With a monitor being left on in the background of high-profile Team Vitality’s stream during BLAST, the internet is rife with discussion over what should be done.
Richard Lewis reacts to the alleged stream sniping controversy at the BLAST Premier Global Finals, as concerns were raised after Team Vitality appeared to have a stream of the event playing in their tournament room.
While it’s probably an accident on Vitality’s front, Richard believes that he’d have disqualified them to prove a point to all CS:GO organizations that there’s a zero-tolerance policy on stream sniping. He adds that it’s important not to point the finger at ESIC, because BLAST should have dealt with the situation straight away.
Lewis is of the opinion that keeping those who are allowed into the room during play at a minimum is vital, as it keeps foul play at bay. With swarms of fans all over the world and a player that was recently crowned as the best player within the scene, he believes that there’s a lot of deflecting.
Many are stating that the stream wasn’t even of their game, but Richard rebuts this as misinformation, stating that while the stream is delayed by a few minutes, it still allows information to come through into how the opposition is performing.
Being featured on the front page of Reddit, Lewis believes that BLAST should have taken a stand. All this being said, though, he isn’t saying that they have cheated, even going so far as to say, “I’m sure it’s just an accident,” but maintains that as the stand-out, high profile team, Vitality taking a penalty would have shown the seriousness of this offense, accidental or not: “No joke, I would have disqualified Vitality, I would have.”
IEM Katowice 2021 has already served up some amazing matchups, and now the quarterfinals are upon us. With CIS supremacy sweeping the CS:GO server, Astralis stand as the lone force to try and stave the three Russian squads away.
Six teams have qualified for the playoffs at IEM Katowice 2021, and four of them are from CIS. Gambit, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro are hungry for quarterfinals success, while Spirit awaits one of them in the semifinals.
It’s put more pressure now, more than ever, onto two stalwarts of their respective scenes — Denmark’s (and Europe’s) Astralis, and North America’s Liquid. The latter looks reinvigorated with Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo in the squad, while the former are struggling to reach their peak online.
Ahead of this weekend’s action, let’s take a look at the two quarterfinals — Gambit vs Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro vs Astralis — and what you should expect.
Gambit vs Natus Vincere
The battle for CIS supremacy will reign on in the quarterfinals of IEM Katowice when Gambit takes on Natus Vincere. This has been a historically Na’Vi-sided matchup, to the surprise of absolutely no one.
Gambit went on a lower-bracket tear to make it to the quarterfinals of IEM Katowice, and they won’t let their rivals stand in their way. Young gun Dmitry ‘sh1ro’ Sokolov is really trying to make a name for himself as CS:GO’s next big AWPer, trying to reach the heights of idols like Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Vastyliev.
Seeing the two face off will be a treat in this quarterfinal, but don’t expect the reigning champions to take it easy. Na’Vi are really finding their stride now, and despite losing to Team Liquid to find themselves in this position, you can’t keep them down for long.
Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov and s1mple are bouncing off each other better than ever, and it really feels like a repeat of IEM Katowice 2020 is on the cards. Na’Vi didn’t make it easy for themselves there in groups, before proceeding to demolish Liquid, Astralis, and G2 Esports without dropping a single map in playoffs.
Gambit’s going to have to be prepared for a Na’Vi they’ve never faced before. It’s the biggest stage this matchup has happened on, and while the potential for an upset is there, you’d have to back Na’Vi to finish strong at Katowice.
Virtus.pro and Astralis marks the first rematch of the StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 final. Back then, Astralis were decimating anyone in their patch, and VP (then Avangar) were collateral as the Danes took home their fourth major. However, it’s funny how things change in 18 months.
Astralis’ experimentation with six and seven-man rosters has led nowhere, and with the core five back together, they’ve been struggling to get back into gear. Virtus.pro, on the other hand, has started 2021 on fire with a win at cs_summit 7 (where Astralis didn’t play).
One also has to look at how far Virtus.pro has come since then. “Jame Time” might still be the slogan, but everyone from Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov to Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Galinskis have been pulling their weight. The team isn’t as reliant on Jame’s AWP to win as they once were, and he’s taken to the IGL role like a fish to water.
If there is one time where Virtus.pro could get their revenge, it’s now. VP have taken down Vitality and FURIA — two of the best teams in the world — to get here, and Astralis have been hot and cold to start off the year. The tournament remaining online likely doesn’t help Astralis either.
However, you can never count out the Danes. Much like Gambit vs Natus Vincere, the real big ticket matchup will be Jame vs Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz. The AWPers will once again prove to be the deciding factor in this matchup, and if history is anything to go by, it should be explosive.
Buster: 45.5 total kills
Over = 115 points
Under = 85 points
Sanji: 32.5 total deaths
Over = 80 points
Under = 120 points
Magisk: 9.5 total assists
Over = 100 points
Under = 100 points
gla1ve: 13.5 total headshots
Over = 90 points
Under = 110 points
Device: 88.5 total kills and deaths
Over = 110 points
Under = 90 points
The IEM Katowice 2021 quarterfinals get underway on February 26.