The young international side has registered its first top-tier tournament win since DreamHack Open Tours in May, dispatching EG and ENCE along the way with only three maps dropped across five series.

Expectations game

Though this mouz side has been branded as consistently inconsistent, they’ve showed their strong side in Shanghai, taking home the lion’s share of the $500 000 prize pool off the back of confident performances at the event. Despite having less than an hour to prepare for the grand final, mousesports’ re-jigged veto strategy allowed them to triumph over ENCE, the Finnish side who pipped them to the post in the group stage winners’ match earlier in the week.

The young international side tends to struggle with the opening matches in tournaments, and their comfortable 2-0 win over AVANGAR was perhaps a sign of things to come. Though they’ve followed that one up with a fairly straightforward defeat to ENCE (with a notable 16-11 Inferno win sandwiched between losses on Mirage and Dust 2), not many expected them to have a chance against Evil Geniuses, who were dropped into the quarter-final bracket due to their loss to MIBR.

Read more: What’s the ceiling of this mousesports side?

Veto wins galore

However, a surprise move in the veto stage where mouz let through Overpass to great effect followed up with a Nuke win allowed them to advance to the semi-final off the back of a series where frozen went absolutely nuts. Though the ensuing series against TYLOO seemed like a lay-up on paper, the Chinese side almost managed to pull off an upset after crushing mouz 16-6 on Overpass and racing to a 15-8 lead on Inferno, only to spectacularly collapse from then on and allow the series to move to the third map. Dust 2 also turned out to be a close affair, with an eventual 16-14 win off the back of woxic’s incredible heroics on the B site.

With ENCE taking out MIBR on the other side of the bracket, the stage was set for a rematch of the Group B winners’ match in the grand final of the CS:GO Asia Championships.

It turned out to be a very different affair in the end, with mouz banning Mirage this time around. ENCE went on to select Train as the opening map of the series, but the international squad’s impressive T-side showing enabled them to take it with a 16-10 scoreline. Things weren’t looking good on paper for the Finns considering their previous record on Inferno, but this didn’t stop them from racing to a 5-0 lead to begin the battle.

However, karrigan’s great individual performances and regular entry frags (the Danish IGL had the best K/D on the server for Inferno) wrestled back control to mousesports who won eight rounds in a row, likely still happy with the overall outcome of the half even after they’ve lost the last two before swapping to the CT side. Once again, ENCE failed to keep up their momentum after a strong start, winning the first four rounds as terrorists but failing to convert a single one from then on, their title challenge petering out as mouz tightened their hold on the bombsites. It was karrigan’s triple kill against a force-buy which netted them the match point, and it all ended with a defuse to secure mouz’s first tournament win in six months.

Photo credit: HLTV