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Na’Vi crowned BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 Champions

Natus Vincere has become the 2020 BLAST Premier Global Finals 2020 Champions after taking down Astralis in the Grand Final. Na’Vi has won its first tournament in a while, ending the 2020 event calendar and starting their 2021 with a bang.

Natus Vincere’s run to the Final

Everyone thought that Natus Vincere was going to pull a typical Na’Vi result in the online era. The team hasn’t been particularly great recently and that was the form they started the event with. In their opening series, they played against Team Liquid, and lost 0-2. From there, the CIS roster had to play in the Lower Bracket to survive.

But their journey to the Finals was remarkable. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, the roster pulled it back again and again.

The first Lower Bracket opponent was against Complexity, and that was a close call. The Complexity series started off on a back burner. Complexity won the first map on Mirage 19-17, continuing Na’Vi’s loss streak. With elimination point set, NaVi came back on Nuke to win 16-8 breathing life into the roster. Moving on Na’Vi won Inferno 16-11, surviving for another series.

A familiar foe was next in line as Na’Vi faced off against the newly refreshed G2 Esports. Even with G2 Esports star carry Nikola “NiKo” Kovaฤ, Na’Vi still managed a 16-6 win on Train and 16-8 on Mirage. The momentum was in full swing for the CIS roster as Na’Vi was ramping up and starting to catch fire as the event went on.

The IGL’s brain was firing on all cylinders in his team’s approach and mechanical play.

After that, it was rematch time vs Team Liquid. It was clear Na’Vi was back in form when they faced Team Liquid again. This time, Na’Vi won the series 2-0, with the scores 16-13 for Inferno and 16-14 Nuke for the win.

After that, it was the 3rd and 4th place matchup between Natus Vincere and Team Vitality. This match was an absolute banger, with the series breaking the viewership record for an online CSGO event – excluding majors. Na’Vi and Vitality pulled in a 687k viewers peak. It was easy to see why; two best players in the world facing off against each other in what the community has described as a tough year to pick a world number one player.

As for the series itself, it was an incredible Lower Bracket Final. The first map went the full distance of a 19-17 Nuke, with Overpass heading to 16-12 for Vitality. The final map was Dust II, which is Vitality’s favoured map. but Na’Vi managed a 16-10 win. The Lower Bracket Final was a story of tremendous comeback, and the quality of their final LB opponent made it so much more special.

Na’Vi dominating the esports viewership for CS:GO

Na’Vi’s BLAST Premier Global Finale

With the Lower Bracket wrapped, Natus Vincere found themselves against Astralis, a team that has finally returned to form and keep making Finals. It was another 2-0 battle for Na’Vi as they had hit their peak form at this point. Nuke was once again on the cards as the most popular map in the current era of CS:GO. Astralis pulled their usual trick of substituting in Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen specifically for the map. Unfortunately for the Danes, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Egor “flamie” Vasilev were on point for the map, ending in a 16-12 victory for the CIS team.

The next map was Inferno, where the Danes never had a chance. Na’Vi destroyed Astralis making the number one team in the world look like an am-pro team. Na’Vi won 16-5, on a map where the design tends to create fairly even showings. Nonetheless, Na’Vi managed a 1.0 or more rating on four players, whereas everyone on bar one on Astralis earned less than a 0.9 rating. It was telling to how much everyone on Na’Vi was on fire. With that set, it became really easy for the BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 to award s1mple the MVP of the event.

A well-deserved MVP after a really long and challenging event

With the event over, CS:GO is back in action. The CS:GO offseason is done and teams are back, with the next event being the DreamHack Open January event. Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via BLAST.

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CS:GO

Vitality crowned BLAST Fall Premier 2020 Champions

Team Vitality has walked away with the BLAST Fall Premier 2020 trophy after taking down Astralis in the Grand Final. Vitality seems to have peaked at the right time, also showing the world that a proper six-man roster can be incorporated to take home trophies. With the win, the team earns $225,000 USD and has huge momentum to the final event of the year, the IEM Global Final.

