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Counter-StrikeCSBlog post

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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Epicenter looms, and with it comes some interesting story-lines and developments to keep our eyes on. The battle of the best, the legends on their last legs and restless rosters.
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On the opening day of the DreamHack Astro Open Denver, the top spot in each group belonged to Cloud9 and BIG. This will see them both have the second day off and a spot in the Semi-Finals.
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CS:GO saw a significant increase in prize money distributed during the bigger tournaments throughout 2016. But the promising development has taken a toll, with prize money stagnating during 2017, and we might even see a decrease in the total amount of money being paid out from tournaments.
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At PGL Major Krakow we asked the pros what their favorite jersey design is. What's your favorite? We at Fragbite love Fnatics Swedish edition.
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Counter-StrikeCSRussia

Epicenter 2017 Groups Announced

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With the event held in St. Petersburg, Russia growing near, the tournament organizers Epic Esports Events have announced how the teams will be split for the group stage.
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Counter-StrikeCSVideoHighlights

Best plays from the old Dust 2

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Since the game's release in 2012, Dust 2 has been one of the most played maps and still remains so to this day. But with Valve releasing the updated version of Dust 2, we leave behind some of the best highlights throughout the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. To honor the map we present to you a fragmovie containing some of the best highlights from the CS:GO scene, taken place on Dust 2!
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After French Canadians were forced to withdraw from the Americas Minor, just days after qualifying, we were all left asking the question, who will take their place?
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Counter-StrikeCSViewer's guide

Viewer's guide: Dreamhack Astro Open Denver

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DreamHack Open Denver is an event that may not be on some of your radars, well that is about to change.
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It has been reported that changes are afoot in the Brazilian scene. Just days ago we announced that Immortals had finalized their roster for the season ahead, now that looks to be being shaken up already!
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Counter-StrikeCSCounter-Strike: GO

HellRaisers bench Zero — Bring in fejtz

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HellRaisers have decided it is time for change, possibly prompted by their failure to make the EU Minor.
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This past week saw the long qualifiers for the Eleague Major kick off, and with it, drama. In this article I'm going to attempt to dive down the rabbit hole and take you guys with me. So grab your red noses and flowers that squirt water, it's time to get lost in the CEVO clown fiesta.
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The Polish line-up who failed to progress through the Europe Minor qualifiers over the weekend, winning only 1 match, have decided it was time to make a change.
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French Canadians who recently qualified for the Americas Minor, will apparently not be attending the event due to issues with visas. Adding more confusion to the qualifiers, who will take their place?
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In early 2016, I drew parallels between the record-breaking 2010 Natus Vincere roster and the Brazilian Luminosity team, which is now known as SK Gaming. Today, I am going to compare the 2009 fnatic team – who were knocked off their throne by that same Na`Vi squad mentioned earlier – to the restructured Faze team, featuring the deadly duo of olofmeister and GuardiaN.
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Philips OneBlade CupOneBlade CupPhilips OneBlade Cup

Skitlite claim Finnish spot in OneBlade Cup main tournament

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The Finnish qualifier finals for Philips OneBlade Cup has come to an end, following an initial close game between Skitlite and Gosu, and then a much more onesided final between where Skitlite came out on top.
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DreamHack Denver is coming up this weekend, in which, eight teams will clash for their share of $100,000 cash.
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The IEM Oakland arena event will be taking part from November 18-19, whilst the group stages will be between November 14-16. Now we know the groups.
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Philips OneBlade CupOneBlade CupPhilips OneBlade Cup

Win a signed Fnatic Jersey — sign up for Philips OneBlade Cup

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Not only fame, glory and cash is on the line for Philips OneBlade Cup. All participants now have a chance to win a Fnatic Jersey signed by the whole team, all you have to do is sign up.
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Counter-StrikeCSCounter-Strike

Seized to step down from Natus Vincere

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Natus Vincere coach, Mikhaylo 'Kane' Blagin, has today posted on social media the news of the change. The decision is not too much of a surprise considering the recent form of the team.
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The North American Cloud9-player Timothy "autimatic" Ta wins the round by himself in the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017-tournament.
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