Some of the best CSGO players in the world will be heading to Finland in September for the inaugural Arctic Invitational.
The four carefully selected teams will be battling it out for the €100,000 prize fund in Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena for a one-day extravaganza on September 14.
Initially, NRG Esports were the headline act, but unfortunately, the franchise owned by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings have had to withdraw from the event due to scheduling issues.
In their place comes Cloud9, who feature former NRG member daps in their ranks, who will take on CR4ZY – who can call upon local Finnish favorite Otto ‘ottoNd’ Sihvo – and the Brazilian outfit FURIA.
The fourth team to make up the tournament, which will represent Finland, will be confirmed at a Qualifier which takes place at Tubecon 2019.
The format will be a simple knockout phase, so an open draw will see two semi-finals – played out over the best-of-three – before the two winners meet in the final and the chance to win the €60,000 top prize.
Up in the Clouds
As far as most are concerned, Cloud9 will be the favorites to win this inaugural hosting of the Arctic Invitational.
But it’s been a year to forget for the team, as anyone who follows the latest CSGO news will testify. The franchise has undergone several roster changes, while suffering a number of high-profile early exits from major events.
On July 2, big changes were made were to the Cloud9 set-up. Daps was signed as team captain, and he was joined in a new-look roster by TenZ, mixwell and koosta. JamezIRL was appointed as head coach, with valens returning to his role of head of data science. Cajunb and vice, signed in the spring, were both released.
That new squad got their first outing at the BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles 2019 event earlier in the summer, and by-and-large the signs were good. They reached the semi-finals in LA, beating FaZe Clan and tying with NRG Esports and MIBR along the way.
With confidence restored, they will surely prove tough to beat in Helsinki.
They won’t have things all their own way, however. FURIA are now up to as high as nine in the HLTV rankings, and they too have form in the bank having finished runners-up in the Americas Minor Championship over in Berlin, before taking the spoils in the ESEA season 31 Global Challenge tournament.
At seventeen in the rankings, CR4ZY have ground to make up on their opponents but they do have previous in some big events this year, as second-place finishes in the European Minor Championship and DreamHack Open Tour attest.
— CR4ZY (@gocr4zy) August 11, 2019
Of course, we are yet to find out the identity of the fourth entry, who will earn their place via the Finnish qualifier.
However, it would be a sound bet that ENCE Esports are the ones to progress. They are surely the best CSGO outfit in the Scandinavian country, winning a catalogue of events including the DreamHack Winter Open and StarSeries & i-League Season Six. They have recent form in the tank as well, having triumphed in the Europe Minor Championship over in Poland.
Either way, CSGO fans are assured a frenetic tournament as four high-class teams do battle in Finland.