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27 06, 2017

CLOUD9 AND LIQUID INVITED TO IEM OAKLAND

Cloud9 and Team Liquid have been invited to attend IEM Oakland, ESL has announced.

The North American duo join Astralis, FaZe, G2 and SK, who were all previously invited by ESL.

Both teams were last weekend in attendance at the ECS Season 3 Finals, in London. They were in the same group, with only Cloud9 managing to progress to the semi-finals, in which they would be defeated by FaZe.

Cloud9 confirmed at IEM Oakland

IEM Oakland will run from November 18-19 at the Oracle Arena, with $300,000 up for grabs. Two more teams will be determined by invites, while the remaining four sides will come from qualifiers, which have not yet been announced.

Below you can find a provisional list of participants for IEM Oakland:

Denmark Astralis Europe FaZe
Brazil SK France G2
United States Cloud9 United States Liquid
Other Invite Other Invite
Other Qualifier Other Qualifier
Other Qualifier Other Qualifier

Source: HLTV.org

26 06, 2017

SK DEFEAT FAZE TO WIN ECS SEASON 3

SK Gaming came from behind to defeat FaZe on three maps and win the ECS Season 3 title.

The series began on SK’s map pick, Mirage, but the early stages would have suggested otherwise as FaZe cruised to a 10-2 lead. It all began with an A push from the European team in the pistol round, with Nikola “NiKo” Kovač picking up three stunning headshots.

The first full gun round also went FaZe’s way, courtesy of a quad kill from Håvard “rain” Nygaard, but SK rallied back on a force buy. FaZe responded by taking the next round, breaking SK’s economy by denying the Brazilians the chance to save weapons.

SK would go on to take a second round, thanks to a quad kill from João “felps” Vasconcellos, but once again they were unable to capitalise on that. With the scoreline 10-2, the Brazilians finally managed to string rounds together, winning the final three rounds of the half to keep their hopes alive.

Fernando “fer” Alvarenga opened up the second half with an entry frag on A before picking up three more frags near the jungle area. The Brazilians continued amassing rounds and eventually restored parity at 11-11.

It looked like FaZe had no response to SK’s pace, but then the game took a turn. With a triple kill on B, Fabien “kioShiMa”Fiey put FaZe back in the lead, with rain following that up with a trio of kills of his own on the other site. SK still called a timeout in an attempt to halt FaZe’s momentum, but the damage was done: the European team would go on to win the next three rounds in convincing fashion to lock down the map, 16-11.

SK secure ECS title in dramatic fashion after winning two maps in OT

The next map, Inferno, began with a flawless B execute from FaZe, who also picked up both anti-eco rounds. After losing the first gun round, FaZe restored a three-round lead with an A execute, but then they were torn apart on their way to B, where Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo secured three frags with the AWP.

What followed was a very dominant period from FaZe, who won seven of the next nine rounds, with fer ending the half on 21 frags.

FalleN went huge in the pistol round as Terrorists, picking up an ace, but it was all for naught as he could not kill the defuser on time in a 1v2 situation. SK hit back on a force buy, which propelled them into a 12-7 lead.

FaZe then tightened up their defence, winning five of the next six rounds to bring the deficit to a minimum. With a force buy, SK got their 14th round of the game and left FaZe strapped for cash. It looked like the map was about to come to an end, but the game took yet another surprising twist as FaZe pulled one back with a B stack on eco.

The European team went on to reach match point but they could not deal the finishing blow, wasting a 4v2 advantage in the final round to let the game go to overtime, in which SK would secure the win with a flawless CT display.

FaZe were one round away from victory but could not close it out

The final map of the series was Train, where the first-half was a one-sided affair from the get-go. SK jumped out to a commanding 11-0 lead as FaZe simply could not find a way through the brick wall that was the Brazilians’ defence.

After calling a timeout, FaZe finally got a round on the board in a force-buy, and they followed that up with a gun round thanks to three quick kills from Aleksi “allu” Jalli with an AWP. But that was as far as they would go as SK bagged the final two rounds of the half to take a 13-2 half-time lead.

And that was when insanity began. FaZe put on a near-flawless display on the CT side, giving SK Gaming very little room to operate. Once again, the European team reached match point, only to be caught out in the final round.

The first half of overtime ended with FaZe taking two rounds. The second half went down to the wire, with SK securing three straight rounds to seal a 19-17 victory.

