KOVA Esports beat their biggest rivals and claimed the Elisa Invitational spot

PHOTO: Kova Esports

KOVA Esports lost only two maps out of ten during the round robin season of Elisa Viihde Spring Challenge. They weren’t the only team to win eight maps, but the runner-up Conquer Gaming lost the tie-breaker by round difference as their head-to-head match ended in a 1-1 draw.

KOVA clinched the Elisa Invitational spot and 5000 euros by winning their map pick Vertigo against VETO Esports. They lost the following Overpass narrowly 14-16, but it mattered only for VETO with their race for bigger prize money. VETO overtook SJ Gaming, and placed third.

Spring Challenge was battled between six Finnish teams:

1 InviteKOVA Esports5000e + Elisa Invitational
2 Qualifier Conquer Gaming2500e
3 Qualifier VETO Esports1500e
4 Invite SJ Gaming1000e
5 Invite Helsinki REDS
6 Qualifier Team CrazyCoco

The most important victory for KOVA was the clean 2-0 against SJ Gaming. Only weeks before the match, the more experienced SJ had been victorious at Lantrek 2020 – with no resistance from KOVA. After the closed qualifiers of Rio Minor, KOVA made some role changes.

AWP was given for their 17-year-old star player Nikita “derkeps” Sirmitev, allowing Petteri “peku” Jaakkola to lead with a rifle in his hands. Following the role change, they stomped all the four maps against their biggest rivals Helsinki REDS and SJ Gaming. Apart losing 14-16 against Conquer Gaming and VETO Esports, KOVA won all maps losing only six rounds per map by average.

The role change didn’t cause any trouble for derkeps, and the young gun averaged 89.8 damage per round, biggest in the league.

League average ADR: 73.8

1derkepsKOVA Esports89.2
2jemiVETO Esports 88.3
3zksConquer Gaming 87.2
4uliKOVA Esports 85.9
5NksuConquer Gaming 82.9

Unsurprisingly, he also led kills per round convincingly.

League average kills per round: 0.66

1derkepsKOVA Esports0.92
2uliKOVA Esports0.81
3jemiVETO Esports0.78
4NksuConquer Gaming0.78
5zksConquer Gaming0.78

Derkeps also claimed the fourth-most amount of entry frags per round.

League average entry-frags per round: 0.10

#PlayerTeamEntry-frags per round% of entry duel roundsSuccess-% of entry duels
2arvid SJ0.1526.8%56.3%

SJ Gaming and Helsinki REDS were the most obvious under-achievers, placing 4th and 5th. Both were invited, only to be 2-0’d by Conquer Gaming and drawing against VETO Esports. It’s not as clear anymore, which teams belong in the top five in Finland – behind ENCE, HAVU Gaming and KOVA Esports.

KOVA Esports is one of eight teams competing in the Elisa Invitational, a BLAST Premier qualifier. The event is played online, starting 30th of April and ending 3rd of May. Two teams advance from Elisa Invitational to BLAST Premier Spring European Showdown among Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, Astralis and five other teams. Four teams will advance from European Showdown to European Finals of BLAST Premier Spring Series.