The first DreamHack Masters event kicked off in Dallas on May 28th. The DreamHack Masters Group Stage concluded with Team Liquid and ENCE topping their groups. Some of the favorites, like NRG, Fnatic, NiP and Renegades have dropped out early on in the tournament. Here are the complete details.
Upper Bracket – Team Liquid and FaZe Clan cruised to Upper Bracket Final
Group A was arguably stronger on paper than Group B as it had more top teams like FaZe, Team Liquid, Team Vitality, NiP and so on. DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage kicked off with Team Liquid besting Lucid Dream from Thailand on Dust 2 without any troubles. Lucid Dream had a competitive result only in the first half which ended with score 8-7 in Liquid’s favor. Afterward, the NA team didn’t allow the Lucid Dream to win a single round.
In the second round, Liquid met North who surprisingly defeated Team Vitality in a close match on Overpass (16-14) even though Frenchmen(Vitality) had a chance to conclude the game in their favor (14-8). In a duel between North and Liquid, we saw two almost identical legs on Nuke and Mirage. The first half of both maps ended in North’s favor (9-6), but Liquid bounced back in the second half to secure both maps.
In the final of Group A Upper Bracket, Team Liquid faced FaZe who basically cruised to the final over Windigo Gaming (16-7) and NiP (16-6, 16-7). Thus, it seemed like NEO had a good impact on FaZe Clan.
Team Liquid beat FaZe to top the group
The match between these two giants was quite exciting from the beginning. This duel kicked off on FaZe’s pick (Dust 2) where the European team had an advantage most of the time. After 25 rounds, FaZe Clan had a very good result (14-11). Nevertheless, Liquid managed to get back in the match as they won four consecutive rounds to earn map point. FaZe took the game to Overtime as they equalized the score.
However, Liquid’s player, particularly Twistzz and Stewie2k stepped up with some brilliant displays to help their team to win the map after double Overtime (22-19).
Things then moved to Liquid’s pick (Nuke). Interestingly, FaZe was the dominant team in the first half even though they generally don’t play so well on Nuke. At one point, FaZe was leading 12-1 to prove how much Nuke favors the CT side. Liquid didn’t give up on their pick but FaZe eventually put the game to bed (16-12) to take the match to map of the decision – Inferno.
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The last map was back and forth journey for both teams as neither of them managed to keep momentum on their side longer than three rounds. Only Liquid managed to win five in a row in the first half. Later on, in the second half, nitr0 and co. succeeded in planting bomb more times than FaZe did in the first half. So, the better T side helped Team Liquid to win the third map and top the Group A.
Lower Bracket – Team Vitality crushed the field
Whereas both FaZe and Team Liquid proceeded further from the Upper Bracket, there was only one spot that guaranteed a place in Play-off from the Lower Bracket. Hence, teams who lost their matches in the Upper Bracket had only one more chance to advance further. Out of the six teams who dropped from the Upper to Lower Bracket, Team Vitality prevailed in the end.
Firstly, they dominated Lucid Dream in the first round. They allowed them to win only six rounds on both maps (Dust 2, Nuke) in total. Afterward, the French team faced NiP on Overpass and Dust 2. The strongest upcoming team convincingly defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas on Overpass (16-8). However, they had to work much harder to clinch the second map. NiP showed the much better game on Dust 2, but their effort was in vain. Team Vitality knocked out the Swedes after securing the second map with minimal advantage (16-14).
In the first final of DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage Lower Bracket, Vitality met North. On both maps, Vitality showed the better T side which brought a positive outcome to them. On Nuke, they won six rounds on T side and one round more on Mirage. Afterward, it was easy for them to conclude the match when the sides switched. So, Team Vitality successfully ended DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage after defeating North(16-10, 16-11) and advancing to Quarter-final.
Upper Bracket – FURIA upset two favorites
As mentioned, Group B featured less popular and less strong names, but more upsets. ENCE was a favorite for topping the group and they completely met expectations although their victories were not so smooth. However, they kicked off DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage in a dominant manner defeating the Argentinian team, Isurus Gaming on Inferno (16-4). The Argentinians opened the game in a good fashion clinching the first three rounds, but ENCE didn’t allow them to keep winning. Sergej and allu played particularly well as they finished the game as top two rated players.
Afterward, Fiennes outlasted G2 Esports in three map series. The duel started off on ENCE’s best map, Train where they had good enough T side. After winning six rounds on the less favorable side, ENCE had an easy job on CT side. Hence, they won the map with score 16-11.
G2 Esports, who previously prevailed in a tight match against Renegades (19-17) to make the first upset, bounced back on Dust 2. They dominated ENCE in the first half (12-3) and then successfully closed the match (16-8). The map of the decision was Nuke, the map where ENCE feels very comfortable. They proved that after demolishing G2 conceding only six rounds against the French team.
In the second final of DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage, ENCE met FURIA who previously made two big upsets. Firstly, they dismantled NRG on Overpass (16-7), and then the Brazilians bested Fnatic in a convincing manner on Mirage and Nuke with an identical ending score, 16-12. Yuurih and VINI were the key players for FURIA who secured the spot in Play-off.
ENCE triumphed over FURIA to reach Semi-final
The Finnish team didn’t have an easy job in Upper Bracket final of Group B at all, even though they were favorites. At least, FURIA forced them to play three maps. Things didn’t look so well after the first half on Overpass for ENCE. They lost that half on favorable CT side with the minimal score. However, their game on T side was again at a high level as allowed FURIA to win only one round in the second half. Even in that round, ENCE managed to put a bomb down.
On the second map, however, FURIA upset ENCE on their best map, Train. This time, ENCE’s performance on T side was poor. As a result, FURIA successfully converted their huge lead from the first half (12-3) to victory (16-11). ArT played an important role in this leg for FURIA with 25 kills, 8 assists and 81.5% KAST. Anyhow, the Brazilian team didn’t manage to win the decisive map as ENCE bested them there with final scoreline 16-9. So, ENCE advanced to the Semi-final and FURIA book meeting with Team Vitality in Quarter-final.
Lower Bracket – G2 prevailed in the end
Lower Bracket of Group B actually had four Top 15 teams and one former Major champion. So, it was a really interesting sequence of the DreamHack Masters Dallas Group Stage. After losing the first map(16-13), Renegades crushed Isuruson the following two maps (16-4, 16-5) in the first round of Lower Bracket. On the other side, after splitting the first two maps (10-16, 16-11), NRG dominated Cloud9 on the map of decision (16-3).
— G2 Esports (@G2esports) May 31, 2019
In the second round, NRG and Renegades were joined by Fnatic and G2 Esports. Renegades and Fnatic split two first maps, and the third leg took place on Fnatic’s best map, Inferno. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Aussies (Renegades) to embarrass three times Major champions on their best map with ending score 16-4. On the other side, G2 outlasted NRG on Inferno (16-11) and Overpass (16-3) after losing Train in Overtime (19-17). So, the final of Lower Bracket of Group B featured a duel between G2 and Renegades who already met in the first round of Upper Bracket where G2 was victorious in Overtime.
The outcome of their second meeting was the same. Firstly, G2 bested Renegades on Inferno in a convincing manner (16-7), but AZR and co. bounced back on Dust 2 with minimal advantage victory (16-14). The map of decision (Train) was tight as well, but Frenchmen prevailed once again (16-13) to secure a spot in Quarter-final of DreamHack Masters Dallas, where they will confront FaZe Clan.