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Gambit beats VP for championship in IEM Katowice 2021

Gambit Esports, CSGO, IEM Katowice

In an unprecedented all-CIS best-of-five series, Gambit Esports toppled Virtus.pro (VP) in the grand finals of Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2021. After a close loss on their own map pick of Vertigo, Gambit was able to sweep up three maps in a row to secure their place in CSGO history with a 3-1 victory.

GAMBIT MAKES ONE OF MOST VALIANT COMEBACKS IN CSGO HISTORY

The opening map was an intense back-and-forth between the two squads, with VP ending the first half leading 9-6 on CT. Gambit managed to pull back a few rounds on the CT side. However, a furious VP managed to pull themselves together and seal the map with a 16-14 scoreline.

Gambit found themselves pushed against a wall and down one map. However, Gambit knew that they were definitely not down and out. The CSGO squad, led by in-game leader Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, demolished VP on the next two maps: Dust2 and Train. The team gave the opposing VP wins with a grand total of 10 rounds in both maps combined. This put Gambit on the verge of claiming a major title, something they had not done since they raised the cup in PGL Major Kraków 2017. They only had one last hurdle to overcome, and that was VP’s map pick of Overpass.

GAMBIT SEALED THE DEAL WITH A POWERFUL PERFORMANCE IN OVERPASS

Hitting it off with an excellent CT side, Gambit successfully secured an 11-4 lead in the first half of the map, putting themselves in a comfortable spot ahead of their CIS rivals. VP would then dampen those spirits for a bit by winning the first three rounds against their T side. Gambit would answer with another four rounds straight, throwing a massive wrench in the Virtus Plow. In a last-ditch effort, VP pulled out five more rounds before they eventually fell in the 28th, as Gambit secured an amazing championship run. With their win, the Gambit Esports CSGO squad took home $400,000, while VP went away with $180,000.

The star of the show was Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov who, despite a quiet start in the first two maps, went on a rampage on Train and Overpass. He ended the grand finals with a total ADR of 106.0 and an hltv.org rating of 1.40. The story of their squad is quite impressive as well, with it only being around five months since the once Gambit Youngsters squad had been promoted to the main team. With most of their players being around 18 to 20 years of age, it’s quite exciting to see how bright the future of CIS CSGO is shaping out to be.