EMS One Katowice: A Polish dream is coming true!

The match between LGB and Virtus.pro was something of a surprise, with neither of them being particular favorites to advance to the Grand Final. However, both faced off in order to take a chance at not only competing on the main stage in front of the biggest audience either team have ever had but also for the title, and with it the lion’s share of the US$250,000 prize pool.

de_inferno: Starting off with the pistol round going to Virtus.pro, the fans carried them through the following round, extending their lead despite LGB ecoing and a two on four clutch. After Virtus.pro quickly hit 6-0, LGB retaliated by taking the next round. However, Virtus.pro instantly snapped back by taking the round after that. As the game unfolded, Virtus.pro managed to effectively limit LGB’s score. However, close to the end of the half LGB managed to seize the upper hand by scoring the final two rounds, making the final half time score 11-4 in favor for Virtus.pro. In the second half, Virtus.pro continued to play aggressively, swiftly pushing it up to 15-6. neo in particular was exhibiting Golden Five levels of play, spurring his teammates on with his success. When LGB pushed back and took two rounds in a row, the audience once again surged to support their local heroes, and they finally took the 16th round. 16-8 was the final score is, and so the battle raged onward to de_mirage.

de_mirage: The second map began with LGB taking the pistol round as CT, although they were soon pushed down by Virtus.pro in the following eco. The audience continued to cheer for the local boys, however, and LGB bounced back to take their eco round home as well. This game saw much back and forth between the two teams, with the Swedes eventually taking the upper hand on the Poles and building up what looked like quite a strong lead and perhaps even a comeback. In taking the final round, Virtus.pro kept hopes for a 2-0 series alive, the score now 4-11 to LGB. The gap between the two teams’ scores closed rapidly, the crowd crying out in pain and cheering in joy alternatively with each fateful play. Virtus.pro came back in style, closing in on LGB 13-14 before LGB managed to grab the 15th round. However, the game was far from over, with Virtus.pro taking all the remaining rounds and twist almost winning a one on four. It was the clock that saved the Poles in the end, with the score ending up 15-15 and bringing the game into overtime.

Virtus.pro – The local heroes in Katowice (More photos on Flickr.com)

Starting off with Virtus.pro taking the first round, LGB fought back and took three rounds in a row as well as the match round. TaZ and pasha retaliated, bringing the score to 17-18 and giving their team a chance to take the match into another overtime. However, it wasn’t enough, and LGB brought the score to 19-17, taking the match to the third and final map.

de_train: History repeated itself on the third map, with LGB taking the pistol round only to have Virtus.pro turn things completely around by picking up the eco round and a 5-1 lead before the Swedes were able to respond. LGB soon woke up and took advantage of being the CT side to bring the match to 5-5, but Virtus.pro was once again able to take and extend the lead to 7-5 with the audience chanting their support. With seven T rounds to their account, the match was going in Virtus.pro’s favor all the way. Despite LGB taking two more rounds, the Poles took eight T rounds in a stunning display of skill shortly thereafter. The second half was undisputedly the Virtus.pro show, with the audience chanting and cheering at every frag. Not a single round went to LGB in the second half, and Virtus.pro took the map 16-7, closing the series 2-1.

What a match! Virtus.pro made their dream of making it to the final come true, and tomorrow they will be playing against Ninjas in Pyjamas on the main stage in the Spodek Arena with over 10,000 fans cheering them on. Despite the match against LGB being tough and very close throughout most of the game, the Poles not only showed morale, bouncing back multiple times, but also proved that they’re still one of the best Counter-Strike teams in the world. LGB, it seems, lost to an enthusiastic audience as well as three legends of the Counter-Strike scene.

The final words really belong to Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas, who said:

This is our home, this is our trophy!


Stay up to date

* indicates required

By clicking the "Subscribe" button, I consent to the processing of my personal data and tracking of my activity for marketing purposes, and I agree to receive marketing communications, including newsletters, raffles and surveys from ESL Gaming GmbH, in joint controllership with Dreamhack AB and ESL Gaming Online Inc., all around their products/services. I have read ESL Privacy Notice and I understand I can withdraw my consent at any time.

I understand Braze, a marketing platform, is being used. By clicking to subscribe, I acknowledge that my personal data will be transferred to Braze for processing. Learn more about Braze's privacy practices here.

Login at ESL & Partner

Chose the Account you want to login to play your favorite game