With live audience barred because of coronavirus, CS:GO finals breaks stream records

by gab pe
Mar 2, 2020
PHOTO: ESL Counter-Strike

When Russian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Natus Vincere (more commonly known as Na'vi) hoisted the coveted CS:GO trophy, the Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Katowice 2020, they did so minus the cheers and jeers of the scene's most passionate fans.

Due to the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus, the city government of Silesia, Poland revoked the tournament’s mass event license at the last minute. The 11,500-seat Spodek Arena was almost empty for the main stages. ESL has already announced that they would refund ticket holders after announcing the abrupt change.

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IEM Katowice has a long history of being a premier tournament in the game's professional scene. In fact, it was one of the two annual CS:GO Majors last year, with Astralis winning the IEM Master's trophy.

Despite winning in an empty stadium, all eyes were on Na'vi and G2 during the finals, as the match broke CS:GO's recent viewership record, peaking at 1,002,132 viewers — one of the game's highest viewed matches.

Na'vi didn’t give G2 any room to breathe, going 16-4 in Nuke, and mounting a comeback in Dust 2, 16-13, before completely demolishing the French organization in Mirage, 16-2. It was a team effort from the Russians, as they each scored double-digit frags, but it was their in-game leaders, Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov and AWPer Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who led the way with a 65-37 and 59-29 combined K/D respectively.

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With the win, Na'vi take home USD 250,000 (about P12,700,000), while G2 pocketed USD 100,000 (about P5,086,000).

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The win completed Na'vi's cinderella run, as they eliminated fabled organizations such as Team Liquid in the quarterfinals, 2-0, before completely outclassing four-time CS:GO, Major winners, Astralis, 2-0, in the semifinals.

The weekend also saw Jin Air's Lee "Rogue" Byeong Yeol beat RYE Gaming's Joo "Zest" Sung Wook to become the first two-time IEM Katowice StarCraft II winner.

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PHOTO: ESL Counter-Strike
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