Report by Craig Robinson and Jamie Wootton
UK esports organisation The Imperial won $50,000 by finishing first place in the DreamHack CSGO Summer Open 2018.
They beat Optic Gaming in the final against the odds, without even dropping a single map in the tournament.
The Imperial entered the group stages through the European qualifier, facing established CSGO squads throughout the tournament.
They successfully took down teams like AGO Esports and North in the group stages and then proceeded to eliminate Gambit Esports, former Major champions, in the semi-finals. North also won the last DreamHack Open event they attended.
In the finals, The Imperial had a great showing on Overpass, by defeating Optic 16-7, and then had a much closer game on Mirage. However, the map ended 16-12 in favour of The Imperial which secured the boys a Dreamhack victory.
The victory also comes after The Imperial won the Copenhagen Games in March.
The squad had achieved amazing feats in this DreamHack Open too. Betway stats confirmed three members of the line-up were in the top 5 players of the event, whilst as mentioned earlier the team did not drop a single map on their run.
Top 5 Players of DreamHack Open Summer:
— betway esports (@betwayesports) June 19, 2018
Imperial featured a mix of European players led by Irish coach Neil Murphy.
The pressure of facing world class opposition clearly didn’t faze the team or the event’s MVP, Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas, however, as he excelled in all games. The Lithuanian scored himself a 1.37 HLTV rating across the event and helped progress the European line-up to the next level.
Ian "Immi" Harding’s stint in NRG, Owen "smooya" Butterfield at BIG and Neil Murphy's success with Imperial are showing the world what the brains of the UK and Ireland have to offer.
Whilst Imperial used to field a UK CSGO squad, their current roster was originally founded on the basis of playing together in FPL, FaceIt’s competitive online league. As some of the most high ranked players in CSGO, they have made a niche for themselves in the global scene and are now making the most of Neil Murphy’s coaching ability to advance into Counter Strike’s biggest tournaments.
After two failed attempts of qualifying for the Faceit Major through the tournament’s open qualifier, this result will be welcomed as a confidence booster for the team and may influence Valve/Faceit’s decision to invite them directly to the Major’s closed qualifiers.
Whilst nothing has yet been confirmed, it’s suspected that AGO, a Polish team that Imperial beat in Sweden, will receive an invite, therefore calling into question the extent to which Imperial can be expected to be handed one.
Although the line-up isn’t yet regarded as a top-tier team, this win along with their previous win at the legendary Danish event, Copenhagen Games 2018, has cemented themselves as a serious contender to challenge and beat some very good teams.
To learn more about Imperial, watch the line-up attend the Zotac Cup's European Finals as they compete against the likes of Kinguin and Não Tem Como with there being potential for a rematch against Gambit.
The Imperial will compete in the Zotac Cup this Friday, looking to maintain their dominating performance.