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CS:GO’s endgame begins; tune in and support your favorite team!

Four qualifiers, eight teams, five rounds of SWISS. The last month has been filled by the best Counter-Strike our region can offer. After the regular season finished, we have four remaining sides still in the fight. The first day of the CS:GO playoffs finished with the favourites, QSKE and lvlUP (ex-Juggernauts), each earning a spot in the Upper Bracket Finals.

The day started with a derby between QSKE Gaming and GamerS1337. The players from both teams are very familiar with each other, and both the maps were intense and interesting to watch. The first map, Nuke, was pretty close at the beginning but then QSKE managed to get a good round streak and finish the half with a 10-5 lead. They even extended their lead to 15-9 at one point, but the GamerS weren’t ready to give up. Blaže “HEv1X” Hristov and his squad won four rounds in a row and brought the map to 15-13, but QSKE closed it out and went to Inferno with a 1-0 lead.

After a 8-3 lead on Inferno for QSKE, GamerS1337 turned the game around and had a 11-8 lead at one point. The QSKE players didn’t let that destroy them mentally and kept their cool, eventually winning the match and the series (Inferno 16-12). With this win, they are a step closer to the Grand Finals, while GamerS1337 will be facing Blink in the Lower Bracket elimination game tomorrow.

We saw a rematch of the last season’s finals between lvlUp and Blink in our second match. We didn’t see a third map this time as the Serbian powerhouse closed out the match after only two maps, Nuke and Train. After having a strong 9-2 start on the T side of Nuke, Blink started getting into the game and quickly brougth the match to a 11-11 scoreline. At the very end of the match, lvlUP won five rounds in a row and came a step closer to their match against QSKE.

Train, as one of Blink’s best maps was much closer in terms of the scoreline, and we saw our first playoffs overtime. After two 9-6 halfs, the match went into overtime where lvlUP edged out Blink and booked a spot in the Upper Bracket Finals versus QSKE (Train – 19-17).

Tune in during the weekend and support your favorite team in their road to the Champions title.

Last but not least – CS:GO’s playoffs are beginning today!

As the fifth A1 Adria League season is nearing the end, it is time to announce and start the playoffs of our fourth game and most popular title, CS:GO.

In the fifth round of the SWISS League, GamerS1337 and Gameroids played against each other, with the Macedonian-majority team entering the playoffs as the third qualified team. Blink easily outplayed Athaim and secured the last spots in the playoffs. With the last two regular-season matches being played out, here are the leaderboard standings:

A1 Adria League S5 - CSGO Standings 5

The playoffs will be played in a double-elimination format with all the matches being BO3 series. The battle for the grand prize of €1500 is starting today and it will end on the 5th of July when the Grand Finals will be played out.

These are the first round matches:

lvlUp vs. Blink
QSKE vs. GamerS1337

Even with some shaky games, all the favorites managed to qualify for the playoffs. I am sure that all the games will be intense and close, so make sure to watch them all and support your favorite teams and players.

Only one more spot remains in the CS:GO playoffs!

The last round of the A1 Adria League begins tomorrow, and for those who didn’t watch the fourth round, here’s a short recap of the Round 4 matches where Juggernauts managed to advance to the playoffs.

Shock bomb were eliminated from the tournament in one of the worst ways possible. On the first map in their match versus Blink, Shock bomb were able to hold their ground and play all 30 rounds of the match before falling short. The same story happened on Train, with Shock bomb once again losing in the last round of regulation. With this win, Blink advanced to the 2-2 pool and will fight Athaim for a spot in the playoffs.

An upset we had the chance to see in the fourth round was GamerS’ dominant victory in their match against Athaim (ex-Karavan). The Macedonian-majority team went 13-2 in the first half of Inferno. They continued the impressive form in the rest of the map and closed it out 16-2. Even though Athaim put up a better fight on Mirage, GamerS1337 were still a level above their opponents and finished this BO3 with a 16-8 win.

We saw another one-sided game between Juggernauts and Gameroids. Gameroids are a team that have a really good Dust2, but that didn’t stop the Serbian powerhouse from destroying them 16-7 and going into Vertigo with a 1-0 lead. Aleksa “Impulse” Stankić had a great game on Vertigo and carried his team to a 16-6 victory on the second map on the series. Juggernauts secured the second spot in the playoffs while Gameroids will have their last qualification chance against GamerS1337 in the fifth round.

In the first match of the fifth round, GamerS1337 managed to secure one of the remaining spots in the playoffs. After a 0-2 start, Blaže “HEv1X” Hristov’s team outplayed Gameroids on both Mirage (22-19) and Dust2 (16-10). This means that we will not be seeing Gameroids compete during this season anymore, and we wish them the best of luck next season!

A1 Adria League S5 - CS:GO Standings 5-1

QSKE are going to the playoffs; odred otpisanih eliminated

As we are approaching the fourth SWISS round of A1 Adria League, let’s take a look at what happened in the last two playdays.

Athaim (ex-Karavan) managed to upset yet another favorite in an intense Train match. This time, Blink was the team that couldn’t handle Filip “DEPRESHNN” Jarkić’s troops and Athaim are now a victory away from the playoffs. The match between GamerS1337 and odred otpisanih was cancelled due to odred otpisanih not being able to have all five players available on time.

