SMASH upset Complexity, seal ESL Rio closed qualifier spot

Nick J. February 14, 2020

In a surprise result, SMASH Esports defeated Complexity Gaming today in the open qualifiers for the upcoming ESL One Rio Minor qualifier. SMASH punched way above their weight class, winning 2-1 against a Complexity team that has been unstoppable in recent weeks.

While Complexity shocked the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene earlier this month by crushing Astralis 2-0 at the BLAST Premier Spring Series, they were on the receiving end today. SMASH Esports, currently ranked 186th in the world, opened the series with a strong 16-8 victory on Overpass.

Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun kicked off the upset victory with a quadruple kill on the opening pistol round on Overpass. SMASH never let up grabbing nine rounds on the T side of map one.

The young team looked fantastic against a Complexity team that had started out 2020 with a series of impressive wins. But today wasn't Complexity's day. SMASH's CT side was more of the same as they stifled Complexity and moved on to Mirage with a 16-8 victory.

Complexity barely avoid sweep against SMASH

On a map that could’ve gone either way, Complexity walked away with a the series-tying win on Mirage with a final score of 16-14. Once again, a pistol round play was the highlight of the map as Will “RUSH” Wierzba also grabbed four kills on the T side pistol round.

In a map that ended two rounds apart, RUSH’s play made half the difference. The other half came from his in-game leader. 

Benjamin "blameF" Bremer's one-versus-three clutch gave Complexity the second round they needed for the win on Mirage. In a Counter-Strike meta that has seen pistol rounds become less important, they were the deciding factor in this match.

SMASH win Inferno decider and ESL One Rio closed qualifier spot

As Inferno came through as the deciding map, both teams went on uninterrupted runs to start the first half. SMASH tallied an impressive eight-round run on the T side before giving up seven rounds in a row to Complexity, finishing the half 8-7. 

The second half saw the teams continue to keep the score close before an eco win from SMASH  put them back on track for the map and series win. Despite giving up a long run of rounds against Complexity, SMASH managed to pull off the close series win with a final score of 16-14.

Whether Complexity underestimated SMASH or SMASH went above and beyond what the betting lines predicted, SMASH grabbed the final spot in the ESL One Rio Major Closed Qualifier. The win finalized the invite list for the European closed qualifiers that start on March 7.

ESL One Rio European Closed Minor Qualifier Teams

  • Fnatic
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • MAD Lions
  • Heroic
  • GODSENT
  • BIG
  • OG
  • Movistar Riders
  • Sprout
  • Copenhagen Flames
  • Dignitas
  • Nordavind
  • KOVA
  • Apeks
  • Heretics
  • SMASH

With Complexity's recent success, it's unlikely fans will see another tweet like this one from Jason Lake, but judging by the team's performance today, the owner might be as frustrated as he was the last time his team underperformed against lower opposition.