ECS Season 3 Finals standings:

1. Brazil SK – $250,000
2. Europe FaZe – $120,000
3-4. Denmark Astralis – $65,000
3-4. United States Cloud9 – $65,000
5-6. France G2 – $45,000
5-6. United States Liquid – $45,000
7-8. United States OpTic – $35,000
7-8. Sweden fnatic – $35,000

Source: HLTV.org

22 06, 2017

ENCE RELEASE SQUAD

ENCE have announced that they have dispensed with the services of their CS:GO team.

In a statement, ENCE boss Juha “aNGeldusT” Kurppajustified the move with the “lack of drive and motivation within the team to achieve the expected levels” set out by the organisation.

After parting ways with their previous team at the end of 2016, ENCE made another foray into Counter-Strike in February by signing four members of SkitLite, who were joined by Tony “arvid” Niemelä.

arvid & co are released by ENCE

While playing under ENCE’s banner, the team struggled to make their mark on European Counter-Strike, with their only offline appearance, at LanTrek, ending in a disappointing 9th-12th placed finish.

“After trying out numerous alternatives, the team and organisation felt that the situation wasn’t providing the right results and thus we decided to part ways,” aNGeldusT added.

“ENCE still strives for Professional eSports in the Nordics, and we will continue to spearhead that movement in the future.

“Rather than counting out CSGO, we are re-focusing our efforts to find the best match for our organization and a benchmark for Finnish CS, the way it’s meant to be.”

The following players are now free agents:

Finland Tony “arvid” Niemelä
Finland Ville “rEplan” Ijäs
Finland Joel “joel b” Borgström
Finland Mikael “ociriz” Karkinen
Finland Simo “Leaf” Mykkänen

Source: HLTV.org

20 06, 2017

GRAYHOUND SIGN EX-IMMUNITY

Grayhound Gaming have announced that they have completed the signing of the ex-Immunity CS:GO team.

The Australian team had been on the lookout for a new organisation to represent after parting ways with Immunity, whom they last represented at the ZEN Esports Network Season 1 Finals, in Sydney.

Grayhound Gaming are a brand new Australian organisation, launched in March 2017. According to their mission statement, Grayhound aim to lead their team of “passionate and knowledgeable minds” to “dominate the Oceanic Region and, ultimately, become an enterprise honing a diverse repertoire of Australian teams for all competitive esports.”

MoeycQ & co sign for Grayhound Gaming

The Australian team are currently making their first appearance for Grayhound, against Dark Sided, in the AOC CyberGamer Premier League. Later this week, they will take part in the Asia-Oceania qualifier for DreamHack Masters Malmö 2017, to which they have been invited.

Grayhound have the following roster:

Australia Callum “BURNRUOk” Henderson
Australia Mohammed “MoeycQ” Tizani
New Zealand Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai
Mongolia Erka “erkaSt” Gantulga
Australia Montheara “prakM” Prak

Australia Alex “Magikkk” Langusch (coach)

Source: HLTV.org

19 06, 2017

IMMUNITY LOSE TEAM

Immunity and their CS:GO team have decided to part ways, Callum “BURNRUOk” Henderson has revealed.

The announcement came just hours after Immunity finished in third place at the ZEN Esports Network Season 1 Finals, in Sydney, following back-to-back 2-0 defeats to South Korean side MVP PK.

Along with the departure from Immunity, whom the team had joined in August of 2016, the players have announced that Montheara “prakM” Prak, formerly of Cypher, will be replacing James “James” Quinn on the roster permanently.

Australian team part ways with Immunity and with James

The news about the 23-year-old’s departure comes as little surprise as he had not played for the team since April. At their last two events, the Asia Minor and the ZEN Esports League Finals,  Immunity fielded two different stand-ins,Travis “wizard” Richardson and Chris “cozeh” Cossyvas, respectively.

“The reasoning behind the removal of JAMES was just due to personal issues,” Mohammed “MoeycQ” Tizani told respawn.ninja.

“There were a lot of personality clashes and things of that nature. It just became a toxic environment and it needed immediate fixing. Since the removal of JAMES – no disrespect to him as a player, he’s a great in-game leader with great fragging capability – the environment in general has been a lot better.

“We’ve united as a team and hopefully, after this event, we can solidify a few things and get back to work.

“prakM’s a great kid. Very sharp, very up and coming, quite talented, good attitude. It’ll help to have that consistent five and have Alex, MAGIKK, our coach, be a lot more consistent in his role.

“Put that all together and I think, hopefully, we should have a good performance at our next event.”

Contacted by HLTV.org, James stated that he is currently assessing his options, and revealed that he is receptive to the idea of taking up a coaching role.

“It was not working out between myself and the players, and I decided it would be better for myself and the team to part ways, but I wish them nothing but the best,” he told HLTV.org.

