Thu, 04 Mar 2021

BIG, Evil Geniuses, Gambit Esports and Team Spirit were all winners on the first day of competition in the DreamHack Open January 2021: Europe online event on Wednesday.

In Group A competition, BIG downed HellRaisers 2-0 and Evil Geniuses swept FunPlus Phoenix 2-0. In Group B, Gambit Esports knocked off Sprout 2-0 and Team Spirit edged ForZe 2-1.

The $70,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with eight teams divided into two groups for a double-elimination first round. The top two teams in each group will advance to the single-elimination playoffs. All matches are best-of-three except for Sunday's grand final, which will go to five maps if necessary.

Wednesday's opening round set the stage for Thursday's winners' bracket and elimination bracket bouts. BIG and EG square off for the top spot in Group A, while HellRaisers face FunPlus Phoenix to stay in contention. Meanwhile, Gambit and Spirit square off for the top Group B spot while Sprout faces forZe with elimination on the line.

BIG rolled past HellRaisers with wins of 16-13 on Inferno and 16-7 on Mirage. Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dortkardes, of Turkey, paved the way with 47 kills and a plus-20 kill-death differential. Lithuania's Nikolaj "kalinka" Rysakov led HellRaisers with 36 kills.

Evil Geniuses needed overtime to win the opener, on Inferno, by a 19-15 count against FPX. Another tight match clinched it for EG, a 16-13 win on Nuke. The United States' Tarik "tarik" Celik had team-best marks of 51 kills and a plus-7 K-D differential for the victors, and Denmark's Asger "Farlig" Jensen paced FunPlus Phoenix with 47 kills and a plus-5 differential.

In Group B, Gambit Esports also needed two tight wins to get by Sprout. Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov, of Russia, had 54 kills and a plus-23 K-D differential as Gambit took wins of 19-15 (Dust II) and 16-13 (Vertigo). Josef "faveN" Baumann led the all-German Sprout side with 54 kills and a plus-15 differential.

Team Spirt had the closest match of the day against forZe. After a 16-13 win on Mirage, Spirit dropped a 16-11 decision on Dust II and needed a runaway 16-6 win on Train to secure the win. Russia's Nikolay "mir" Bityukov collected a tournament-high 67 kills and had a plus-17 K-D differential for Spirit, while Russian Evgeny "FL1T" Lebedev led forZe with 63 kills and a plus-10 differential.

DreamHack Open January 2021: Europe prize pool and ESL Pro Tour points:

1. TBD -- $35,000, 100 points

2. TBD -- $15,000, 80 points

3-4. TBD -- $6,000, 40 points

5-6. TBD -- $2,500, 20 points

7-8. TBD -- $1,500, no points

--Field Level Media

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