The Playoff Run

The French side found their path to the Finals, similarly to how easy they recently found their path to the IEM Beijing Finals and their group showing. The side moved through the Upper Bracket with glee, taking down a recently resurged mousesports and Natus Vincere. The best part about this is that Na’Vi was looking like a world number one with the way the team was on fire.

The mouse series was the opening stomp that we expect from Vitality. Mousesports capitulated fairly early on in the series, going down 0-2 with a 16-7 loss on inferno and 16-8 on Dust II. Moving on, Team Vitality had a real fight against the best CIS team in Natus Vincere. While the score reads 2-0 for Vitality, both maps did go to overtime. Vitality had to win the map 19-15. On the other hand, Vitality won 19-17 on Dust II, showing it was the final round of overtime that mattered. Furthermore, the final round of that series was insane. There were quality spray transfers, pinpoint accuracy and amazing utility use from both sides. However, Vitality somehow secured the map victory despite all their players being dead. Mind-blowing!

One of the most memorable moments of CS:GO in 2020

With the Upper Bracket journey almost over, they met BIG in the Upper Bracket Final, where they achieved a 2-1 victory. For Vitality, this was a bit of a surprise, since they lost the first map of the series on Vertigo, 16-9, a map Vitality seem competent on. However, Vitality came back stronger with an unbelievable 16-1 on inferno, followed by a 16-2 series on Dust II. What is interesting about this is that while Mathieu ” ZywOo” Herbaut was Vitality’s most consistent performer, the in-game leader of Dan “apEX” Madesclaire performed admirably. ApEX achieved a 1.84 rating on Inferno, which isn’t something you see from an in-game leader every day.

The Final

Vitality eagerly awaited their opponent from the Lower Bracket. Out of the potential opponents, it was BIG Clan, Astralis, and Natus Vincere. But the story of the Lower Bracket was Natus Vincere losing to Astralis, which is a shame. Na’Vi was forced to use a sub for map one, tagging in Valerii “B1T” Vakhovskyi from there Na’Vi junior team. This situation hurt Na’Vi as the lower Bracket Buff Astralis recently gets seems to drive them to Finals without fail. Astralis won Inferno 16-11 and Train 16-7, a map Na’Vi are normally amazing on. This was the trend for the story, as Astralis beat BIG 2-0. winning Nuke 16-14 and then Dust 16-6.

With the opponent decided, it was a tense final between both teams. The opening match saw Vitality pull out what feels like a one-sided classic. Vitality battered Astralis in a 16-4 Vertigo, with ZywOo, not even the best player on the map. Kรฉvin “misutaaa” Rabier dominated on a 2.12 rating with le tank Cรฉdric “Rpk” Guipouy also dominating in his own right.

With that stomp set, the Danes woke up and returned for the second map. Nuke was the map of choice with Astralis beginning to take the lead from the get-go. They started off on the CT side and got 11 rounds. This seemed done and suited considering that Nuke is one of the popular maps for every team. However, Vitality made a great CT half off their own, but Astralis got three round wins in a row to cement themselves as the map two winners.

The final map of inferno once again saw Vitality gain a strong round. Vitality won 16-5 with everyone on Vitality popping off. One of the more notable players going off was once again Vitality’s best player in the world ZywOo and RPK popping off once again. With this result, Vitality is the BLAST Fall Premier 2020 Champions.

He certainly rolled back the years.

The end of 2020

With Vitality winning yet another trophy, they line themselves up well for the last event of the year, the IEM Global Finals. Here both Astralis and Vitality are set for potentially a rematch as these two teams are the finalists of the last few events they both attended. It will certainly be interesting to see who prevails over there.

Furthermore, one of BLAST’s analysts gave us a rundown of what the event meant for CS:GO at the present. These are solid narrative points as we watch the end of year event kick-off on the 15th December.

The narrative points to watch for the end of 2020 and the start of 2021

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via BLAST.