The second playday of the third round saw Juggernauts take on Shock bomb on Mirage. The ex-Juggernauts player, Luka “c0llins” Živanović wasn’t able to stand up to his old teammates and lost the match 9-16. The Shock bomb players were able to get back in the game after a shaky start, but they couldn’t show up in the second half and gave a point to the current champions.

In the first BO3 match of the league, QSKE Gaming faced Gameroids in the 2-0 pool match. Gameroids started the series dominantly with a 16-6 victory on Dust2. QSKE didn’t stand a chance on Gameroids’ map pick, but they managed to bounce back on Nuke with a close 16-14 win. The last map, Overpass, went in favor of Gameroids in the first half. Even though Gameroids had a five-round advantage, the Macedonian squad had a perfect T-side and closed out the match without losing a single round (Overpass – 16-10).

 

A1 Adria League S5 - CS:GO Standings 3

QSKE and Gameroids are a step closer to the CS:GO playoffs!

The second round of the A1 Adria League CS:GO SWISS stage went underway on Sunday and the teams with best performances managed to secure a spot in the 2-0 bracket.

The playday started with a 1-0 match between QSKE Gaming and Karavan. After two clean victories in the first round, the teams went all out in their road to the 2-0 pool and a step closer to the playoffs. QSKE had a dominant start and were a level above Karavan during the bigger part of the match, but as the end drew near, Karavan started coming back and won seven rounds in a row. The match went from a 14-7 QSKE lead to an intense 14-14 game where the Macedonian squad managed to barely slip past and take the win with a 16-14 score.

After a surprising loss in the first round, Juggernauts had a sudden change before the start of the second playday. David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljević will not play the remainder of the League with Juggernauts with the coach Darko “soLo” Mitić standing in in his place. This change didn’t present a problem for Juggernauts and they obliterated Odred otpisanih 16-2 on an unusual map pick, Vertigo. This loss sent Odred otpisanih to the 0-2 pool and a step closer to elimination.

Gameroids and Shock bomb went into the 1-0 match after two close victories against Blink and GamerS1337, respectively. The game on Dust2 was pretty close during the first half, but Gameroids started increasing their lead on the defense and quickly won the match 16-10. Gameroids became the first team to secure a spot in the 2-0 part of the League, and they will fight for the first spot in the playoffs in their next match against QSKE Gaming.

Blink learned their lesson in the first match and went into their second game as a completely different team. Blaže “HEv1X” Hristov and GamerS1337 had no chance against the Kosovar squad and they found themselves at a 2-13 disadvantage at the end of the first half. The GamerS tried to win some rounds and get a good streak going on, but after reaching their 9th round, Blink closed out the game and the second A1 Adria League CS:GO playday.

A1 Adria League S5 - CS:GO SWISS Standings 2

CS:GO group stage starts with two massive upsets!

After four qualifiers, we got the eight teams that will compete in this CS:GO season of A1 Adria League and during the last week we saw the first day of the League being played out. Each team played a BO1 match and we had a chance to see a couple of surprises and high-quality games on the broadcast.

GamerS1337 and Shock bomb played the first game in this season of A1 Adria League. The Macedonian-majority team, GamerS1337, had a good start on Dust2 and closed out the first half with a 9-6 lead. Shock bomb won the second pistol round and quickly started catching up to the GamerS, with the latter losing a 12-7 advantage. Luka “c0llins” Živanović and Shock bomb took the lead at the end of the game and closed the map 16-14 in their favour.

The second match of the day showed the reigning champions, Juggernauts, that winning back-to-back seasons of A1 Adria League will take much more effort than expected. Karavan started their Inferno game with a clean win in the pistol round. Miloš “dEE” Marčeta and Juggernauts won the force-buy, but couldn’t keep playing on the same level and Karavan managed to increase their lead to 12-6 in the second half. Juggernauts tried to come back, but David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljević’s debut was spoiled by the Karavan side who secured their first victory with a 16-10 scoreline.

The Kosovar derby between Gameroids and Blink saw the former have a dominant start on the defence and Blink couldn’t counter them in any way. After a 10-3 lead for the Gameroids, Blink had a streak of 6 rounds and nearly evened the score. Ernest “xhoci” Xhoci contributed the most in the second half even after having a 0-8 start at the beginning of the game. Blink made the game much more intense and secured the 13th round before eventually losing the Inferno match 16-13.

The favorites who actually won their match in the first playday were QSKE Gaming who beat odred otpisanih 16-7 on Inferno. Valentin “powerdy” Duracoski’s team had the lead during the whole game and didn’t let odred otpisanih come close to them. After a 10-5 advantage on the defense, QSKE let their opponents win only two rounds before closing out the game and climbing on top of the A1 Adria League CS:GO leaderboard.

A1 Adria League S5 - CS:GO SWISS Stage 1 Standings

CS:GO’s group stage continues today, so make sure to tune in and watch the best Counter-Strike our region can offer!

SENER1, Blink: “We have some of the best raw aimers in the league!”

