Steven R. March 18, 2019
Windigo Gaming has won its biggest tournament to date.
The team secured first-place at the World Electronic Sports Games 2018 Finals by defeating AGO Esports. It capped a run that may serve as a turning point for the European squad.
The series started off with a pair of knock down, drag out games.
Though Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a five versus five affair in practice, the first game between Windigo and AGO boiled down to a two-on-two. Viktor "v1c7oR" Dyankov and Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov helped Windigo mount a considerable early lead and close in on map point early. Solid play from Kacper "kap3r" Słoma kept AGO from falling too far behind and allowed Dominik "GruBy" Świderski to carry AGO to a 16-14 comeback win with a massive 28-kill effort.
The two-on-two boiled down to a one-on-one for much of second map Mirage. Early heroics from SHiPZ saw Windigo roar out of the gate, but GruBy matched his output and kept AGO alive. As the game wore on, SHiPZ got a bit of help from his teammates with V1c7oR and Yanko "blocker" Panov both recording key multi-kill rounds, but GruBy wasn’t so lucky as his AGO teammates fizzled badly. That allowed Windigo to extend the series to three games with a 16-13 win.
The opening to the series was close, but the deciding game on Dust 2 was anything but. After two quiet games, Windigo AWPer Kamen "bubble" Kostadinov made up for lost time by posting 31 kills in just 23 rounds. That was all WIndigo needed to take a 16-7 win. This finished the series 2-1 and earned Windigo the top prize at the event.
Though WESG is a unique tournament that often pits established elites against lower level teams due to nationality restrictions, Windigo’s performance in China was beyond reproach.
Windigo started its run in the tournament by beating Fnatic in the group stages and recorded the biggest upset of the event by defeating MiBR in the playoffs. It then earned its spot in the grand finals by defeating G2 Esports. While mediocre teams can take home sizable checks from WESG at the expense of soft competition, Windigo ran through all of the tournament favorites to win the event.
The team takes home a $500,000 check from the event that nearly quadruples the organization’s all-time winnings. It also gives the Bulgarians some serious momentum heading into the spring.