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Eight teams confirmed for IEM Global Challenge 2020

The IEM Global Challenge 2020 is confirmed, with the eight teams heading to Europe to compete in one of the 2020’s final events. The IEM Global Challenge 2020 will feature the four teams who earned their way to the event via recent tournament victories, with another four teams gaining their spot through the World Ranking system.

The first four teams to earn their spot through the events are Heroic, FURIA, Team Vitality and Chaos Esports Club. These four teams were successful at the DreamHack Open Fall, IEM New York NA, IEM Beijing-Haidian EU and NA events. While FURIA and Heroic were confirmed for months, Vitality and Chaos joust joined with the success at IEM Beijing over the weekend.

With the four teams confirmed, there were another four teams to earn direct invites through the ESL Pro Tour Rankings. Europe has two slots to the event, with Astralis and Complexity earning their tokens to the event. Over in North America, Evil Geniuses clinched their spot as they have had the next best run after FURIA Esports took the mantle over the last few months. Natus Vincere takes the final slot as they are the most dominant team in the CIS region.

What the Invited Teams means for the Event

The most interesting part of this is how Astralis and Complexity are the two European teams attending. With the recent Vitality victory at IEM Beijing, they secured themselves a spot. If they didn’t the competition of EU teams could have meant Vitality may have earned their invite through the EU top teams, while competing against the likes of BIG and Complexity for the spot.

The stars aligned for Complexity’s invite

On the other hand, the North American seeds are wild. With both Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses getting eliminated by Chaos E.C. and Triumph, it meant that one of NA’s T2 teams were going to a big event with intercontinental matchups. A typical final between EG and TL would have likely meant that both teams would have been invited, but the rise of Chaos has thrown a spanner in the works to really grow the success of the roster.

There was no question for Na’vi’s appearance at the event. If they won the EU Beijing event, they would have qualified via that route. But if they didn’t, then there was no doubt they would qualify through CIS. The only team close to them are VP and forZe, but both rosters are considerably far behind them in terms of quality.

With the amalgamation of teams at the event, the IEM Global Challenge 2020 is going to be an interesting event, with plenty of big teams competing against teams they normally never compete against. The IEM Global Challenge 2020 is set to start on December 15th to December 20th. The groups for the event are yet to be revealed.

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via IEM.

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Chaos and Team Vitality win IEM Beijing 2020

Chaos E.C. and Team Vitality lock in their spots to the IEM Global Challenge 2020 after winning their respective region’s IEM Beijing event. Team Vitality finally takes a first-place victory after missing out on the last four finals they have attended. Meanwhile, Chaos topple NA giants to grant themselves a trip to the Global Challenge.

Vitality Dominate Europe

Vitality has been one of Europe’s most consistent teams, having reached several Finals this year. There was no end to this momentum either, with Vitality once again progressing through their Group and Playoff brackets well. They started the event a little slow, with a 2-0 victory over Team Spirit, before getting 0-2 by Faze in the Upper Bracket Final.

With an exit to the Lower Bracket, they survived by taking down the MAD Lions, qualifying for the Playoffs. With their lower seed into the qualifiers, they faced off against Heroic, a team that recently beat them at the DreamHack Open Fall 2020 event. However, Vitality had repaired their mistakes and found a 2-1 victory against Heroic.

Moving on, they 2-0 Complexity in the semi-finals, with the series looking considerably easy for them. Vitality won Vertigo 16-11 and then took Mirage 16-7, showing how they were snowballing the more the event went on. Then came the finals, were Vitality reverse swept their opposition.

Vitality staying calm and clutching in the semis

Natus Vincere and Vitality met in the finals for an epic battle. The gods of CS:GO, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev met for supremacy. Na’Vi and s1mple led the charge off the bat, with two map wins in quick succession. Na’Vi won Nuke 16-5, and Dust II 16-12. It certainly seemed like Vitality that couldn’t quite make it in the finals returned.

