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Counter-StrikeCSBlogpost

rich: "A nice change of pace"

1
After a hectic 2016, I have to say it's a nice change of pace with these gaps in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive circuit. Quality over quantity, people!
Last year, we saw some of the most hectic scheduling we've ever had to endure in Counter-Strike's existence. Sure, 2017 didn't start off in a lower gear as more than 2,5 million dollars were competed for in January alone. However, what made the Eleague Major so exciting was that most of the teams took a month-long break prior to the event, meaning it was extremely tough to predict.

I feel like this week's StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 finals are offering us something similar to what the past Major did. More than a month has passed since the last Premier tournament, the IEM XI-finals in Katowice, Poland. And while teams have been balancing their form with online play, this upcoming Kiev event is very hard to predict. It's a great change of pace in my opinion, because quality definitely beats quantity.

I have questions, and I expect answers

As a Swede, I'm not only eager to see how Fnatic have developed since we last saw them, but particularly interested in seeing how William "draken" Sundin will adapt to playing with NiP on the figurative, as well as literal, big stages. I'm also extremely curious to see what G2 Esports has in store for us, seeing as we've only seen them play online matches so far. Needless to say, I'm very hyped to see the Swiss stage opening round where NiP and the French star-studded roster play each other.

draken.
NiP tend to do well right after roster changes. Will draken experience his first top-tier win?


The month-long pause from offline competitive play also includes the Katowice finalists Astralis and FaZe Clan. There is no disputing the Danish Major champions' place at the very top, but they should also be mentioned as they are the ones to challenge for the number one spot in the world. FaZe Clan, however, are more of a tingling subject as they have performed better and better for every tournament they have played since recruiting Finn "karrigan" Andersen and bringing back Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey in the fall. And the question is if they can finally quench that thirst of a tournament win with Nikola "NiKo" Kovač on their roster.

If we look at teams with a somewhat similar, but still very different storyline, we find both Virtus.pro and SK Gaming. The former Polish team failed to get out of groups at their home-crowd tournament in Katowice, and my bet is that they have used this past month to correct mistakes and come back with a re-lit fire under their asses. Same goes for SK, who also missed out on the playoffs in Poland, who hopefully have interesting things in store with their recent recruit João "felps" Vasconcellos.

Sad pasha at the Fragbite Masters finals.
Come on Virtus.pro — no one wants to see a sad pasha!


Asia hwaiting?

I can keep going with the European and American teams on the list, seeing as most of them are highly interesting. But my mind keeps rolling East. At last year's Season 2 finals of StarSeries, the Chinese teams came up with surprising results. TyLoo, who are also present in Kiev this week, defeated Na`Vi and pressured both Danish squads Astralis and Heroic in the next matches in the group. Their countrymen of VG.CyberZen, who won't be in the Season 3 finals, also upset Virtus.pro in the opening round.

I feel like TyLoo always show something interesting, because they need out-of-the-box thinking to stand up to the greats of Counter-Strike, and while MVP Project failed to impress me internationally in 2016, I still want to keep an eye on them.

So, this is what I mean

Most of my questions could have easily been answered via a tournament held three weeks ago, but I don't think I would have been as interested in the answers. Pauses build up a silent tension, because the longer it takes, the more you want answers. It's just like having that delicious Christmas meal after your mom has forced you to hours of starvation — the longer you wait, the sweeter the taste.

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The group stages of DreamHack Open in Austin have come to an end. Luminosity, Hellraisers, Cloud9 and Team Liquid have all been eliminated from the tournament.
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The decision made by ESL, denying academy teams the ability to participate in the same tournament as their organizations' main teams might be understandable, but it does also have severe implications. It is, therefore, time that the academy teams get their own league structure.
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Counter-StrikeCSVideoHighlights

bodyy AWP-wallbangs vs. Astralis on Cache

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Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro managed to hit the exact same wallbang two rounds in a row during an ESL Pro League match vs. Astralis.
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Spearheaded by former Big Brother producer Robin Jönsson, "Gamerz" will see two of Sweden's most veteran players coach a new generation of professional gamers.
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The Brazilian Immortals and Luminosity Gaming squads have been invited to Esports Arena Showdown Championship. There, the teams will face up against Emmalee "EMUHLEET" Garridos' Denial Esports, as well as Ryan "fREAKAZOiD" Abadir's team Swole Patrol.
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With former iBUYPOWER member swag in top form last weekend in California at cs_summit Spring 2017, where he stood in for Cloud9, some begun wondering if there might ever come a time when a team will accept missing Valve’s majors to field one of the banned players at other events. And rightfully so.
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The second DreamHack Open stop of the year will be taking place at the Austin Convention Center later today, where a total of eight teams will be fighting for a 100,000 USD prize pool.
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The North American squad receives an invite for ESL's upcoming 250 000 dollar tournament in Cologne.
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Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund is definitely one of the all-time best Counter-Strike players, and we can now watch a movie with his best sequences from CS 1.6.
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Counter-StrikeCSVideoHighlights

NiKo four AK-47-frags vs. NiP on Inferno

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The Bosnian player Nikola "NiKo" Kovač gets four quick kills with the AK-47 in the match against Ninjas in Pyjamas in last nights ECS Season 3 match.
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North's the first team to reach the ESL Pro League LAN finals that will be taking place in Dallas, Texas.
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ESL have announced nine names that will be a part of the stream team in Dallas for the Pro League Season 5 finals.
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Counter-StrikeCSDenmark

North invited to ESL One Cologne

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One of Denmark's chief Counter-Strike: Global Offensive exports has been invited to ESL One Cologne.
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An all-star gathering of names will be battling on the football pitch following the conclusion of ESL One Cologne.
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The list of attendants at the HTC 2v2 Invitational keeps on growing, and yesterday four more of Europe's best players were announced to be participating.
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ESL has made an executive decision to prohibit organizations from fielding two teams at ESL One Cologne, meaning academy teams will be unable to partake in the event if an organization's main team is also looking to qualify, or has already been invited.
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Epsilon eSports has removed the Norweigan player Karl-William "kalle" Haraldsen, and are looking for new recruits.
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With a 3-1 victory, SK Gaming secured their first tournament victory in nearly nine months at the 150,000 USD cs_summit event.
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The tournament favorites made short work of Gambit in the upper bracket finals on the third day of the cs_summit, while OpTic Gaming fought their way past Team Liquid and Cloud9 in the lower bracket.
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On June 29, the Global Offline Qualifier for the next major will take place in Krakow, Poland. PGL will be hosting, and we've got the dates for when you can qualify for the event.
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