EPICENTER Moscow

Dignitas have defeated Virtus.Pro (2-1) to conquer the championship of EPICENTER Moscow 2016. They take home the trophy and $250,000 in the bank.

The seven-day-long event in Moscow showcased us some great Counter Strike matches and an exciting stage set up. Eight teams and a strong prize pool of $500,000. Virtus.Pro the Polish powerhouse who beat SK in the semi-finals to advance to the finals played Dignitas which was rather considered as an upset win when they beat Natus Vincere. The grand finals settled on the three maps Nuke (Dignitas’ pick), Cobblestone (VP’s pick) and Mirage after the veto process.

Virtus.pro dominated the first map Nuke. Neo unleashed his legendary style of play which hit the Danes hard on their map pick. The first half of the map rested in superiority with VP taking 11 of 15 rounds. Not much was changed in the final half of the game where Virtus.pro comfortably stole the show and concluded the game 11-16.

EPICENTER Moscow

The second map Cobblestone was supposedly for Virtus.pro marking the momentum gained from the first map, but contradictory to the predictions, Dignitas pronounced their authority in the grand finals as they crushed the Polish side in their map pick with a decimating scoreline of 16-5 which looked a biased affair for the Danish team.

The final map, Mirage where Dignitas started on the favored CT side in which Magisk, cajunb, and k0nfig denied Virtus.Pro any entry to the A bombsite, in the second round. Virtus.Pro, however, controlled the crossfires and clinched the round unexpectedly in their favor. The third round even though biased towards VP due to the rifle differences went for Dignitas, all thanks to the connector kill by MSL. The shots went back and forth, and the action exhibited itself in the first phase of a couple of rounds as Dignitas settle themselves on around lead 3-1 after the first gun round.

Although having the support of the crowd and going everything in their favor, Virtus.Pro struggled to tick the scoreboard in their favor. Dignitas, on the other hand, kept extending their lead and building an economy on their side, they forced VP to take a tactical timeout as the score established at 7-1 and 8-1 resuming after the short halt. While effectively trading at the beginning of the round, VP failed to take charge of the rounds until Byali apprehended responsibility and Ace’s in the 14th round to make the score line a little poor 2-13.

The second half where Pasha finally proved his existence in the server by getting two frags on the B bombsite which assisted VP in taking the pistol round and keeping the hope alive. CajunB however, hoisted his message loud and clear by taking a quad kill and clutching the round vs. two in the 18th round making the score even further to 14-4. Disgustingly getting beaten by another series by a mere nest boost and bunch of pistols, Dignitas, secured ten match points at 15-5. Virtus.Pro apparently, succumbed to wounds.

EPICENTER Moscow
Dignitas with the trophy and cheque.

Dignitas entry into the tournament through the EU qualifiers, where the other six teams got invited directly into the tournament group stage was not their only battle. Dignitas had to beat Na’Vi (winner of ESL One Newyork 2016) to get to the finals where they beat Virtus.pro (winner of DreamHack Zowie Bucharest). Their journey has been a remarkable one regarding how tight they were matched against, being down against VP 0-1 in the first map of the grand finals, Dignitas didn’t lose hope and made their way back in the series and beat Virtus.pro at their home ground. Virtus.pro had a rough time at the grand finals even after performing incredibly well by defeating SK in the semi-finals. Dignitas closed the series 2-1 (11-16 Nuke, 16-5 Cobblestone, 16-5 Mirage). K0nfig much deserved, named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament by HLTV.org

Final standings of EPICENTER Moscow:

  1. Dignitas – $250,000
  2. Virtus.pro – $100,000
  3. SK – Natus Vincere – $40,000
  4. SK – Natus Vincere – $40,000
  5. fnatic – G2: $15,000
  6. fnatic – G2: 15,000
  7. NiP – HellRaisers: $15,000
  8. NiP HellRaisers: $15,000

No doubt about the most well-performing team, but talking about the worst performer were the Swedes. Fnatic edging out on the 5th-6th position and even worst NiP, bottoming the leaderboards. EPICENTER’s first ever CS:GO event certainly have proven exceptional. We will be patient until another CS:GO event coming from their schedule.