The 16-team Master-tier CS:GO tournament has just concluded yesterday with a victory for the Swedes. fnatic has managed to lift the Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019 with their close match against Vitality. This is the first big victory for the Swedish giant since their last triumph in WESG World Finals.

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fnatic has finally won a big tournament after such a long time

A tournament full of upsets and surprise

Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019 gathered 16 teams in the world in a tight battle for an IEM Katowice 2020 spot. Whoever wins the tournament will get a guaranteed slot in the annual Katowice CS:GO event. The event is star-studded with big names like Team Liquid, Astralis, Natus Vincere, EG, and Vitality.

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2 consecutive tournaments seemed like a bit too exhausting for the champion of ESL One New York

The biggest upsets happened on just day two. The recent ESL One New York champion EG suffered 2 consecutive defeats as they lost to both Grayhound and mousesports. The rising North American side had to take the viewers’ seats as they were the first to be eliminated.

Team Liquid was the next to get a surprise upset. They lost the opening match against Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen’s OpTic right on Overpass. After the first half, Team Liquid played with their back against the wall with a scoreline of 1-14. OpTic closed it out at 16-9. On the next day, Liquid suffered another unimaginable defeat 0-2 against the #28 Grayhound and got eliminated.

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Team Liquid crumbled before OpTic and Grayhound, eliminated together with EG

ENCE suffered the same fate as they lost to a better-established Vitality and FURIA in 2 Bo3.

Comebacks of the Swedish giants – NiP and fnatic

This tournament marked the debut of many squads’ lineup. Both NiP and fnatic went through a roster change which saw Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' Alesund out of the scene. fnatic welcomed back 2 old members – Señor VAC Robin “flusha” Rönnquist and the former IGL Maikil “Golden” Selim.

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flusha and Golden reunited with their former teammates in fnatic

NiP kicked off the event with a massive upset against mousesports on Inferno. With the pickup of the ex-member of fnatic -  Simon “twist” Eliasson, NiP seemed to find the chemistry they were missing for so long. twist quickly blended in and made NiP look so good in the tournament. They made quick work of Grayhound and only accepted defeat against and all-fired-up Natus Vincere. NiP entered the play-offs against fnatic.

On the other side in group B, fnatic went down to ENCE but somehow managed to come back with 2 consecutive victories. The Swedish CS:GO giant swept G2 and FURIA 2-0 to enter the quarter-final against their compatriots NiP. It brings back the good old days when 2 Swedish giants would lock horns with each other on the big stage. Such a reminiscence of the early time of CS:GO in 2014 and 2015.

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One of the longest-standing rivalries in CS:GO, fnatic met NiP once again in Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019

The match was indeed great with individual and teamwork performance from both sides. Each team took their map pick pretty one-sided with Dust2 for fnatic and Nuke for NiP. fnatic did it better in the deciding map – Overpass and walked away with the semi-final ticket.

It felt just like fnatic in their prime 2014

fnatic faced Astralis in the semi-final – the heavy favorite in the play-offs to win the whole tournament. On the right day, Jesper 'JW' Wecksell displayed a vintage performance against the Danes, just like the good old days in 2014 where fnatic constantly defeated everyone. JW showed up like a monster with a 1.41 rating on the first map – Overpass.

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One of the core players in the fnatic lineup, JW boasted a high rating in the match versus Astralis

The second map was a much closer affair as it was Astralis’ map pick. fnatic lost on this very map against NiP pretty one-sided. However, fnatic displayed an entirely different performance on Nuke. JW went big right in time, saving fnatic numerous rounds. The game went to 3 overtimes and fnatic managed to close the game at 25-23. The Swedish giant walked over Astralis to play in the Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019 grand final against Vitality.

The grand final was nail-biting with close score lines across 3 maps. Vitality got the first map Dust2 by a narrow margin at 16-14. The second map Inferno was even closer with one overtime. However, a clever fake play from fnatic in the last round got the whole Vitality squad wrongly rotated. JW delivered the last 3 kills to secure the second map for fnatic.

The last map Mirage was also a close affair with fnatic proving themselves better. fnatic closed out the map at 16-13 and won the whole tournament.

The hero the French CS:GO scene deserves

Though unable to lift the champion trophy, Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut was named the MVP of the event. With unreal ratings and KDA difference, ZywOo contributed the most to the success of Vitality as a team.

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ZywOo won the MVP title in the Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019

One interesting thing is that ZywOo bears a staggering resemblance to the story of Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev in 2018. The young French talent has constantly put up great numbers on the tier1 scene but has yet to win many trophies. So far, ZywOo has won 2 MVP without his team actually winning a tournament. This event and ESL One Cologne 2019 turn out to be great showings from ZywOo.

s1mple did exactly the same thing with Natus Vincere in 2018 where he won the MVP of DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018 StarSeries i-League Season 4. With tremendous effort and stellar performance, s1mple went on to win the #1 player title on However, with a stellar performance this year, ZywOo will very probably claim the #1 title from the Ukrainian superstar.

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Who will claim the #1 this year? ZywOo or s1mple?

A promising future ahead for fnatic

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With this victory, fnatic can start thinking of competing for the IEM Grand Slam title

With their victory in the Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2019, fnatic has earned one point in the race to the IEM Grand Slam season 3. It will be a tight competition between Team Liquid, EG, and fnatic as the races go on. Whoever wins 4 events first will take home the grand prize of $1 million.