Sanji, Buster, Qikert, Jame and Yekindar made it three CS_Summit event wins in a row and romped to another $100,000 prize purse as they dismantled a new look Fnatic side in the grand final of CS_Summit 7 on January 31st.
The Polish org had been in electric form prior to the event, winning at Flashpoint Season 2 and DreamHack Open in December, and it’s hard to argue against them fully deserving the win here at CS_Summit. Over the course of the competition, Virtus.Pro faced some seriously strong opponents in Ninjas in Pyjamas (twice), FURIA, Mousesports and Fnatic, but not only did they win all five of their matches, they did so without dropping a single map in the process.
There were numerous high profile storylines that developed over the course of the tournament that will be interesting to see develop as some of the year’s bigger events such as ESL Pro League Season 13, the BLAST Spring Showdown and IEM Katowice 2021 loom on the horizon. In the meantime however, let’s look back at how CS:GO’s second S-Tier grand final played out.
Fnatic Fall Short, But Show Plenty Of Promise
As the world transitioned into the online era following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fnatic saw their stock tumble from one of the world’s finest orgs to a team lacking both ideas and desire. Their veteran core trio of JW, Krimz and Flusha were the standout underperformers in the latter half of 2020, and the December player break brought with it the badly needed rotation of the latter being moved to the inactive bench.
21 year old Jackinho was brought in as a fresh face, and his introduction to the world of hyper-competitive S-Tier Counter-Strike can be seen as a real success so far. The young Swede described being involved with Fnatic as a ‘dream come true’, and perhaps this refreshing attitude just gave the veteran players in the side a renewed sense of energy.
The reshuffling of the side in terms of positions and holds also gave Fnatic the edge of the unknown against their opponents, with the likes of Heroic, Cloud9, OG and Complexity all struggling to pin the Swedes down. However, despite being well short of other sides in the CS:GO odds for the tournament at Esports betting sites such as Unikrn, Fnatic also brought with them a much more refined and clearer identity in terms of their map pool with the likes of Train and Vertigo coming in as their surprise picks.
Unfortunately for Fnatic, they faced off against a side in Virtus.Pro who were as equally as proficient on them.
Fine Margins Prove To Be The Difference On Inferno
In a traditional best of three series, winning the first map is absolutely crucial in terms of setting the tone and establishing a comfortable narrative for a side, and that is especially the case in a grand final. Both Fnatic and Virtus.Pro had achieved that in their respective semi-finals against Heroic and Mousesports, and there was a real sense of it being especially important in the opening map of Inferno.
The most picked map at the event and a favourite for both sides, the tension was more than palpable as rounds swung from one side to the other. Jame converted a crucial 1v3 post-plant clutch to force Fnatic onto the backfoot in the opening half, and from then on it was always the Swedes who were behind.
The first map went the full thirty rounds available, with Virtus.Pro edging out Fnatic on both halves by a 8-7 scoreline. Winning the first half on the T side was especially important for VP, with Fnatic throughout the tournament really struggling to muster together the cohesiveness needed to win on the CT, so succumbing to a loss on that side in a grand final would have made a real mountain for the Poles to climb.
Being edged out by the barest of margins in a grand final is sure to mess with your head if you’re a professional player, and Fnatic went into their surprise map pick of Vertigo on the wrong end of another punishing 1v3 clutch loss, this time coming against Yekindar for Virtus.Pro. It was clear by that point that Fnatic had put everything into the first map, and that sloppy start to Vertigo proved to be their final nail in the coffin.
Virtus.Pro closed out Vertigo much more comfortably with a 16-8 scoreline, with Yekindar top scoring with a final rating of 1.33 in the series, 44 kills and a positive K/D ratio of +11, the best of anyone in the server. He would also win CS_Summit 7’s MVP tournament, adding to the list of potential suitors eyeing up his talents.