Here at tl;dr, we’re all about giving the gist of the Counter-Strike stories in the shortest way possible. But sometimes, words cannot describe what is happening on the server. Emphasis on sometimes, for VP it’s pretty easy: they lose. This is why we want to encourage you guys - our readers - to watch events.
But it’s easy to get lost and not know what to watch in this ocean that is the event schedule, especially for newer viewers. So let the Flying Dutchman napz, navigate you across the Seven Seas of upcoming events that we think you should watch.
For our first edition in this series, we have selected a few of the notable events that appear in the first 3 months of 2020. Whether it’s because of a new roster’s first appearance, a rivalry between two players, or just because we know the event will have a great crowd - come to Brazil - when you’re done reading this, you’ll know exactly why we want you to watch.
Or it could just be because mousesports is playing, napz has a thing for chrisJ to be fair. So buckle up, grab your popcorn and take notes, because I won’t tell you twice. You’ll just have to scroll all the way to the top of the page.
(Jan) 31st - 21st: Blast Premier Spring Series
Although it blasts off a bit early - that’s what she said - Blast Premier Spring Series is our first event for February. Now we know what you’re thinking - another blasting tournament series, no thank you! - but hear us out. Blast has brought along some interesting format changes, making this tournament look a lot like ESL Pro League’s group stage.
Adding to that, most big teams are there, with the likes of G2, Astralis and Team Liquid but also some new names - who will be tested against the big boys - like OG and compLexity with their fresh lineups. Adding to the above - listen, we’re writers not mathematicians, we’d rather not do anything more complicated than additions - the two best players of 2019 will be locking horns in the same group: ZywOo vs s1mple, you wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?
TL;DR’s BangerRating™: FaZe Clan in the ELEAGUE Boston Major Grand Final - Absolutely worth the watch, but not quite what we were hoping.
1st-6th: ICE Challenge 2020
As one of three events that North actually won last year, aizyesque was buzzing about the 2020 edition of ICE Challenge, until he realized that they invited 8 teams and none of them were featuring aizy. The lineup is less qualified than the EU Minor, but with Na`Vi and mousesports headlining the event, it can't be all bad.
What the tournament might not have in star quality it has in spicy draws. The first match at the event will see ENCE face off against Aleksib's OG. Our reaction when we saw that draw can best be described like this.
We'll also get to see a big brain meeting in Danish, as the three of the four most lauded and criticized Danish ingame leaders get to play musical chairs about who's going out in the groups. mouz vs Heroic vs MAD Lions means we get to see karrigan vs Snappi vs GODHUNDEN. How do you say "hard on" in Danish?
TL;DR’s BangerRating™: Perfecto on Na`Vi - It could be really good, or it could be really bad. We honestly don't know, but we'll definitely watch.
25th - 31st: IEM Katowice
Now this is pod rac- one hell of a tournament. With the 11 top teams of the HLTV Rankings (... and Cloud9) already locked in for this year’s edition of Kato, this is lining up to be one of the year’s top events. Not only will we see teams battle for half a million dollariños, but a win here also chips in for their Intel Grand Slam progress.
All the storylines we can think off right now, yeah those will be there. And of course, the Polish crowds is one of the best out there. If you can’t wait, the closed qualifiers for the last remaining seats - and we’re not talking stadium seats - have already started, and will be ongoing for the next month. Plenty to binge instead of studying, nice.
TL;DR’s BangerRating™: 2015 NiKo with a Deagle - On fire.
5th - 6th & 7th - 8th: CIS & Europe Minor Closed Qualifiers
Usually, caring about online results is something we reserve for NA enthusiasts (hi Ryan), but this is a special kind of online. Winning here gets you a spot at your region’s Minor, which in turn can get you a spot at the Major Challenger Stage, which then could get you to the Legends Stage, and maybe - just maybe - you’ll get to play at the Champions Stage. Sounds complicated right? Luckily Valve is changing that after Brazil.
The fact that this is part of the Major cycle is the entire reason why we think you should watch this. But Mr napz, aren’t all the good teams already at the Major? Glad you asked. The EU Minor Qualifier (the tournament leading up to this one) is looking hotter than your average DreamHack Open, with Fnatic, NiP, BiG, OG, Sprout, Godsent and MAD Lions all attending - actually no, they just log in at home, my bad - to name a few.
The CIS Minor Open Qualifier is a little less packed - just like Renegades - only flexing a meager forZe, who rank in at #13 in the HLTV Rankings right now. But, those "Rash B no stop cyka" experts always manage to surprise at the Minor and Major, so it’ll definitely be worth keeping up with who’s going where.
TL;DR’s BangerRating™: chrisJ with an AWP - surprisingly underrated.
That’s all for now folks, but make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow our Twitter or Instagram so - unlike napz when he’s playing - you’ll never miss a thing. We’ll see you again later this year for another recap.