At the beginning of the WESG 2018, Windigo Gaming was nowhere on the list of favorites. However, they upset three front runners at the event and defeated AGO to claim the title in China. Before the event, no one expected thiss, but Windigo Gaming are the WESG 2018 champions.
The path of the WESG 2018 champions
East Europe Qualifier
The Bulgarian squad began their WESG 2018 journey at Open East Europe Qualifier. In the first round of the Qualifier, Windigo knocked out another Bulgarian team, BPro Gaming in B01 match. In the Semi-finals, they eliminated FCDB Esports and overcame Space Soldiers in Open Qualifier Final. The next and final step on the road to the LAN event was the Grand Final of East Europe Qualifier.
The Bulgarians met Turkish Low-Tier team, ex-Royal Bandits. It was a pretty easy job for bubble and company as they won 2-0 (16-11, 16-7).
When the groups were drawn, Windigo was supposed to play with ENCE, Fnatic, and Riders within the group. However, ENCE withdrew from the event due to visa and scheduling issues. As a result, Group E, where the WESG 2018 champions was, had only three teams. Who knows what would happen if ENCE took part in WESG 2018. The situation looked much better for Windigo with only three teams in the group. They had a much better chance to advance further without facing ENCE.
Indeed, Windigo started the event defeating the Spanish squad, Riders 2-0. Windigo had an easy job on their best map (Train, 16-4), but they had to play Overtime on Mirage (19-16). The victory over Riders basically meant that the WESG 2018 champions secured a Play-off. Afterwards, the Bulgarians also managed to take one map in the meeting with Fnatic. Therefore, they finished the Group Stage at the top of Group E.
According to draw, Windigo’s first opponent in the Play-off was Furious from Argentina. The Bulgarian squad just cruised through Overpass (16-3) and Inferno (16-7) to book the meeting with MiBR. The first map was Dust 2 and MiBR won the first half with minimal advantage. Windigo dominated in the second half clinching all remaining rounds. MiBR responded on Train in the same manner, securing that map with scoreline 16-8.
The map of the decision was Overpass, the second best map of Windigo and the worst MiBR’s map. Consequently, Windigo was leading 14-3 after 17 rounds. MiBR tried hard to come back but it turned out to be a long shot for Brazilians. Windigo prevailed to advance to WESG 2018 Semi-final.
There, they faced another big CS:GO name, G2 Esports. At that moment, two big favorites, MiBR and Fnatic, were out. So, G2 was the next biggest favorite for winning the title. Everything was going smoothly for the Frenchmen on Cache in the first half (12-3). Regardless, Windigo was the first team who reached 15 rounds. Hence, G2 had to fight for Overtime, and they accomplished that. Windigo were the calmer team and won the first leg in Overtime.
It was self-evident that the French squad was mentally down. On top of that, SHiPZ from Windigo Gaming had an extraordinary performance, getting 37 (24 headshots) frags and having 161,9 damage per round. His rating was 2.59 and no one from G2 could stop SHiPZ. It was more than enough for WESG 2018 champions to secure Overpass with ending score 16-7 and reach the Grand Final.
— WESG (@WESGcom) March 17, 2019
No one expected Windigo Gaming to come to the finals. Perhaps even they didn’t expect that. So, reaching the Grand Final was a great achievement for the Bulgarians but they were fortunate to have another underdog as their opponent. Namely, AGO Gaming managed to knock out Fnatic and basically cleared Windigo’s way to their first big title.
However, beating AGO wasn’t an easy task to accomplish. Surely, there was a lot of pressure on the shoulders of both teams as stakes were so high. The difference between the winner and loser wasn’t just a trophy but also $300,000.
AGO was the team who dealt with pressure better in the first leg. They secured Inferno (16-14) against WESG 2018 champions. One of the crucial rounds was the 9th round when GruBy from AGO defended the Bombsite A with an Ace.
The biggest achievement in the history of Windigo
This is undoubtedly the biggest achievement of the Bulgarian team. The WESG 2018 champions previously won nine tournaments, but all of them were Minor events with very small prize pools and relatively weak competition. Moreover, this was the first time that Windigo took part in a LAN event of a big event. Practically, this was their debut on the big stage, and they made it huge.
Alongside trophy, WESG 2018 champions took $500,00 home. Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin, the HLTV writer, commented on such a big success of Windigo:
“Windigo won $500,000 at WESG. Who remembers them having to play the BO1 single-elim qualifier which overlapped with ESL Pro League matches and the dispute Bpro made because UCC delayed half of the bracket for a day to accommodate for Windigo? Could’ve been a very different story”
(source: Professeur’s Twitter account)
As expected, the MVP of the tournament is SHiPZ from Windigo. Here is what he said about his team’s huge achievement:
“It was not expected at all because we had some problems in our team, during the bootcamp we didn’t play really well. We had some expectations coming in, like we knew that if we got out of the groups we would make it far, but after beating MIBR we were pretty sure we were going to win the tournament.”
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