But Vitality remained composed and turned the series on its head. Vitality earned quick maps of their own in, making Overpass a 16-6, Inferno a 16-9, and Mirage 16-8 wins. With that success, Vitality managed to defy the expectations their storyline projects and lifted a trophy for once. With the win, Vitality makes their way to the IEM Global Challenge 2020 and are one of the candidates for taking home the end of the year trophy.

Vitality certainly raised the stakes by the end of the series

Chaos Win the NA Beijing Event

Who really expected Chaos to win the North American portion of the IEM Beijing event. Rumours are circulating that Chaos is looking to exit CS:GO but that certainly didn’t stop the roster from giving it their all. Chaos made the underdog run in a region where T2 CS is falling apart, with their org set to leave, and still managed success.

Chaos started off the event as expected, winning against teams below them, but lost to Team Liquid in the Upper Bracket Final. With them escaping the group, they faced off against EG, the team that took first in the other group. But this is where the story for NA gets interesting.

Both Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses are the expected teams to make it to the Finals considering there was no FURIA and the old 100T roster has disbanded. However, Chaos and Triumph both succeeded as the underdogs with both winning 2-1. Chaos beat EG 16-11 on Overpass, lost 16-6 on inferno, and won 16-11 on Nuke. On the other hand, Triumph won Inferno 16-12, lost Dust II 16-8 and won Nuke 16-14.

Even on match point eco, Chaos had the tools to pull this off.

Moving into the finals, Chaos faced Triumph in the battle of the underdogs. Chaos won the series 3-1, taking Train 16-5, losing Mirage 16-11 winning Overpass 16-5, and Nuke 16-14. With the victory, Chaos join Vitality as the final event winning team to make it to the IEM Global Challenge 2020. This is a great achievement for one of North America’s rising stars, and one that is going to be interesting to watch unfold.

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch. Image via Chaos.

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Vitality impress at BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Group B

Vitality is the champion of the BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Group B, and they pulled off the victory in an impressive showing. The French organisation unleashed their six-man roster on the CS:GO world for the first time, and it was indeed a sight to behold. Let’s see what happened through the Group.

Vitality’s path

Vitality is one of those teams that have been consistently good near enough all year long. Unlike many top teams, Vitality hasn’t faltered in the online era, and they consistently put up good showings in almost every tournament. However, the roster seems to choke on the final hurdle, as they have been to four finals and failed to lift a trophy in 2020.

With the context set, Vitality entered their BLAST Premier Fall Group B with a fresh start. The team brought its six-man roster forward, and it got better and better as the event went on. On the other hand, Complexity had their new player, Justin “jks” Savage begin playing for the team after recently departing from 100T. So the series was definitely a warm-up for both sides. The French started off against the juggernaut, Complexity. The series went the full distance, wit Nuke going 16-14 to Vitality. Nabil โ€œNiveraโ€ Benrlitom then got his debut match on Dust ii, but unfortunately, Complexity had a great map and won it 16-12. The final map had the new player head to the bench, and that was the recipe for Vitality claiming another 16-14 win on Vertigo.

Moving on, they faced BIG in the Upper Bracket of Group B. BIG found their way to this after facing off against FaZe Clan in the other opening round of Group B. FaZe just lost their best player, but the roster put up a good fight forcing them into overtime in the first map, and taking the second map. However, BIG ended up winning it. But the same could not be said about their series vs Vitality as they lost 2-0. Int eh first map both Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Richard “shox” Papillion combined to have 36 kills in the first half of Dust II. Vitality took Dust II 16-10, with Overpass a 16-11 win.

Vitality had to make the odd comeback here and there to get the series win

Vitality’s Final

Once again, Vitality met BIG in the Grand Final of the BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Group B. BIG came in a bit more prepared this time, but it wasn’t enough to stop the reformed French side from taking the Group win. Vitality once again showed off their favour for Dust II and won it 16-12. Vitality’s T side was nigh unstoppable, as the working combination of Nivera and ZywOo shared 25 kills opening and clearing the CT side.

