DreamHack Masters: No. 2 SK Gaming Topple No. 6 North in Semifinal

by Steven Cropley

No. 2 in the WWG CSGO Team RankingsSK Gaming has looked great since the addition of Joao "felps" Vasconcellos. The team although not performing poorly when using Ricardo "fox" Pacheco as a stand-in has looked reinvigorated with its new roster. The freshness has brought back more resemblance of the SK Gaming seen during its back-to-back Major titles. No. 6 North, on the other hand, has continued its slow start with a gradual ramp up pattern. Losing its first game to No. 10 OpTic before bouncing back to make it out of the group where the Danes took on No. 11 Gambit Gaming in a tightly contested series. The Danish side showed grit in its win over Gambit, going into overtime on map two where it pulled away for the 22-20 victory. Something to note is Emil 'Magisk' Reif of North and Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga both finished with +17 kill-to-death ratios in their respective quarterfinal matches. It was only fer who continued the performance moving into the battle between the two, however.

(Photo: ELEAGUE)

Map one started favoring SK, getting off to a substantial lead before North began to claw its way back in, its late half surge allowing it a respectable three round deficit going into the second half 9-6 in favor of the Brazilian. Winning the pistol round to kick off half number two, SK furthered its lead. When both teams managed to buy, things got a little more competitive. North would be on the positive side of the round exchanges, managing to pass fer and co. to lead 14-13. This is where things turned around though as SK would close out the final three rounds to take a tightly contested map one 16-14.

SK would keep the momentum heading into map two, the Dane's pick of Mirage. Picking up the first five rounds before North's in-game leader Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen came out on top of a 1v3 to get his team on the board. Another 9-6 half would play out, SK giving up plenty more rounds but riding a strong start coupled with a few more notches. Winning yet another pistol round would set the Brazilian side up for further success. Taking the following anti-ecos would put SK just four rounds away from winning the series. North was able to pick up rounds but SK responded with one of its own each time, a set of exchanges that North could not win with. SK would reach 16 to North's 9 and the Danes would be eliminated.