When it comes down to a final between two top-tier heavyweights, you expect all of your players to be on form—but when no less than four out of ten finalists close out rounds by killing every member of the enemy team by themselves, you’ve found something special.
The climax of this weekend’s DreamHack London was one such occasion, as French team EnVyUs edged out Danish rivals Team SoloMid in a 2-0 stormer. The pair were the two most-highly seeded squads at the two-day event, so there was little surprise that they found their way to opposite sides of the final bracket. Resistance along the way came in the form of Copenhagen Wolves’ new roster, their old roster (now belonging to Team Dignitas with few modifications), SK Gaming, the Australian upstarts Renegade and—owing to the London location—two British teams: Gamers2 and EZSkins.
The British are leaving: KennyS' amazing AWP triple
As the final attests, resistance was futile—particularly for the ailing UK CS scene. Admirable though it is to feature the once-great nation’s brightest hopes alongside previous DreamHack winners and ESL One contenders like TSM, the effect was akin to leaving lions to babysit lambs. Even former CS 1.6 and Source legends such as EZSkins’ Sam ‘RattlesnK’ Gawn were no match for the inhuman AWPing skills of EnVy’s latest addition Kenny ‘KennyS’ Schrub.
Assassin's creed: twist's acrobatic Glock headshot
One team proving to at least resemble a thorn in both finalists’ sides was Copenhagen Wolves, managing to take second in TSM’s group and coming up against EnVy in the semifinals. It’s not much consolation for the squad, who lost convincingly to both teams, but CW’s Simon ‘twist’ Eliasson can be proud of what was the most unexpected play of the Sunday before the final began. Hopping off the B-site balcony on Mirage and showing some air control worthy of any Surf practice maps, the Swede lands a headshot on poor unsuspecting Nathan ‘NBK-’ Schmitt to prove that the Wolves still have some bite.
Down to the wire: Kio's almost-flawless victory
However, after the lights dimmed and the final teams got serious on the Copper Box Arena’s main stage, much of the weekend’s action seemed to pale in comparison. The first indicator of which was EnVy’s second round win on Dust II, having lost the pistol round. Halting TSM’s early economic lead by wiping them out and taking their hard-earned guns prevented the usual snowball scenario of the pistol-round winner taking two or three more in a row. As such, the entire first half was kept incredibly close, with EnVy finishing ahead at 9-6. Heading into the second half pistol round with EnVy on the Counter-Terrorist side, the magic began as Fabien 'Kioshima' Fiey pulled off the first ace of the proceedings, only to lose the round as he ran out of time to defuse.
Stay cool: Kioshima's burning sacrifice
A mistake Kio made sure to rectify a mere 11 rounds later, to put EnVy into a strong match-point position. Having worked his way masterfully onto the A-site again, dispatching cajunB and safe in the knowledge that Karrigan was too low on health to risk a peek, he sets about defusing. Karrigan’s elegant solution was to molotov the entire bomb area from safety. But Kio simply wasn’t about to leave a job half done again and gives his life for the cause, as the final tick of burn damage kills him a fraction of a second after the defuse finishes.
Swarm of bullets: Karrigan's revenge ace
Having sent a strong statement by closing out Dust II 16-13, EnVy went about leaving their mark on Inferno too in the second map of the best-of-three. This time, winning the pistol round and following through with a natural economic advantage on the next two left them with a healthy 3-0 lead. Stepping up to the plate—and making up for not cooking a hot enough molotov in the last map—Finn 'Karrigan' Andersen threw down the second ace of the finals, mopping up the mess left on mid by teammate cajunB’s perfectly timed grenade.
Juan in a million: Happy's Desert Eagle rampage
Match balance restored by Karrigan's ace, things remained square until well into the second half as EnVy took up defensive positions as Counter-Terrorists. Having let TSM back into the game and lost the second pistol round, they were struggling to find purchase and embarked on an 'eco' round to save money for later. Completely undeterred by this situation, and with Desert Eagle in hand, Vincent 'Happy' Schopenhauer landed an impossible ace, with four near-perfect 'Juan Deag' single-tap headshots.
Oh, snap: KennyS' lightning AWP reactions
Spurred on by the heroics of his team-mate, and despite a losing streak after Happy’s rampage, KennyS found the fourth ace of the night for EnVy to regain momentum. Not sated by that, he then went on an extremely aggressive push up into apartments with the AWP in order to land a snapshot so fast he may need a wrist splint for the next week.
The 2-0 final score to EnVy belies how incredibly close and tense each map was, and the extent to which TSM stepped up to the plate. EnVy, however, have proven that their new roster—which prevented them appearing at the last DreamHack event, where TSM prevailed—is nothing short of terrifying. The teams won’t need to wait long for a rematch, however, as DreamHack Stockholm begins this week and if both keep up this level of tense competition the Swedish crowd will only need the edge of their seats. And possibly a cardiologist.
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