BIG may have lost the series, but they had grand moments of their own throughout the series

Big did get their own back against Vitality on Nuke. 16-14 seems to be the default for Nuke in this Group B event, and that’s how BIG won against Vitality. BIG dominated the first half with a 12-3 showing, but somehow Vitality almost managed the same scoreline on the next half. It was only in the key moment of round 30 that BIG switched the narrative on its head and secured the third map.

Inferno made an appearance as the final map of the series. Vitality would once again earn a 16-12 to take the series 2-1 and win BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Group B. Once again, Vitality’s new pairing of ZywOo and Nivera popped off again, and that was the key to a successful 10-3 half, claiming the map at a 16-12 win.

Vitality has done nothing but impress throughout this Group B showing. The ability to mix and match to the team with strategies and setups in mind obviously proved crucial in Vitality’s aim to get wins on the board. With them and BIG in the final, they both Head to the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Finals later in the year. We look forward to seeing how Vitality redefines the six-man roster.

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via BLAST.

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Heroic topple Vitality at DreamHack Open Fall 2020

Heroic continue their rise to the top of European CS:GO as the Danish roster took down Vitality in a full best-of-five series to win DreamHack Open Fall 2020. This is the second time that Heroic has taken down Vitality in a Grand Final, as they did so at ESL One Cologne. With the victory, Heroic earn themselves $33,000 USD and a trip to the IEM Global Challenge in December. Let’s take a look at how they won DreamHack Open Fall 2020 and all the big storylines to come out of the event.

The Road to the Championship

Heroic had no right to win the tournament the way they started. The side started off the event poorly, leaving the group with a 1-2 scoreline, only beating out Endpoint to survive the Group Stage, with G2 and Astralis coming out ahead above them.

With that Group Stage result, they began their journey through the Lower Bracket playoffs where they would be forged through the flames of war.

The start of the journey began with eliminating North from the event in a 2-0 series. The first map was too close with Nuke heading to Heroic 22-20. The series closed on Vertigo with a 16-10 win. Heroic then moved on to face Sprout, which ended 2-1. The results of that series was 16-11 on Mirage, 10-16 on Train, and 16-12 on Nuke.

Although the Danes picked themselves up there and really began elevating their game. With the weaker teams eliminated, they were onto the big guns of BIG. Big and Heroic are no strangers to each other, with both teams rising up the World rankings in 2020. The series was a banger as expected, with the result going 2-1 to Heroic. Vertigo was won 16-5, with Big returning to stomp in a 16-8 Mirage win. The decider followed the stomping ground of a 16-5 victory for Heroic.

The following series was a sign of the improvement the team made as they took down NiP and then Astralis. Both series had close maps, losses and big wins. But these themes were not enough to stop Heroic. Both series went 2-1 to Heroic, which is a sign of that Heroic’s run has been one of continuous improvement with their backs against the wall. Not to mention that different player’s coming in clutch at the right time.

The Danish derby is one of the best narratives in CS:GO right now

The Finals

With the victory against Astralis in the final round of the Lower Bracket, they took on Vitality, who had a perfect run through the event. Despite a perfect run through DreamHack Open Fall 2020, Heroic managed to clinch the series 3-2. The thing about this series is that both teams put in the work to claim the trophy, however, fatigue seems to have got to Vitality since their game slipped at the very end.

Vitality started off the series with an overpass victory. Vitality earned the win after beating Heroic 19-17. The disappointing part of about this is that vitality was 14-7 at one point. But clutches from all members on the Heroic side was key to cementing overtime comebacks.

Niko with a great clutch to get them back in the game

Nuke too was an overtime battle, with both teams battling with intense plays and set pieces. The battle came to an end when Heroic won yet another 22-20 on Nuke, proving they can keep it cool on one of CS:GO’s hottest maps.

