it was 14-14 idiot and Fnatic had a full buy and Gambit was on a full eco and interz got a 3K to save them the game and then they won. Lmfaaaao get the fuck out of here.
2021-12-05 19:08
1 reply
#105
 | 
United Kingdom legji
You saw one highlight clip and didn't watch the entire game, good to see your IQ on full display. It's okay, we all know your stupid. Also again, show me where I said the rest gambit played badly? I guess you can't read properly, Expected of the inbred.
2021-12-05 19:13
#102
 | 
Germany Teztyment
by the way get fucking shit on by Gambit. Bye bye UK CS lMFAO.
2021-12-05 19:09
4 replies
#103
 | 
United Kingdom legji
Coming from a Jerman, How many times has BIG been fucked by Fnatic? xD
2021-12-05 19:11
3 replies
#106
 | 
Germany Teztyment
Im German and Russian born and raised in California, USA nice try pea-brain
2021-12-05 19:13
2 replies
#107
 | 
United Kingdom legji
You're still a Jerman, point still stands NT 30 IQ and still not disproven my point. Shiro carried Gambit to the W, cry yourself to sleep.
2021-12-05 19:15
1 reply
#108
 | 
Germany Teztyment
Numbers don't lie my friend. Sorry. Time for a spot of tea mate?
2021-12-05 19:16
#115
 | 
Brazil Elakk
Its so easy to bait fellow htlv members
2021-12-05 20:05
#30
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Yet again, you've got to respect the consistency and sheer tenacity of Gambit - kind of reminds of the old NiP days that played better the longer the series went on for, they kept going and going. :D Great series and it's a shame fnatic burned out after the second map.
2021-12-05 03:16
3 replies
#32
 | 
Ukraine VoidWave
by the way, is your flair reflects nip 2014 or nip 2021?
2021-12-05 04:13
1 reply
#73
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
My flair is primarily because of 2001, friend. They were one of the first teams that got me into CS and were my favourite team at that time.
2021-12-05 12:09
#48
 | 
Uzbekistan R_Sick
They got infected by VP
2021-12-05 07:00
smooya will come back again for the next tournament!!!!
2021-12-05 03:46
yikes
2021-12-05 04:14
#39
 | 
Asia Blitzer
imagine leaving overpass open in a 3rd maps vs gambit UK CS IN A NUTTSHELL !
2021-12-05 05:35
1 reply
Fnatic are strong on overpass, they took Navi to OT and Alex was quite good on it in C9. They just burn out after playing so many OTs and a B03 before which also went to 3rd map and OT
2021-12-05 13:08
#40
 | 
Ukraine hexswitch
Great job by gambit, they pulled off two bo3 in a row from what seemed like a dead end. I feel they might be getting more confident due to that. Now take some rest guys, you made it to the playoff and more battles to come.
2021-12-05 06:09
1 reply
Sadly the format of the fixtures won't allow them to have enough time to rest and prepare for next match, against Vitality whom they face today they must have got barely 5-6 hours of sleep
2021-12-05 13:10
Gambit's lan performances are improving as quickly as their online ones did last year... It was already in the cards but this team is going places man
2021-12-05 06:30
#42
 | 
Brazil arunino
fnatic threw it in 2nd map..... on scores 14:14 / 15:14
2021-12-05 06:37
fnatic didn't do much my friends, gambit is an S teir team and fnatic is barely a 2nd teir team, when gambit was out of form, they could compete with them but once they caught on, the results are bright as day.
2021-12-05 06:51
Fnatic looking strong, Happy to see Krimz getting himself back up the ranking Got to give it to Gambit though, Kings
2021-12-05 07:13
Sh1ro is pretty good for a guy who looks like he's about 12. Keep it up, young fella.
2021-12-05 07:27
Tf is going on. I thought this game will be at Sunday.
2021-12-05 07:54
GG
2021-12-05 07:59
Juicy game,except 3 map.GG Gambit!
2021-12-05 08:01
#58
 | 
Ukraine futplxyer
Real stupid scheduling after tmw there gonna be like 5 day break before playoffs… 2am game not cool. Ideally this game should have been played a day later. Gambit players gonna feel some burnout soon F
2021-12-05 08:30
2 replies
Exactly dude they give 5 days break for semis but can't afford 1 day break for the quaters
2021-12-05 13:11
#91
 | 
United Kingdom legji
Honestly they could of had the match play at 5pm they didn't need it to be a stadium game.
2021-12-05 15:59
Big throw by fnatic on vertigo, 14-14 with gambit economy in shambles
2021-12-05 08:57
#62
 | 
Russia mshkoda
Two 2-1 in a day. Gj Gambit, young hard-workers with a strong mentality But match was too late i felt asleep and lost 14-1 half kekw
2021-12-05 09:23
1 reply
Same dude in my timezone the match went on till 6 am
2021-12-05 13:11
#64
 | 
Russia mshkoda
Ax1le played yesterday 2nd awp btw
2021-12-05 09:47
#67
 | 
Ireland reyno0o
Awful scheduling as people have said - playing till 2am in unacceptable when teams had their first game at 1:45pm. Fnatic can be proud of their showing this tournament. But props to Gambit who always seem to be able to grind out a win when the chips are down. Crazy mental strength
2021-12-05 10:22
4 replies
#70
 | 
Namibia _aki
most pros have pulled all nighters this is no problem to them
2021-12-05 10:28
3 replies
that is why every pro complains when they play all day late into the night
2021-12-05 12:14
Zeus had complained about that even said it on twitter once when they went to some lan Tournament in balkan region. The organisers don't care shit about the players just want to save money on production
2021-12-05 13:13
#88
 | 
Ireland reyno0o
Sure they can do it, but is it a good state to be playing a bo3 elimination game in? Not even close.
2021-12-05 13:45
#69
 | 
Namibia _aki
bye uk
2021-12-05 10:28
Nafany going for a planter thru smoke without even checking left and right in 3v3 with a lot of time for retake. Yeah legit.
2021-12-05 12:17
3 replies
Malding Bettor?
2021-12-05 13:13
2 replies
havent really set a bet for ages. no. but im thinking of starting again. worked prety well back then. its just objectively a move a clever player wouldnt make. if theres a guy watching the smoke its 2v3 retake with time for the enemy to positioon them accordingly after plant. the risk/reward ratio is off. so my mind wanders.. especially since he sometimes has these impeccable reads
2021-12-05 19:12
Lol. That play on d2 long corner rn
2021-12-05 19:48
#83
 | 
Sweden Avlxe1
sh1t esports!?
2021-12-05 13:24
expected
2021-12-05 14:01
wp
2021-12-05 23:47
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