What looked like a quiet week on paper has turned out to be one of the biggest in recent memory. Sure there wasn’t that much in the way of top tier action, especially with ESEA’s servers having a moment yet again, but boy did we get a lot of big news. We have the first details of the next major, some major roster changes and even a new map to play with.
Of course there was also a ton of memes, big plays and drama, as there is every week. So while the in game action may have been a little lacking over the last seven days, Valve and the community have given us more than enough to keep us entertained. We would be truly impressed if you managed to keep up with everything that went down this week, so as ever here is all the things you need to know about.
Astralis vs North – ESL Pro League
The battle of the Danes was a really weird pair of maps that couldn’t have been more opposed. The first map was on Overpass, and North absolutely dominated Astralis, to the point where you would question if Astralis were falling apart internally after their world champion form. They did not look good, and this wasn’t even close.
Then map two comes along, just minutes after the first map is over, and it is almost like another team has joined the server and is stepping in for Astralis. Playing on Nuke, Dev1ce took the game into his own hands and pretty much won the map single-handedly. He posted a 32-14 K/D ratio and a massive 1.83 HLTV rating for the map.
Both of the maps had some big plays, although on Overpass they were pretty much all from North, and both teams made some questionable decisions. These are two teams that know each other incredibly well, so some of the less conventional strategies could just have been mind games, but either way this is a great series to watch if you have some spare time.
Winners & Losers
This week Valve revealed that PGL has been given the next Major, and that it will be held in Krakow, Poland. The main event will take place in the Tauron Arena in Krakow between July 21st and 23rd, with the group stage set to run between July 16th and 19th. Once again sixteen teams will be battling for a share of $1 million, with the top eight from the ELEAGUE Major already being guaranteed a place in Krakow. This of course means that ESL One Cologne will not be a major for the first time in quite a few years.
Winner: YouTube and ECS
A massive broadcast rights deal was announced this week as it was revealed that the ECS league will be exclusive to YouTube. The deal between FACEIT, the owners of the league, and YouTube is a multi year contract and will allow YouTube to focus on the monetization aspect, while FACEIT continues to run everything else. No exact terms were mentioned but you can expect FACEIT to have pocketed a lot of money from this deal. As for YouTube, they are now starting to have a monopoly on the CS:GO scene, with exclusive broadcast rights for both ECS and the ESL Pro League.
Draken has long been tipped by many to be the next big thing in Swedish CS, and now he has been given his big opportunity as the fifth member of Ninjas in Pyjamas. The organisation announced that pyth has been moved to the bench, and Draken has been brought in to replace him. Draken will take up the AWP role, which NiP have never really been able to fill, and things have started out reasonably well. The team finally managed to win two matches in the ESL Pro League against Team Kinguin, to lift themselves off the bottom of the table with Draken having a fairly big impact in both games.
Loser: ESL Pro League
Another tough week for ESL’s big competition as they yet again ran into technical issues. First off the first day of matches was outright canceled just hours before they were due to start, as ESEA was having ISP issues that meant there servers went offline. With that issue resolved the second day went off as normal, but then by the time we hit the NA matches on day three more problems arose. In the C9 vs Misfits match there was a server crash with Misfits up 24-23 and in a 4 vs 1 to win. Over two hours later the stream ended with no result from the match, only for the final round to be played about 20 minutes later. Liquid also experienced similar issues and ended up forfeiting mid game against Renegades.
This week we learned that Skadoodle had been rushed to hospital with a serious medical condition. Apparently after having an operation just over a week ago, Skadoodle passed out when back home, smashing his head into a door, and was rushed to hospital. He spent a few days in the hospital, but now appears to be on the mend, however he won’t be back playing for Cloud9 for some time. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Hi everyone thanks for your wishes and support ❤ I went through a bad phase and I'm stable now but still have to get some lab work done.
— Tyler Latham (@C9Skadoodle) March 17, 2017
I hope to return ASAP but my heart needs to rest and I need to recover more before I return.
— Tyler Latham (@C9Skadoodle) March 17, 2017
Losers: People who dislike new maps
This week we got a new map to play with, in the form of Canals, which according to Valve is based on an “Italian city”, although those Holmes-esque investigators over on Reddit quickly established that it is based on Venice. The map has been very divisive, some love it, others hate it, but the general consensus is that it is a very different kind of Counter-Strike. As with many new maps there are a lot of technical issues right now, so expect Valve to fix those before it comes anywhere near the competitive map pool.
Play of the Week
There were a lot of good plays this week, but this one was our favorite mostly because of the reaction and how it escalates. Playing on what seems to be a force buy round our hero managed to get a perfectly timed kill and grab himself an AWP. While still screaming about the first kill he hits another, and then hits a pretty good shot to make it a triple. Clearly realizing luck was on his side he goes for a random wall bang into heaven and it actually works. We wish we could hit something like this.
Honorable mention goes to this incredible wall bang from GuardiaN.
Fail of the Week
This was a quiet week on the fails front, but we did manage to find this great clip that will make all of us cringe. With the bomb rapidly ticking down the player makes a smart move and throws a smoke to cover himself. With a defuse kit in hand he has a good chance, but tries to defuse another kit that was dropped on the floor. Once he realises his mistake he moves over to the bomb itself but it is too late, his opponent has pushed through the smoke and takes him out. Trying to defuse something that isn’t the bomb is always embarrassing, but we think if he had gone to the bomb straight away he would have had enough time to get the round win.
Rarely does a knife round fall into the must watch category, but thanks to some nice production this one certainly does. A track from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and some cinematic camera work make this probably the coolest knife round we have ever seen, even if the in game action was a little mundane. We want to see this for every knife round from now on.
Astralis’ Audi sponsorship seems to be working out well for both parties, and now the Danish players have even appeared in an ad from Audi’s Q2. The ad itself is pretty hype, although it does feel like they may have forgotten that they have to sell a car and tacked that bit onto the end.
A new map resulted in the return of the decoy free throw meme and this time people took it to new levels. Some people made some good shots on the new map, but eventually the trolls took over and we ended up with things like this.