On the eve of the new stage of the regional qualifiers for the major, the world’s leading teams clashed at one of the largest of the spring segment of the 2021 season. And DreamHack Masters Spring proved once again that in the online era, teams from the CIS have no equal on the CS:GO stage. Esports Charts talks about the success of Natus Vincere, the incredible prowess of s1mple, and the championship’s audience statistics.
NAVI is getting into shape and aiming for the top 1 spot of the world rankings
After displaying a not-too-successful performance in the 13th season of the ESL Pro League (where NAVI failed to pass the first round of the playoffs) the team of Alexander Kostylev played much more confidently at DreamHack. Natus Vincere took revenge on FURIA Esports and Gambit Esports – although the team managed to triumph to defeat the Russians only on the second attempt.
During the tournament, the players of Andrey B1ad3 Gorodensky showed their ability to adapt to the opponents. In the group’s decisive match, Natus Vincere suffered a devastating loss on Overpass (7:16) and lost the series to Gambit, but they were not afraid to choose the same map in the tournament’s finals – and prevailed on it, having mirrored the score. The result is a score of 3:0 and the second major trophy obtained by NAVI in 2021.
The Natus Vincere bootcamp is going well. Source: Instagram @natus_vincere_official
The HLTV.org portal recognized the NAVI captain as the tournament’s most valuable player. For s1mple, the MVP medal became the second one this year (the first one was received after winning the BLAST Premier Global Final). By their number, the Ukrainian is in the lead this season – which is a serious claim for the top 1 spot at the end of the year: as s1mple's main rival for the last two years, the Frenchman ZywOo, has not yet won a single award in the first half of 2021.
After the tournament, Natus Vincere leaped to the second spot in the HLTV.org ranking, pushing away Heroic and Astralis. In the ESL scoring system, the team retained the third spot but came close to Heroic. According to analysts, the CIS roster reached its peak shape right before the start of the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021, which will be the first of three RMR tournaments for the Stockholm Major.
CIS is cooler than everyone else
The victory of Natus Vincere is not the only reason for the Russian-speaking CS:GO fans to feel proud. At DreamHack Masters Spring, all the CIS-based teams proved that this very scene displays the most confidence in the online format.
Despite failing in the final, Gambit Esports had another outstanding tournament. On its way to the final, the Russian team defeated the powerful G2 Esports (that prevented Virtus.pro from entering the playoffs) not once but twice and retained its leading positions in the world rankings.
Gambit is facing a tough battle for a spot in the major. Source: Instagram @gambitesports
The analyst Petr1k rightfully noted that before the RMR tournament, almost all the CIS-based teams reaching their peak shape – with NAVI and Gambit competing with each other for the top 1 spot, while a total of six teams from the Russian-speaking region can be seen in the top 20. We must say this is quite intriguing, for it means the battle for the major will be more fierce than ever before – and Gambit Esports would need to double its efforts, given that it starts the qualifiers without last season’s bonus points.
While the current shape of the CIS-based teams is truly impressive, there’s still a major question: will this streak of achievements continue after the return of LAN matches? So far, everything has indicated that offline tournaments will resume very soon (in the best-case scenario, they will become more or less regular starting from July). And so, now hardly anyone dares to predict how the balance of forces will change by October when the Swedish Major starts.
Tournament’s viewer statistics – the record of DreamHack series
Top 5 DreamHack Masters tournaments
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 caused a level of hype among the audience that was unprecedented for the series. More than 551K peak viewers watched the final of the tournament, which makes it the most popular in the tournament operator’s CS:GO history. Following it is the championship held in Las Vegas in 2017, where 448K peak viewers followed the clash between Astralis and Virtus.pro at the semi-final.
Top DreamHack Masters tournaments by the average audience
Likewise, the spring tournament of 2021 is leading in terms of the average viewers throughout the entire airtime of broadcasts. Based on this indicator, the championship exceeded the previous such leader by 5.5K viewers.
Natus Vincere matches are in the top as usual
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 achieved such record-breaking figures largely thanks to the viewers of Russian-language broadcasts. Over 245K CIS-based fans watched the derby of Gambit versus Natus Vincere in the final; the match entered the top 3 ru-region matches in the discipline’s history. Russian-language broadcasts exceeded the English-language broadcasts by peak viewers indicator, reaching the mark of more than 219K viewers.
English-language broadcasts lead in the number of hours watched
However, English-language broadcasts bypassed the Russian-speaking ones by a wide margin in terms of the average viewers: 43.4% versus 28.1% in the total hours watched for the event. It is noteworthy that the top 3 languages accounted for more than 95% of the total number of hours spent by the viewers on the championship’s streams.
Traditionally, a lot of viewers watched the tournament on the broadcast of the Brazilian Gaules, who broadcast the matches of the local teams FURIA Esports and paiN Gaming. The Portuguese-language stream featured more than 120K peak viewers.
Gambit is not far behind NAVI in terms of the average audience
Natus Vincere once again became the most popular team of the tournament, with their matches being followed by over 274K average viewers. The viewers were attracted the most by the team’s two matches versus Gambit Esports – and in terms of average viewers, the latter came second, reaching the mark of 238K viewers. The top 5 also included Heroic, FURIA, and Astralis.
Until the end of May, local RMR championships, where teams earn qualifying points for the major, are held in all regions. Tournaments in the CIS, Europe, and South America have already started, and North America will start on May 20th.
At the end of the month, we will summarize the results of the qualifiers –and for now, subscribe to the Esports Charts social networks to keep yourself updated of all the most recent esports viewership statistics.