Heroic Claims the last Trophy of the Season at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals
The final tournament of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive season, and potentially ever, has come to a close. Heroic’s streak of heartbreaking playoff losses is now over, as the Danish squad took a 2-1 victory over the defending Major champions Team Vitality.
Starting off Strong
Heroic’s journey at Washington D.C. began with a bang. The number two ranked team in the world according to HLTV took a convincing 2-0 sweep over Complexity in their opening match. In the winners’ match, Heroic overcame an overtime scare on Nuke against FaZe Clan before crushing them in Inferno. The 2-0 victory guaranteed Heroic a semifinals berth. However, semifinals were where their problems began as usual.
Another Playoff Scare
Heroic’s semifinal opponent was a surprising one. Imperial Esports, a Brazilian underdog squad ranked 33rd in the world, made a huge splash in the group stage by upsetting Team Vitality. The Brazilians were not the easy win that everyone perceived them as coming into the BLAST Spring Finals.
Map one was Imperial’s Overpass. After a tight 8-7 first half, Heroic came out on top 16-13 with some clutch late map round wins. However, Imperial fired right back on Heroic’s Inferno pick. The Danish side’s nerves were on full display as Imperial put up a wall on the CT side. Their woes culminated in the biggest round throw of the tournament, putting Inferno out of reach. The 16-11 win forced the series to Nuke.
Neither team could gain a solid edge in regulation. After 30 rounds, the match fell to a winner-takes-all overtime. With the score tied at 17-17, team captain Casper “cadiaN” Møller put the team on his back with a 3K, 1v2 clutch to get to match point.
Heroic would close the match out in a 19-17 victory, booking their ticket to the team’s third Grand Final of the year. Their opponents were Team Vitality, the team that denied Heroic the IEM Rio trophy just a month-and-a-half ago.
The BLAST Spring Grand Finals
The trophy match kicked off on Vitality’s home turf of Vertigo. Heroic were big underdogs on the map. Despite that, they showed a masterclass on the T side after an insane Deagle 4K from Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard set the tone. Heroic capitalized on one of the weakest CT showings from star AWPer Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut ever, 2-12 with 30 ADR, to earn a 9-6 lead at the half.
The momentum didn’t stop there. A second consecutive pistol round win helped Heroic up to a comfortable 13-6 lead. Vitality started showing up towards the end of the map, but it was too little too late. A 16-9 victory put Heroic on the cusp of their first trophy of 2023.
Now on Mirage, Heroic once again started with a pistol round win. This time however, Vitality immediately stood their ground with a force buy. The first half was hotly contested by both squads. It was Vitality who would take a narrow 8-7 lead, thanks in part to ZywOo finally showing up to the server with plays like this.
Heroic continued their perfect pistol round record, bringing them to take the lead for the first time in the map. Now on CT side, the odds of them closing out their map pick and winning the trophy were high. Vitality had other ideas. Their key fraggers came to life on the offense. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen led the way with 13 kills and 101.3 ADR, good for a huge 1.78 HLTV rating. Lotan “Spinx” Giladi wasn’t far behind with 10 kills and 84.5 ADR of his own.
Heroic stood no chance as Vitality barreled their way into the bomb sites repeatedly. After winning eight of the final nine rounds, Vitality took Mirage 16-10. The stage was set for a final tiebreaker map.
Bringing Home the Trophy
The decider map was Inferno. Vitality had smelled blood in the water ever since Heroic’s awful showing against Imperial on the map. They pounced early, earning their first pistol round win of the series and getting off to a 5-1 lead. However, Heroic were not about to let their past failures define them. They got back on the board with a five round win streak and threatened to take a commanding lead. However, a chaotic round 14 was clutched out by Spinx, locking in an 8-7 half.
Heroic got right back to winning ways on the sixth and final pistol round, sending themselves up to 11 rounds. Vitality started finding their groove on CT side, locking in two rounds of their own. ZwyOo was clearly warmed up at this point, and his 1.42 rating would be the highest on the server. Unfortunately for Vitality, the rest of their team went silent.
With fire in their veins, Heroic stormed through the Vitality defenses to win four rounds in a row and close out the championship. The following celebration was a long time coming for cadiaN and this Heroic team.
The CS:GO season has now concluded. Heroic grabbing the last trophy is symbolic in a way, the most consistent team throughout 2023 has finally achieved a first-place finish. This season also had numerous other landmarks, including FaZe Clan closing out the Intel Grand Slam and Vitality winning the last CS:GO Major. No one knows for sure if CS:GO will be returning for one final season, or if Counter-Strike 2 will take the torch. Regardless, it has been a memorable season all around, and Counter-Strike will continue to deliver.