Heroic defeat Gambit Esports in ESL Pro League 13 grand final

Josse Van Dessel • April 11, 22:28

In a five-map thriller, Heroic edged out a victory against Gambit Esports in the grand finals of ESL Pro League Season 13, with Casper “cadiaN” Moller pushing his team across the finish line with a stellar performance. 

The series really went the distance, taking almost eight hours. The action kicked off on Heroic’s pick of Inferno, but it was Gambit Esports that looked better in the first half of the map. The young CIS squad locked down the CT-side, running away with the game at halftime. Despite being down 11-4, Heroic started to claw their way back into it. They eventually managed to close the gap, tying up the map at 15-15.

Heroic really found its rhythm and carried on the momentum in the first overtime. The Danes held their ground and closed out the map victory in the first overtime, but the stage seemed to be set. This was going to be a nailbiter of a grand final.

While Heroic had a shaky start on their own map pick, they seemed to be crumbling their opponents. With experienced rifler Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov out-performing his younger teammates in the fragging department, Gambit outclassed their opponents on Vertigo. A quick 15-3 victory tied up the series at one map win each. 

Heroic outlast Gambit in ESL Pro League Season 13 marathon

Going into the third map of Train, the game turned into a war of attrition. Both teams traded blows, but neither was able to make a difference. With yet another tied game after 30 rounds, another overtime was on the card. Heroic eventually edged out Gambit, but needed quadruple overtime to do so. With an insane final score of 26-28, Heroic reached matchpoint going into the fourth map, Overpass.

Gambit brought the fight to Heroic in a close back and forth, trading rounds in the first half. They eventually managed to break Heroic’s spirit in the second half, a Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov taking over the server. He led his team to a seven-round win streak, tieing up the series once again with a 16-10 victory.

Going into the fifth and final map of the series, the players were already six hours deep into the match. As fatigue started to take its toll, Gambit let the game slip out of their hands. They struggled on Mirage’s T-side, only winning two rounds in the first half. Switching over to defense, Gambit started to rally despite having all the odds stacked against them. After trading some rounds Heroic was on map and match point, but the Danes were forced into a dicey eco position after dropping a key round. Armed with nothing but a P250, cadiaN decided the series had gone on long enough. 

Facing four opponents by himself, he managed to sneak onto the A site. He knifed Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov and took away his AWP. Armed with his favorite rifle, cadiaN took down the rest of the team, winning Heroic the map and title in the process.

Heroic adds another big trophy to its mantel

With the win in the ESL Pro League Season 13 finals, Heroic has added another huge event championship to its resume. Though Heroic has long hung around near the top of CSGO’s esports scene, the organization hasn’t stood out in top events.

But since winning ESL One Cologne 2020 Online, Heroic has been going toe-to-toe with CSGO’s biggest names. Ahead of its win over the IEM Katowice 2021 winners, Heroic defeated the likes of Complexity Gaming, BIG, and FURIA. It was a roundly great performance by the team and one that really cements Heroic as a serious rival to the organization’s big brother Astralis.

Heroic doesn’t get much time to savor the victory, though. They begin their run in BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021 in just three days.

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