“A big ‘thank you’ needs to go to Tony “Sent1nel” Trubridge (owner of Team Immunity), who’s done more than enough for me personally, I owe a lot to him.

“As for now – my future – I’m exploring all opportunities in regards to coaching or playing, but as soon as I have something concrete I will make a full statement.”

The ex-Immunity team, who have been invited to compete in the Asia-Oceania qualifier for DreamHack Masters Malmö 2017, which will run from Friday to Sunday, now have:

Australia Callum “BURNRUOk” Henderson
Australia Mohammed “MoeycQ” Tizani
New Zealand Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai
Mongolia Erka “erkaSt” Gantulga
Australia Montheara “prakM” Prak

Source: HLTV.org

18 06, 2017

XYP9X CREATES DANISH PLAYER UNION

Astralis player Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth has partnered up with DEF-Sport to create a players’ union for Danish esports athletes.

Esports, and especially CS:GO, have grown to exceptional heights during the last couple of years, attracting new people to join the market.

Today, Dust2.dk revealed that Astralis player Andreas“Xyp9x” Højsleth has created a players’ union for Danish esports athletes called Esport Spillerforeningen through a cooperation with DEF-Sport, the union behind the Danish badminton, basketball and ice hockey players’ associations.

Xyp9x is one of the brains behind the players’ union.

The union aims to represent Danish players who plan to become professional one day. Having a contract is not a requirement to be part of the union, but players need to have the ambition of being contracted at some point in the future.

As a paying member of the union, players will have access to counseling and help regarding legal relationships, pension, savings, missing salary and prizes, taxes and education. The director of the union, Mads Øland, is also the director of the football players’ association in Denmark. Over the years, he has had several clashes with Danish football clubs and the country’s football association over matters like holiday allowance and extra payment for sponsor agreements.

Xyp9x gave the following statement to Dust2.dk:

We are professional athletes – not lawyers, accountants or agents. Expertise is necessary to ensure players’ rights. And as a professional, you do not have the time to focus on these things while performing and playing. Therefore, it is important that you can get help with that of your player association, which 100% defends your interests.
It’s exactly the same as in any other sport, here we are not different from them. So, therefore, I am very pleased that DEF sports have moved into esport and recognize it as a sport.

We are professional athletes – not lawyers, accountants or agents. Expertise is necessary to ensure players’ rights. And as a professional, you do not have the time to focus on these things while performing and playing. Therefore, it is important that you can seek help within a players’ union that 100% defends your interests as a player.

It’s exactly the same as in any other sport, we are not different from them. Therefore, I am very pleased that DEF-Sport have moved into esport and recognize it as a sport.

The move from DEF-Sport comes after the focus on esports in Denmark boomed following Astralis’ victory at the ELEAGUE Major, in January. Earlier this year, an agency for Danish CS:GO players called Unique esport was created. It currently represents players like Allan “AnJ” Jensen, Danni “smF” Dygand Peter “Inzta” Kragelund.

Source: HLTV.org

13 06, 2017

NIP SIGN REZ; FRIBERG STEPS DOWN

Ninjas in Pyjamas have announced the signing of Fredrik “REZ” Sterner from Epsilon.

The 19-year-old will replace Adam “friberg” Friberg, who has stepped down from the active roster, bringing an end to a long association that began in August 2012, when the NiP brand was revived by Emil “HeatoN” Christensen.

Fredrik “REZ” Sterner becomes the second player to join NiPfrom Epsilon, following in the footsteps of William “draken”Sundin, who signed for the team in March.

The Swedish giants hoped that by bringing in a dedicated AWPer to replace Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi they would be able to end a run of poor form that had seen them miss the ELEAGUE Major.

REZ will play for NiP

But results continued to worsen even after injecting some new blood as NiP finished 9th-11th at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3, 5th-6th at cs_summit, 10th in ESL Pro League and 12th-14th in the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor, which meant that, for the second time in a row, they would sit out the biggest event in the world.

REZ is widely regarded as one of the most talented young players hailing from Scandinavia. He holds a LAN Rating of 1.15 and his biggest achievements to date are winning the World Cyber Arena Finals and placing 5th-8th at WESG.

“I am extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to play for NiP,” he told NiP’s website. “This is a dream for every player who is working their way into the top scene.

“Together with the NiP team, I strongly believe we will reach the top. Reuniting with draken is also something that I am really looking forward to as he has been a longtime teammate and a close friend.

“I am stoked to continue my career together with him and the other guys at NiP.”

friberg’s future is unclear at this point, but HLTV.org knows that the 25-year-old remains contracted to NiP and will be offered a position within the organization if he does not continue playing.

friberg remains under a contract with NiP

While representing NiP, friberg won several international titles, including one Major, ESL One Cologne 2014. He also helped the team to finish second at four other Valve-sponsored tournaments, between 2013 and 2015.

