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Gambit Esports won Funspark ULTI 2021, beating Entropiq in the grand finals 2-0. They netted themselves $150,000, a place at Funspark ULTI 2022 and the pride of winning the first event of 2022 with Tier 1 teams in attendance.

“Of course, it’s like a cool feeling when you won such a tournament,” Gambit’s in-game-leader Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov said in a post-match interview. “Maybe it’s not like BLAST or some ESL tournament, but it’s still a good one.”

Gambit win first big Counter-Strike event of 2022

Funspark ULTI, run by Funspark and Relog Media, is a carry-over event from 2021. Eight teams battled it out in the online A-Tier tournament in Europe over the past week.

Despite dropping the occasional map, Gambit ran through the upper bracket. They beat Complexity Gaming, BIG Esports and Entropiq (twice). They seemed to get stronger as the event went on, shaking the cobwebs off after a prolonged break from competitive Counter-Strike. Entropiq made a valiant effort to go through the lower bracket, knocking out big names like Astralis and BIG, but falling short at the end.

“Every opponent was really strong, especially Complexity,” nafany said. “They showed good CS.”

The No. 4 player of 2021, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov proved he was in top form over the course of the tournament. He was the highest rated player of the event, with a 1.43 rating over 10 maps.

Gambit’s Funspark win is reminiscent of the start of 2021, where the Commonwealth of Independent States squad started with win after win at online events. They’ll be looking to carry their momentum into Intel Extreme Masters Katowice from Feb. 15-27; the first truly coveted trophy of the year. Gambit return to the event as the defending champions.

“After this, we will start to prepare for Katowice,” nafany said. “Of course, we want to be, at least, at the same form as before and, if we can be better than before, it will be really cool for us.”