This week has been fun, hasn’t it? We had some big news about the future of CS:GO, we saw a ton of pro matches (including the return of ECS) and the debut of most of the new Dignitas roster, and then there was that Negev change that ruined everyone’s weekend. We have had busier weeks, but this one was entertaining.
Match of the Week – FaZe Clan vs North
There were a lot of decent matches this week. NiP vs Astralis was way closer than we expected, SK Gaming vs Bee’s Money Crew went to overtime, and the UK Masters Spring 2017 Finals went all the way to a game five. But despite a lot of top-tier clashes, there was nothing truly great, so our Match of the Week is probably FaZe Clan vs North in the ESL Pro League, or more specifically the second map.
Map one was a pretty close 16-14 win for FaZe, but in map two it seemed like neither team wanted to win. North were up 14-4 at one point, but FaZe brought it back and probably would have taken it in regulation were it not for one small misplay. Then overtime kicked in and the rounds were traded pretty evenly, until FaZe decided they wanted to win and took the map 25-22. This wasn’t amazing Counter-Strike, but it will keep you entertained for a while if you have nothing better to do.
Winners & Losers
Winner: Chinese Counter-Strike players
Chinese CS players are finally getting proper support, with Perfect World officially launching Global Offensive in the region, much as they did for Dota 2. This means there will be a China server and even a Chinese Pro League competition. However, the most exciting part is that the announcement gave us a glimpse of a couple of slides hinting at Valve’s future plans. If the information is accurate, then we could see the next operation this summer, a switch to Source 2, and even the fabled UI update. Exact dates were TBC, but still: HYPE!
North signed an academy team this week, just in time for the Copenhagen Games. The team is made up of Frederik “LOMME” Nielsen, Daniel “mertz” Mertz, Nicolai “glace” Jensen, Nicklas “gade” Gade and Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand. They managed to place 5th-8th, outperforming both Fnatic Academy and Team LDLC after coming through the open BYOC qualifier. Initial performances suggest they are pretty strong, and could become a solid team in their own right. With a few orgs now picking up academy teams, there are now more routes than ever to becoming a pro player.
Speaking of academy teams, Fnatic said it will expand its academy system across more games thanks to significant investment. The org managed to pull in more than $7 million from multiple investors, including the owners of the Boston Celtics and the AS Roma soccer team. They will also use some of the cash to expand other areas such as support staff and the company’s hardware division. There was no mention of whether they plan to one-up VP and buy Olof a Ferrari, but founder Sam Matthews did have this to say:
“There has been strong growth in esports, which has accelerated in recent years, but the major shift has been in the acceptance and inclusion by sports franchises, media companies and high-profile individuals who have entered and advanced the industry rapidly. We’re incredibly excited by the opportunities available within esports, and having world-class investors and advisors only enhances our ability to address these opportunities and continue to innovate.”
Mousesports moved Timo “Spiidi” Richter to the bench this week and replaced him with Robin “ropz” Kool. The moves seems to be a good one for Mouz, but obviously is not so good for Spiidi, who has been having a tough time lately. “After the ELEAGUE Major I fell into a bit of a hole, motivation wise,” he said. “I didn’t feel as comfortable in the team as before and decided I will take a step back and try get into my old form again. I will keep streaming for all of you guys and will definitely not leave the competitive scene for good.”
Loser: People who want to play normal ranked games
Chances are that if you played CS over the weekend then you ran into someone with a Negev, who just holds an angle and unleashes a constant, impassable stream of bullets. You have Valve to thank for this new meta, because they decided it was a good idea to put the Negev back into competitive play at just $2,000, meaning you can buy it pretty much every round. This move is to encourage experimentation, and that seems to have worked, but it sure is starting to get annoying. Revert plz.
Loser: Selfless fans
When Selfless dropped their roster last week it sounded like they already had another option in mind. But now things have swung in totally the opposite direction. “We’ll sit back and evaluate what happens in the offseason, and if any opportunities that make sense appear, we’ll move quickly,” owner Ryu told Yahoo! Esports. “That said, we’re not in any rush to jump back in.” Doh.
Play of the Week
SK’s form of late has been a little hit and miss, especially online, but this play from Taco gave us hope they could soon be back to their best. In a 1v2 against one of the best duos in the game, Taco went airborne to try and secure the round and somehow managed to do it, including an unreal shot onto shroud to finish. Sadly this wasn’t enough to save the game though – SK lost the next round and therefore the map to Cloud9.
(Honorable mention goes to this crazy play from swag when he was practising his AWP skill on stream.)
This one really hurts to watch. There can only be a few server ticks between winning and losing this round, and the fact it halted a potential comeback makes it even worse. What’s more, if the first shot from the pistol hadn’t clipped through the box then it would have been a kill before the defuse came in. This really proves how close the margins can be at the top level, but man it hurts to watch.
NA decided this was the week to shuffle rosters around and reveal team line-ups for CS_Summit. Liquid confirmed that Twistzz is their official fifth member, which in turn freed up some space on Misfits, who benched Skyler “Relyks” Weaver. Misfits were then quick to announce they have picked up David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic and François “AmaNEk” Delaunay to fill the gaps. Elsewhere, Cloud9 announced that swag will be filling in for Skadoodle at the CS_Summit. Busy times in NA CS.
HTC is back hosting an event after their successful 1v1 tournament last year, but now it’s 2v2. The $50,000 competition will take place in Bucharest on May 13-14 and see the best duos in the world fight it out. HenryG and Sadokist will be on hand to cast the event with Spunj and Mantrousse joining in on the fun as well.
R/GlobalOffensive leaks onto R/All and confuses the hell out of people
This clip somehow managed to make it onto r/all during the week, and while we all know exactly what is going on, the people over on the frontpage were pretty confused. Impressively, when they ventured into the comments to ask about it, the folks on R/GlobalOffensive were really nice. Keep it up, Redditors.