“Our change took longer than what a normal esports team would have done, but again, we are not a normal esports team,” NiP explained.

“The ties between players, management and staff are extremely tight, we all consider each other as best friends and a true family.”

NiP now have:

Sweden Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg
Sweden Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund
Sweden Richard “Xizt” Landström
Sweden William “draken” Sundin
Sweden Fredrik “REZ” Sterner

Source: HLTV.org

12 06, 2017

BSL SET TO JOIN ESL

Former Made in Brazil and NoA player Jonas “bsl” Alsaker Vikan has announced that he has accepted a position at ESL.

In an interview with Medier24.no, the former player revealed that he will leave Trondheim-based newspaper Adresseavisen to work with ESL at the company’s office, in Cologne, and on site at the various events the company hosts worldwide.

Jonas “bsl” Alsaker Vikan did not specify which role he will be responsible for, but HLTV.org understands that he has been offered an important position within ESL’s esports staff.

bsl will be part of ESL’s esports staff

The news marks the 35-year-old’s return to esports, almost a decade after he retired as a player. During his career, he most notably played for Made in Brazil, Catch Gamer and NoA, attending multiple CPL events and also WEG Season 2.

After hanging up his mouse, he worked as General Manager of the Championship Gaming Series (CGS) franchise Berlin Allianz before he started reporting for Adresseavisen, for which he has since won several national awards. In 2013, he was the desk host at DreamHack Winter, the first Counter-Strike Major, where fnatic were crowned champions.

More details about bsl’s appointment will be announced by ESL on August 1, when he will officially start working with the company. This means that the 35-year-old will not be involved in the $250,000 ESL One Cologne, which will run from July 7-9.

Source: HLTV.org

9 06, 2017

FLIPSID3 SIGN ACADEMY TEAM

FlipSid3 Tactics have announced that they have completed the signing of ESEA Premier team BiG MiSTAKE as their academy squad.

The North American team recently finished 7th-8th in the CEVO Season 12 Main playoffs and 10th in ESEA Premier Season 24, with an 8-8 record.

FlipSid3 land an academy team who compete in ESEA Premier

Amir “X23” Khair’s men become FlipSid3’s third CS:GO squad, joining the organisation’s main team, based in the CIS region, and their South African roster, which has recently been rebranded to FlipSid3 Africa.

“Being on FlipSid3 is a super exciting opportunity for us, one that we did not see even possible three years ago” team captain X23 told HLTV.org.

“We as a roster have been working really hard to grow an improve as a unit, and it is really exciting and motivating to have that noticed and to now be part of an established brand. We are going to try our best!”

FlipSid3’s academy team, who lost their first match in ESEA Premier 25, a 16-13 defeat against subtLe, have the following roster:

United States Amir “X23” Khair
United States Emanual “cHEEtur” Sifuentes
United States Jeremy “k00k” Lincoln
United States Rich “Rich” Sylvestri
United States Jacob “Jacob” Flores

Source: HLTV.org

6 06, 2017

K29 SIGN FOR NEMIGA

Nemiga Gaming have announced the signing of the Belarusian team known as K29.

The move comes as a timely boost for the Belarusian team, who will attend the CIS Minor, in Moscow, later this week.

CyberFocus’ team join Nemiga

Created in October by bringing together the most talented players in the country, the team have shown promise in recent weeks. After securing a spot at the Minor via the online qualifier, in which they played out a close series against Spirit, K29 reached the closed qualifier for ESL One Cologne, finishing 9th-12th after a 2-0 defeat against dignitasin the first round.

“There are no organisations in Belarus that can compete with the giants of esports,” Nemiga CEO Sergei Voronovich said in a statement.

“We want to build such an organisation by organising training processes, analytics, fan interaction, content and sponsors.

“Work in these areas will lay the foundations for future victories. Right now, we are hiring staff for the organisation and looking for promising players in different games.”

Nemiga have been drawn into Group A of the CIS Minor, alongside Spirit Academy, Tengri and Vega Squadron, with their first match pitting them against Alexey “NickelBack”Trofimov’s team.

The Belarusian team have the following roster:

Belarus Roman “CyberFocus” Dergach
Belarus Roman “roman” Redihin
Belarus Kirill “hitMouse” Tsarev
Belarus Igor “dERZKIY” Radosavlevich
Belarus Vladimir “ROBO” Neskey

Belarus Yuriy “keep3r” Mikulchik

Source: HLTV.org