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Chaos Go Out with a Bang to Win DreamHack Winter NA

Zakaria Almughrabi

DreamHack Winter, North America’s final Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament of 2020, has come to a close. Chaos Esports Club has taken the short three game playoff bracket to complete an undefeated streak at the event. This was also the last event for this roster under the Chaos banner, so a lot was riding on them finding their second consecutive tournament victory.


Chaos has taken the DreamHack Winter NA title after a long five game grand final against Team One. (Photo courtesy Chaos Esports)

Edging Out Yeah

Chaos’s first playoff match came against Yeah Gaming. The Brazilian-American squad had been improving as of late, so they would be a good stress test for the tournament favorites. Yeah’s Mirage was map one. Chaos flew out of the gate with seven CT rounds in a row. Yeah found their groove towards the end of the half, but Chaos still earned a 9-6 lead. When the sides swapped, the round distribution was mirrored to match it. Yeah had a stronger early half on defense, even finding match point first. Chaos was still able to pull it to overtime with a late surge. Their momentum carried them over the finish line in OT, allowing the American side to take a 19-16 map win.

Chaos was hoping to close the match out on Overpass. They started on the T side and performed about average. A 7-8 half was nothing to write home about, but they could still make things work on defense. Instead, Yeah came into their T side on a mission to tie the series. They obliterated Chaos’s setups time after time, winning eight of ten rounds in the second half. A quick 16-9 equalizer was the result.

Vertigo would be the tiebreaker map. Neither team wanted to give an inch in what became a very back and forth game. The score was tied at 3-3, then 5-5, then 7-7 in the first half. With all the momentum on the line, Chaos pulled off a ruthless A site pistol round rush.

Using that round to jumpstart their T side campaign, Chaos roared ahead to match point. The seven round win streak proved too much for Yeah to handle as they eventually fell to the favorites. Chaos advanced to the grand finals off of the 16-13 victory.

Five Maps, Three of Dominance

As expected, the grand finals would take place between Chaos and Team One. These squads had met four times in 2020 with Chaos taking three of them. However, this match would start off in favor of Team One. Chaos’s Nuke pick was up first. You wouldn’t assume so with how the game went. Team One absolutely shut down the North American side, holding them to just three rounds on the T side. Nothing Chaos came up with worked as their map spiraled out of control. To add insult to injury, Team One ended things quickly with four easy rounds on the T side. A brutal 16-3 map one was the result.

Chaos needed to recover quickly or be at risk of dropping to 0-2. They made a leap of faith with a second round CT force buy after Team One took the pistol round on Train. Fortunately, the North Americans would stick the landing. Led by Nathan “leaf” Orf, Chaos ran away with the first half. They earned a 10-5 lead going into the T side. Team One were not ones to give up however. After a four round win streak to open up their defense, Team One were looking to tie the game. Instead, leaf pulled off a momentum crushing clutch.

Leaf went on to drop 30 kills and 122.8 ADR while helping Chaos close out the map in style. Train went to Chaos 16-9.

Chaos brought that energy into their Overpass pick. Seemingly needing to outdo their opponents, Chaos embarked on the most one-sided map played at DreamHack Winter. Team One started off with a pistol round victory followed by a successful anti-eco. They didn’t get to play Counter-Strike after that. Chaos pulled off an incredibly rare 16 round win streak to ice the map immediately. Leaf once again put in work, earning a 23-11 K-D, 125.7 ADR, and a 2.10 HLTV rating. The absolutely brutal beating went down as a 16-2 to put Chaos on match point.

Team One had a chance to bring the series back to even on Mirage. Despite a strong 7-1 CT side start out of Chaos, the Brazilians did well to bring the score to an even 8-7 at the half. For the first time all series, both teams looked on top of their game at the same time. Eight of the 10 players in the server ended with a rating of 1.00 or higher. Chaos did manage to win the second half pistol, but had the wind taken out of their sails in the second round. The three rounds Team One got there turned out to be the difference maker. A tight half ended in a 16-13 victory for Team One, the closest map of the series.

Once again, it all came down to Vertigo. As the teams had finally had a true battle on Mirage, this map could have been a neck and neck race to the finish. Instead, Chaos wanted to take what was rightfully theirs. A dominant North American CT side ensued. Chaos put their opponents into the ground time and time again, shooting out to a 12-3 start. Team One could do little but watch as four Chaos players broke a 1.20 rating. Leading the charge was Erick “Xeppaa” Bach who managed to get 32 kills in 26 rounds. His impact was especially felt in the second half where he earned over one-third of his teams kills. Chaos eventually found the four rounds they needed to close out the game and claim the DreamHack Winter title.

With this DreamHack Winter result, a unique chapter closes on North American CS:GO. Chaos have come in to fill the gap left by the more prominent squads who have opted to play in Europe. Their two consecutive tournament wins proved that they were the next best squad the region had to offer. No one knows what will become of this roster once they become org-less, but it will be hard to forget the time that Chaos ruled over North America.