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Heat in the middle of winter (a preview of HR group on DH Winter)

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Precisely one year ago in Jönköping was first held a tournament with a such great prize fund. For that time a quarter million dollars in prize money for the tournament on CS: GO was considered a huge breakthrough. Nobody would be surprised now by such an amount, but more money is not played out yet on any championship on Counter-Strike. The huge number of records was beaten for all history of Dreamhack tournaments. Beginning in 1994 from a little tournament in the cafeteria nearby, for 20 years it became a major cyber-festival of all times.

Jönköping first was the site of event back in 2001. This small town, located near Gothenburg, twice a year, attracts the attention of entire cybersport community. Best CS:GO-teams from all over the world will gather here in order to determine the strongest one. This is not just a tournament between top teams. Here gathered a largest on the planet LAN-party of ordinary fans of cybersport, formed a giant-scale hangout of charged gamers.

But the main attention is focused on the 16 participants CS: GO-tournament. Every team went a long way to Sweden. Some could get into the list of DH Winter still in summer, breaking into the playoffs in the previous "Grand Slam» – ESL One Cologne. Some went through long and tense online-qualifiers. Some «got on the leaving train», winning LAN-qualifiers a couple days before the start of the main tournament. And some received an unexpected invitation from organizers. Anyway, the large list of applicants for the title is already formed. This article will tell you what HellRaisers are able to show at Swedish event.

 
 
Action plan
 
Our team by the sortition got into the group A, which is honored to open up the tournament. It means, that DH Winter starts with the fight against hard Americans from Cloud 9, on November, 27, at 13:00 СЕТ (14:00 Kiev TIME, 15:00 Moscow TIME).
 
Schedule of matches in group A:
 
Thursday, November, 27
 
12:00 СЕТ –  fnatic vs  Bravado
13:00 CET –  Cloud 9 vs  HellRaisers
14:00 CET – winner of pair 1 vs winner of pair 2
15:00 СЕТ – loser of pair 1 vs loser of pair 2
16:00 СЕТ – winner of pair 4 vs loser of pair 3
 
The system of carrying out a group stage already became habitual. GSL-format allows every team to make not more than one mistake, i.e. allows to lose not more than one match in the group. In case the team fails twice – it loses the chances of entering playoffs.
 
Group A considered as one of the strongest on tournament. After a cheating scandal two French teams were disqualified, but all members of group A stayed untouched. Therefore, the most hot struggle is expected especially in our group.
 
Saying objectively, the South-Africans from Bravado Gaming look as an obvious outsider. These guys received the direct invitation from tournament organizers, but such a gesture is not really the recognition of their high level of play. This team has never attended any major tournaments and all their experience gained through the Internet. Considering the geographical location of South Africa, they could fight only against African teams.
 
 

I will agree with Andrew «B1ad3» Gorodensky, it is impossible to play powerfully having not visited any serious LANs. Most likely, Detrony&Co will not have anything to oppose their opponents in the group and they will leave the tournament with two defeats. But the participation of this team will significantly expand the audience of DH Winter 2014, because in terms of eSports the «black continent» was still not presented. Now the African audience will have at least the one, who cheer for.

All the other teams: fnatic, Cloud 9 and HellRaisers will fight for two permits to the playoffs.

The favorite of this three is fnatic team. These Swedish guys are in good shape lately: they triumphed at last four LAN-tournaments they visited. They began from the confident win at SLTV StarSeries 11, after that, at FACEIT League Season 2, ESWC 2014 and finally at Fragbite Masters 3. There is still no vaccine can be found against these guys lately. They confidently overplay all their opponents.

HellRaisers are also not an exclusion. On five last maps, played against JW&Co, there was only one win within the online tournament Caseking of the Hill #9, where were many DDoS attacks. With new roster our guys still have not overcome fnatic on LAN-tournaments. The last meeting of these teams face-to-face was in France, where fnatic forced HellRaisers to pack their suitcases already at quarterfinals’ stage.

 
 

The Scandinavian style of play is identical to HR’s. They allow much freedom on the map, acting relaxedly and unpredictably; they allow themselves to act alone, winning due to the advantage in shooting. Some teams like Na`Vi and NiP, found their approach to fnatic, that allows them to compete the black-oranges equally. Our team in anticipation of the tournament used the help of tactics’ coach, therefore, certainly, guys prepared something special for fnatic. In case if our renewed style of play will surprise fnatic, our guys will have all the chances to overcome the stubborn Swedes.

Another affair is that in order to have a personal duel with the hosts of tournament, it is needed to overplay a high-level Americans from Cloud 9. The representatives of transatlantic CS:GO culture have a great experience of performing at European LAN-tournaments, they attended all major events in the history of CS:GO, and they always were a serious threat even for most powerful teams. At all tournaments with prize pool of $250,000 these guys entered playoffs, often leaving very titled teams overboard.

The history of HR confrontation with Cloud 9 is very weak. There only one match that was precisely one year ago – in quarterfinals of Winter 2013. Then the Americans managed to win the match 2:1, losing the first map. Then semphis proved himself well and he still plays for that team.

 
 

To the championship in Sweden these guys prepared in the same country. More than a month of bootcamp in rented apartments allowed Americans to get used to the climate, time zone, computers and have a plenty of practice with European teams. We can say that Hiko&Co almost assimilated with fives from the Old World, gained experience in games against strong teams (there a few such opponents in USA). This team long ago moved from the category of unpredictability in the category of Learning: there are sufficient number of demos on which to draw conclusions about the playing style of «Yankees».

B1ad3 in his pretournament interview called these guys «overestimated». Following his words, the main feature of their game is an extraordinary courage in making spontaneous decisions, that needed for learning how to control, and then it will be not hard to turn the game against Cloud 9 in own advantage. But what if Cloud 9 could change during the month of active practicing? What if they have not wasted their time, managed to find and eliminate the gaps of their own tactics and are going to appear renewed in Sweden? Shroud&Co – the worthy team to be aware of, which is capable to overpay HR and fnatic.

What about the variant when fnatic will not get out of the group? I would not say that this is far from reality. There are two teams against fnatic, which are able to «morally» pull out any game. Both of them, HellRaisers and Cloud 9 very seriously prepared for DH Winter. But recently VAC-ban series among pro-players very strongly presses on fnatic. Many associate a series of successful performances of the team with new generation of workshop-cheats and suspect fnatic leaders in using of forbidden software. If those suspicions true, we will see the recession of Swedish playing quality. But in case if these talks around wards of Devilwalk are just words, JW&Co will have a good motivation to prove themselves.

 
 

How HellRaisers prepared for the tournament? Upon the arrival from ESWC 2014, B1ad3 was «summoned», with whom together guys began the active preparations for DH Winter in the venue of Kiev Cybersport Arena. With such a pace trainings continued until November, 21, when team flew to the bootcamp in Stockholm. There gathered most of the teams-participants, including Na`Vi, Virtus.pro, Cloud 9 and other. By the way, Yegor “markeloff” Markelov told about all of this in his video-blog! You can watch it here.

November, 26, one day before the tournament team goes to the hotel in Jönköping and on the next day will go to the gaming zone in order to demonstrate the results of trainings in the real fight.

Follow the news, await the detailed reporting from a place of events on our site. Believe in our guys, cheer for HellRaisers!