Our series of interviews continues with CS:GO, and this time I decided to speak with Blink’s Sener “SENER1” Mahmuti about the recent development of the Albanian-Kosovar scene as well as the team’s great recent form. SENER1 along with Genc “gxx-” Kolgeci and Atif “gejmzilla” Mustafa finished second in the fourth season of A1 Adria League, suffering a loss in the final to Juggernauts, but judging by their most recent results, their chances of winning the upcoming edition of the League look better every day.

You as Blink recently won the fourth season of CSadria Clan Championship and now you became the first team to qualify for the upcoming A1 Adria League season. Those two achievements are most certainly the result of your great form in recent times. Talk to me about CSadria Clan Championship 4 and how you managed to win the whole tournament after a shaky start in the Group Stage. How strong was the competition and did any of the teams surprise you?

Just before CSadria Clan Championship 4 we did some roster changes as we were trying to find the best fit possible for the roles that were required for the team. We found our 5th player a week before the qualifiers started and we started practicing as soon as we won the Qualifier. We had high expectations coming to this tournament as we knew we are stronger then any of the other teams that qualified. The shaky start at the beginning of the season was due to the difficulties we had with the gaming equipment of our players or at times having internet issues because of the situation of the lockdown (COVID-19).

Esports organizations aren’t really profitable in the Adriatic region, so most of the teams play in mixes and without being paid. However, you recently got picked up by Blink who are trying to make a name for them in the regional and European scene. For those who don’t know, could you tell us a bit more about Blink as an organization, are they involved in something else than esports and how did you get approached by them?

Firstly I heard about Blink a year ago when they started a new project for a CS:GO professional team with some passionate local players for the game. They had the determination to transform individual talent into winning teams. Blink’s focus is esports, becoming a well known professional esports organization. I really like their vision going into the esports scene as they are trying to create a foundation for other organizations and esports players as this is a path that everybody can follow at creating a gaming culture. We got approached by Blink as soon as the A1 Adria League Season 4 Finals had finished and they expressed their idea of creating a team around gejmzilla , gxx and me. We were really fascinated because we always had this idea of creating a team like this and having an organisation such as Blink to support us is a dream come true.

The core of you, gxx and gejmzilla have been present on the regional scene for quite some time. At CCCS4 you used rigoN as a substitute but you also had newer talents such as xhoci in your roster. How did you come to the conclusion that these new additions are the perfect fit for your team and what makes them stand out from the other players in your scene?

The core of me (SENER1), gxx and gejmzilla have been playing together or at least knew each other for a very long time. Even when were separated in different teams, we would always play together and everybody learned a role that would best fit us, so I became better at being a support player, gxx became a very good awper, and gejmzilla became a good IGL. The new additions to the roster were those of xhoci and bor1. They are two of the best raw aimers in Albania/Kosovo and they perfectly fit the roles that we needed in the team, xhoci being the entry fragger and bor1 being the second entry. We additionaly added a coach as well, stikle-, that has been helping us ever since the beginning with new tactical ideas and improving overall teamplays.

When talking about your scene, it feels like all the players over there play Counter-Strike. There are a lot of new teams who play regional qualifiers and try to gain valuable experience every day. What is the current state of the Albanian-Kosovar scene and how are the players and teams developing day by day?

Our scene is growing a lot day by day. A huge number of talents are showing themselves every day and there are a lot of hot prospects for future teams. A lot of those players are trying to follow the path that juanflatro and sinnopsy did, there are a lot of players who qualified for FPL-C or even FPL like two of my teammates, gxx and gejmzilla. Players that aim high on our region have a lot of talent and I could say that we have some of the best raw aimers in the game, but there is a hurdle everyone of them has to cross before making the next step. They have to commit to improving at the game and keeps their heads down and not be so stubborn when it comes to learning new stuff and being professional players in general.

Tournaments like the XPortal CS:GO Online Tournament really show the popularity of CS in your region with the qualifier for the tournament being filled out with 128 teams in less than a day. You suffered losses to ESK and Gameroids before being eliminated from the tournament. How did two lower-ranked teams manage to beat the favorites and how good was the competition as a whole?

It’s great to see that our scene is growing so much and we hope that it continues at this rate. Going on in this tournament we were confident going foward as our practice was very good and we managed to beat really good high ranked teams in qualifiers and practices. We knew the level where we are at and we took it easy-going. The teams over here at this tournament all use a PUG style and we weren’t prepared for this kind of style as the teams we practice agaisnt are very well versed and stable so we got caught off guard by the randomness of the playstyle. After the tournament we sat down and we worked with the players, coach and management to find the best way to prepare for such teams and now we have worked it out and it won’t happend again.

Now that all the teams have qualified and the team list is finalized, have you begun preparations for the League? How would you rate your chances of winning the whole thing?

As I said before, we have been practicing ever since the CSadria Clan Championship 4 qualifiers so i guess that would be 3-4 months by now and we feel very confident going foward in the tournament. Juggernats are the hotest team coming from the last qualifiers and I think for sure they are going to make it to the playoffs with us. They are the only team that we think will give a us hard time, other than that we feel very confident going foward to the League.