Things started cooling off come the third map, as Heroic managed to claim a win on Inferno 16-11. With the fatigue and clear map wins moving in, Vitality responded with a 16-10 Vertigo win of their own. However, it seemed like the fatigue had finally got to the teams. After an intense series, Vitality appeared to capitulate, as Heroic won the final map of Mirage 16-7 and took home the trophy.

Vitality has amazing moments of their own this series.

The Narratives

Through DreamHack Open Fall 2020, we have seen strong narratives play out. One of the biggest storylines is this is Vitality’s fourth Grand Final, yet they have failed to pick up a trophy. The roster is now heading into its six-man roster transition. Perhaps this is exactly what the roster needs to get a trophy. The French side has everything it needs to win, yet it isn’t picking the vital wins when it matters. Hopefully, the side gets their act together, otherwise, it will be awkward cliff note for one of the best teams in the world.

One the other hand, Astralis and Heroic are becoming the hottest rivalry in CS:GO. Both teams are trading series wins, and the results are pretty close with each team taking a series off each other every event. Both teams went 1-1 this event, which is a sign of how competitive both teams are. Also, Casper “cadiaN” Mรธller is achieving a 1.3 rating against teams in the top 5. It is a sign that the Danish scene is improving and Astralis has some serious competition ahead of itself as the Danish scene grows stronger.

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via Heroic.

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ESL Pro League Season 12 Week 2 Europe – Complexity undefeated

The second week of ESL Pro League 12 is over and Complexity is on top of the world. The masters of Group B gained another two series victories in ESL Pro League Europe Week 2. Furthermore, Group A sees ENCE and Na’Vi at the top, but three key victories from Heroic has seen them get into a strong position heading into Week 3 of the Groups.

Group A

In Group A, ENCE and Na’Vi remain in as the top two teams in the group, each with a 4-1 scoreline. ENCE lost their first match this week against last-place GODSENT, bringing them back in line with Natus Vincere. On the other hand, Na’Vi earned two victories in Week 2, one against AGO and the other against OG. Although, Na’Vi had to earn their victory against OG, as the series went to the third map and they only won the decider on Nuke 16-14.

The more interesting narrative in Group A comes from the middle of the pack. Heroic, BIG, G2 Esports, and OG are 3-2 or 2-3, showing how competitive the third week is likely to be. Heroic’s 3-0 score in Week two comes after they had a great three-game series against G2 Esports, a close three-game series against BIG, and another close series against GODSENT. Two of these three victories are clutch results for Heroic as they took down two teams they are in direct contest with. The best thing is this makes them third in the group standings as they hold the head-to-head against BIG. Out of the mid-table, the ESL One Cologne Champions, Heroic, seem the likeliest candidate for advancing into the quarter-finals.

Looking ahead to Week 3, G2 and OG have some difficult games as they both have to take on ENCE and Natus Vincere – the top two of the group. G2 and OG need to put on a stellar show because their chances at advancing into the top four of the groups are slimming based on current results in this group.

Plays like this are what got Heroic a juicy 3-0 score.

Group B

On the other side of the European event, Complexity is dominating their opponents in Group B. Complexity had yet another fantastic week, taking down the likes of Team Spirit and Fnatic. However, Complexity went from two 2-0 victories in Week 1 to two 2-1 victories in Week two. Complexity’s grasp may be slipping after their star performance against Astralis and NiP in the ESL Pro League Europe Week 2. In Week 3, Complexity has three series to play against teams like mousesports, Vitality, and FaZe. The likes of mousesports and Vitality may give Complexity a proper good go since both teams are performing in ESL Pro League Season 12.

Complexity had to put in the work to take the series victory against Fnatic.

Another important aspect of Group B is the ability for any team to miss the quarters. As it stands, mousesports and Fnatic are the two mid-table teams in position to escape Group B. Although, almost every team outside the top two are 2-2, with the exceptions of NiP’s 1-3 score and FaZe’s 0-4 score. Also, every team has to play three games in Week 3, so whoever escapes Group B is the better team.

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch. Image via BLAST.