North win DreamHack Open Sevilla, look to IEM Katowice 2020

Steven R. December 16, 2019

North are the champions of DreamHack Open Sevilla.

The Danish squad earned the top at the event with a 2-1 victory over CR4ZY. This earns North the $50,000 top prize and gives them a case for an invitation to IEM Katowice 2020.

North opened the grand finals in impressive fashion on Mirage, CR4ZY’s map pick. A strong opening from Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye knocked CR4ZY off balance right from the start and forced multiple economic resets. That resulted in a series of lost duels and unfortunate turns that kept CR4ZY off the scoreboard until the 11th round.

The first half ended with a 14-1 score. CR4ZY managed to save a little bit of face by winning the second pistol round and converting twice, but the massive deficit made the outcome an inevitability and culminated in a 16-4 loss with Nestor "LETN1" Tanić sitting at the bottom of the scoreboard with a 4-17, 29.2 ADR line.

That terrible performance on their own map pick suggested that CR4ZY was in a dire position heading into North’s map pick, Vertigo, where the team has a poor 1-4 record in official games. Despite that, CR4ZY showed its resilience by starting Vertigo with a strong 9-6 half on the T side, with LETN1 redeeming himself in emphatic fashion.

North briefly threatened a comeback in the second half when a strong post-plant hold by Kjaerbye set up a winning streak for the Danish side. That wasn’t enough to take the lead, allowing CR4ZY to shake off the trouble and force a third map with a 16-13 win.

The decider was played on Dust 2 and North returned to form in the early goings with a strong 7-2 opening. Once again, LETN1’s lack of production proved to be hugely troublesome for CR4ZY. North jumped out to a strong 10-5 first half and took the second pistol round, putting CR4ZY onto a tightrope.

CR4ZY found a few round wins, but ultimately fell 16-8 to give North the 2-1 series victory.

North return to form, help chances for IEM Katowice 2020 spot

DreamHack Open Sevilla isn’t the biggest event North has participated in, but it’s a much needed first-place finish for a team that has been struggling to some degree of late.

Following the StarLadder Berlin Major, North sent Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså to OG and replaced him with René "cajunb" Borg. Though cajunb is a seasoned competitor, North seemed to be worse off without valde. Though the Danes came close to a top-eight finish in the major, he debuted with North during the team’s early exit at StarSeries Season 8 and followed that up with a last-place finish at the ESL One Pro League Season 10 Finals.

That hinted that North might have been sliding into the middle of the crowded European pack, but this victory hints that the team is still near the top of the pack.

Though the competition wasn’t incredibly fierce at DreamHack Open Sevilla, North still looked good enough on the whole to feel bullish going forward. That’s great news with IEM Katowice 2020 approaching quickly. Though DreamHack Open Sevilla wasn’t officially attached to the event in this way, North is undoubtedly hoping to receive a direct invitation to the event rather than being forced to earn its way in through qualifiers.

North isn’t currently attached to any of the events set to take place in early 2020. Though it’s possible that winning DreamHack Open Sevilla could earn the team a slot in DreamHack Masters Jonkoping in June in the same way that the upcoming DreamHack Open events in Anaheim and Leipzig are scheduled to, North might be able to cash in on that win ahead of schedule.

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