The IEM Katowice 2021 Grand Finals surprised everyone with Gambit Esports and Virtus.pro facing off for the top spot. But at the end of the day, it was Abay ‘Hobbit’ Khasenov who stole the show as Gambit reverse-swept VP.
A Grand Final like this was a long time coming for Richard Lewis, who’s seeing the talent gap across the CS:GO landscape narrow. With a ton of potential in the CIS region, IEM Katowice was great display of how CS can evolve from here.
At the center of Gambit’s really young core is Hobbit, 25, who put on an incredible display while reminding everyone why he was a Major winner in 2017.
Since the PGL Kraków Major, Hobbit’s name has been predominantly missing from many big tournaments, but made a resounding impression in his latest IEM campaign.
Hobbit was an absolute monster against VP and in Gambit’s overall run at IEM Katowice. While he had a slow start in the first two maps of the Grand Finals, the Kazakh international turned it up to secure the club’s biggest trophy in nearly four years.
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With a 1.40 rating by going +25 in the best of five series against VP, Hobbit led the entire field with the most kills and highest ADR of 106.
Even when Hobbit would falter, the rest of Gambit was primed and ready to pick up the slack. IEM was an all around masterclass showing from the CIS team, and CSGO fans will be look forward to their next performance.