Written by: Dustin Mouret
Gambit enters the final week of the regular season of ELEAGUE with hopes of adding an accolade to their resume. With a mix of veterans and a hint of youth, the recently formed team hails from the CIS region. In their first few months, Gambit qualified for both majors they aimed to compete in. Their most recent tournament performance featured map wins over OpTic, EnVyUs, and G2 to secure a slot at Cologne. While we have not seen much from Gambit just yet, they are a team to keep an eye on thanks to their performances at recent qualifiers. ELEAGUE will be their next opportunity to turn some heads on the scene, and to better understand Gambit, let’s look at a couple of their key players.
Dosia’s name will be familiar to those who have been around Counter-Strike since the early days. Dosia entered CS:GO with an already established pedigree from previous versions of the game. His CS:GOcareer began when he joined the original Virtus Pro lineup in late 2012, alongside current teammate AdreN. Their first big event took place at Copenhagen Games in March of 2013, where they gained victories over ESC (many of the current Virtus Pro) and Quantic (a North American team featuring current NA pros Hiko and Semphis). They also challenged NiP despite taking a loss. Virtus Pro concluded the tournament with a top 4 finish and Dosia ended the event with an astounding +94 KD ratio. It was the beginning of a great rivalry between VP and NiP that would transpire over the rest of the year and the first of many marks Dosia would make at the top echelons of CS:GO.
One of the most notable highlights of Dosia’s career came later that year, when Virtus Pro ended NiP’s legendary 87-0 streak at the SLTV StarSeries V Finals. At that event, Virtus Pro bested NiP in two separate 2-0 series to take the title with Dosia as the clear tournament MVP. Virtus Pro again defeated NiP at EMS One Summer in June of 2013 to earn 2nd place after falling to VeryGames in the finals. During that year, Dosia led Virtus Pro to some fantastic results, cementing their position as one of the best teams in the history of CS:GO. Two of their lineups would be named in Thorin’s Top 20 CS:GO Lineups of All-Time.
In September 2013, Dosia made a big move, joining a new CIS team called Astana Dragons alongside Virtus Pro teammates ANGE1 and AdreN. They combined with markeloff and Edward of Natus Vincere to create what many believed was the CIS super-team. Astana Dragons grabbed a 2nd place finish at the SLTV StarSeries VII Finals with a win over NiP in the semis, but suffered a loss to VeryGames in the grand finals. They also secured a bronze medal at ESWC 2013 after beating NiP in the deciding match. Along the way, Dosia continued to prove himself as one of the most powerful riflers in the world. However, at the first CS:GO major at DreamHack Winter 2013, things didn’t go according to plan. While Astana Dragons handled Reason Gaming to make it to the top eight, they were upset in the quarterfinals by complexity, a top North American team. The lackluster finish would lead to an abrupt end of the team a few months later, as Edward would depart Astana Dragons to return to Na`Vi. The team responded by bringing back kUcheR to form the first HellRaisers lineup for CS:GO.
HellRaisers’ debuted in March of 2014 at EMS One Katowice. Again, the team moved past the group phase with a win over mousesports and Titan. Throughout the group stage, Dosia played incredible matches, posting 27 kills. However, in the playoffs against dignitas, Dosia struggled, along with the rest of team, and HellRaisers was once again denied a deep run at a major. At DreamHack Summer 2014, HellRaisers managed a top 4 finish after besting Reason, Titan, and SK despite losing to NiP in the semis, with Dosia as a major factor posting a +21 K/D ratio for the event. Later that summer, matters took a turn for the worst at ESL One Cologne in August, when the team was unable to make it out of the group stage with losses to Epsilon and NiP in the group stage.
Throughout the rest of 2014, HellRaisers went through several changes and entered into DreamHack Winter 2014 with s1mple in for AdreN and Blade entering the team as the first IGL to call from the coach position (now a common occurrence on several professional teams). Here, HellRaisers returned to the playoffs of a major after shocking the world in the group stage with wins over Cloud9 and fnatic to secure the top seed. However, in classic HellRaisers fashion, with the lights shining brightest, they were utterly destroyed by NiP in the quarterfinals. The loss would mark the beginning of a shift in Dosia’s form, and the once dependable player seemingly began to fade.
Dosia stuck it out with HellRaisers through much of 2015. The roster would undergo several changes that year, losing markeloff and s1mple and bringing back AdreN. At ESL One Katowice 2015, HellRaisers were eliminated fairly quickly with losses to CLG and KeyD Stars. Without much success in 2015, Dosia had one last hurrah at the Acer Predator Masters Season 1 Finals where his team took the title. With a +39 K/D ratio, he delivered a solid performance for his final run with HellRaisers, the place he had called home for most of his career.
After bouncing around smaller teams in his region for a brief period, Dosia became part of the current Gambit lineup with hopes of returning to his former glory. If Dosia can ever attain the elite level of play that he was known for in the early years of CS:GO remains to be seen. However, ELEAGUE provides a chance to prove his worth.
Mou’s story is quite different from his veteran teammate Dosia. A widely unknown player until his arrival to HellRaisers in April of 2015, Mou would replace flamie, taking a role as the main AWPer for the team going forward. His first event with the team came at the CIS LAN Championship later that month. While HellRaisers scored wins against smaller names while taking losses to FlipSide Tactics, Mou performed quite well with a +30 K/D ratio at the event.
In May, Mou faced off against top international teams on LAN for the first time at DreamHack Open Tours. HellRaisers split 1-1 with Titan in group play, losing to fnatic in the playoffs. While Mou looked sharp in games versus Titan and one map win against fnatic, he struggled mightily in the other games. Overall, it was still a decent showing for a newcomer to the international scene. There were moments where Mou proved to have a highly positive impact with the AWP. At Fragbite Masters 4 in June of 2015, Mou would get his next opportunity to prove his worth, this time against TSM (now Astralis) and Natus Vincere. Mou struggled to perform as his team took heavy losses, and it was the same story at the SLTV StarSeries XIII Finals where HellRaisers lost all five maps played. However, Mou showed some individual improvement.
His shining moment came at the Acer Predator Masters Season 1 Finals in September of 2015. Here, Mou led HellRaisers to a title with a win over mousesports in the finals in a bo7, as well as bo3 wins over EFrag, dignitas, SK, and TSM (now Astralis). Mou ended the event with a +69 K/D ratio as well as an extensive highlight reel. Mou had finally proven his ability to handle top competition, increasing his stock as an AWPer substantially.
After HellRaisers failed to qualify for the Cluj-Napoca major, Mou left the team and later joined Gambit. Since then, he has been a key factor in their qualification for MLG Columbus and now ESL One Cologne. He put up solid numbers in their wins over Renegades and Cloud9 to make it to Columbus, and while the main event did not go well, Mou again helped Gambit qualify for Cologne with impressive performances against EnVyUs, OpTic, and G2.
With these showings, there is little doubt Mou has grown tremendously as a player. He is now at a point where he can be consistently relied upon to deliver the goods against the world’s elite. Gambit will certainly be counting on Mou in their upcoming events as they look to make a big splash on the international scene.