Virtus.pro Sweep Fnatic, Complete Perfect CS_Summit 7 Run
The second top tier event of 2021, cs_summit 7, has concluded. Virtus.pro’s 2-0 sweep of Fnatic in the Grand Finals capped off a flawless run. The CIS squad did not drop a single map on their way to the cs_summit trophy and $100,000 grand prize. This victory marks VP’s third straight tournament win following their Flashpoint 2 victory in late December.
Crushing the Group Stage
Virtus.pro’s journey at cs_summit 7 began in Group C. Their opening match was against the recently rebranded Ninjas in Pyjamas. The battle wasn’t even close. VP jumped out to a 10-5 start on the CT side of NiP’s Overpass pick. AWPer Dzhami “Jame” Ali spearheaded their defensive efforts with a massive 22-6 K-D ratio and 135.9 ADR, good for a 2.28 HLTV rating. VP then followed up with a perfect 6-0 T side to close out map one 16-5.
The second map of Inferno was just as one-sided. Despite starting on the T side, a 12-3 halftime lead essentially put the game on ice. Seven rounds into the second half, VP completed a 16-6 thrashing to advance to the winners’ match.
FURIA would be their opponents. The Brazilian squad came into cs_summit 7 rated one place higher than VP. On top of that, they had just taken down a Cloud9 squad who were on the rise after picking up Erick “Xeppaa” Bach.
The match started out as close as advertised. FURIA’s Inferno pick left the teams even at the half with VP taking the 8-7 advantage from the CT side. They would extend their lead thanks to a second pistol round win followed by a 4K out of Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev.
Using that momentum, VP streaked their way up to 13 rounds. However, FURIA were not going to be defeated easily. They took the next six rounds in a row, five of them coming off of bomb-site retakes and defuses. With the score tied at 13 apiece, everything came down to the last four rounds. At the perfect moment, VP came alive to win three in a row and claim the 16-13 win.
FURIA needed to fire back on Overpass to stay in the series. At first, it looked like they had done just that. After losing the initial pistol round, the Brazilians crushed VP’s offensive efforts. Every FURIA player ended the first half with a positive K-D as they cruised to an 11-4 lead.
Despite the massive momentum FURIA had built, all it took was one man to tear it to the ground. Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis put together one of the greatest single half performances of recent memory. YEKINDAR earned a massive 27-5 K-D with 202.8 ADR, breaking the 3.00 rating barrier with a 3.29. His presence alone made it impossible for FURIA to take rounds.
FURIA’s 11-4 half would get completely shown up by VP. The CIS squad only dropped one round on their way to a 16-12 victory. With the win, VP advanced to the playoffs with the first seed. FURIA would still get through off of a second straight win against Cloud9, although they would be eliminated in the first round by mousesports.
Bulldozing Through cs_summit 7 Playoffs
Virtus.pro’s Group Stage performance was made even more impressive after the results of the Last Chance Stage. Both NiP and C9 managed to advance to playoffs, meaning all four teams from Group C had made it through.
VP’s first playoff match would now be a rematch against the Ninjas. With a whole new map veto, the teams would end up on Mirage and Dust2. Although NiP had a much better showing this time around, VP were still just the better team. On Mirage, VP took a 10-5 lead from the T side before closing out with a comfortable 16-12 scoreline.
Dust2 actually came down to the wire. After a tight 7-8 half, Virtus.pro would find the momentum to win seven of the first eight rounds in a row on their CT side. Hampus “hampus” Poser and Simon “twist” Eliasson then managed to bring NiP within striking distance as they each broke the 20 frag mark. Wanting to avoid overtime, Alexey “qikert” Golubev pulled off a swift 3K spray-down to close the match out in regulation.
The next team standing in VP’s warpath was mousesports. The European roster had also gone undefeated up until this point. They started in Group B where they swept FaZe Clan and a tournament favorite in Heroic. They then made quick work of FURIA in the first round of playoffs, preventing yet another Group C playoff rematch.
Only one team’s flawless run could stay alive after this matchup. Mousesports opened with a Train pick. Both teams had picked this map in every one of their matches so far. However, only mousesports ended up playing it as a first pick while VP always won before they could get to it. In a way, that probably hid how strong VP truly were on the map.
The CIS squad had a strong CT side showing, going up 10-5 at the half. Their momentum would continue into the T side thanks to a 1v3 pistol round clutch from YEKINDAR. Mousesports could never find their way into the map as VP dominated them across the board. Every VP player earned a rating above 1.00 while only Finn “karrigan” Andersen could do the same for mouz. A 16-6 score was the result.
Dust2 was more of the same. Virtus.pro began the map on a hot streak, taking a brutal 11-4 lead on the T side. Mousesports were clearly outclassed once again as their K-D’s worsened and their opponent’s round counter increased. After a short six round second half, VP booked their ticket to the finals with a 16-5 finish.
Completing the Run in Style
The final battle at cs_summit 7 would be between Virtus.pro and Fnatic. Fnatic finished first in Group A with wins over Complexity and OG, two very strong teams on paper. They continued their run with a 2-1 win over Group C’s Cloud9 followed by a 2-0 sweep of Heroic in the semifinals. Although not a flawless performance, Fnatic had still not lost a match up to this point. The Swedish squad were surely hungry for their first title since April of last year.
Unfortunately for them, the day belonged to Virtus.pro. Map one was Inferno. VP took the T side pistol round and earned a quick 4-0 lead. Once Fnatic had their economy in order, they started to bring rounds in. The score stayed tight as big plays came out from both sides, including this 1v3 clutch out of Jame.
The first half ended as close as could be with Virtus.pro earning a narrow 8-7 lead. Neither team could pull ahead as the battle raged back and forth. The score was tied three separate times at 8-8, 10-10, and 13-13. It was Virtus.pro who found match point thanks to a five-round run late into their CT side, the longest win streak of the map. Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin then gave Fnatic one last shot at overtime thanks to a clutch retake defense on the B site.
In the end, however, Virtus.pro would get the job done in round 30. A tight 16-14 victory put VP up 1-0 in the series. Fnatic’s map pick of Vertigo was up next. Surely after putting up that much of a fight on their opponent’s pick, Fnatic would be able to even up the series. Instead, their flame sputtered out unceremoniously.
The first half lived up to the expectations that map one had set. Both teams fought hard for any advantage they could get. Fnatic frequently got into a bomb site whenever they executed. They got a bomb plant down in 12 of the 15 rounds. However, the Swedish side only earned seven rounds. Virtus.pro’s retakes helped them take another 8-7 lead at the half.
From there, the map spiraled out of control. A second straight pistol round win saw VP take the initial three rounds. Fnatic stopped the floodgates for a moment before VP continued their domination. YEKINDAR and SANJI combined for 25 kills and 291.8 ADR in just nine rounds on T side. Fnatic were forced to watch as VP took over by force and closed out the map 16-8 to secure the cs_summit 7 title.
With this victory, Virtus.pro have now won their third tournament in a row. The CIS squad has been making a big splash as of recent, climbing into a top 10 ranked spot for the first time since their time under AVANGAR. They are now ranked 6th in the world, just three spots below their regional rivals in Na’Vi. It will be interesting to see how they perform at the prestigious IEM Katowice tournament in two weeks’ time. Hopefully, they meet the lofty expectations they have now set.