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There's trouble in paradise, or at least Australia. You can't spell Australia without... never mind. Oh, and FLASHPOINT is back, and better than ever.
How exactly did North screw up having cadiaN in charge of the roster?
Forget Astralis, it's time to really consider Heroic as the premier team in Denmark - the team that was once the weird uncle to a super stacked scene, now led by a guy who was an outcast from said scene; so much so, that he had to head to NA to salvage his reputation.
In one of the most gruelling, intense best of fives of all time, Heroic came out ahead of Gambit. Imagine saying that 18 months ago. And for such a ridiculous final to end with such a crescendo was mindblowing.
In some sort of poetic parellel to his career, cadiaN overcame the odds once more; armed with just a P250 and no armour, he picked up a knife kill on the usually immortal sh1ro before wielding his AWP to take down the remaining three.
It was another superb showing from Gambit, who have proved themselves as one of the best teams in the world, without question. There's no ifs and buts any more, Gambit are top three. Ax1le, who won MVP, is one of the best riflers in the world, and nobody would argue sh1ro isn't one of the best AWPers, especially given he dropped 122 in the final.
Heroic and Gambit are the two best teams in the world, Astralis are in shambles (more on that later) and NA CS doesn't exist.
Welcome to 2021. Put your mask on and leave your preconceptions off.
Imagine if some day you're just chilling, playing some Dust II Deathmatch with full volume and using shift, so you can top frag - because we all know that's what you guys do on your free time - and suddenly you get dragged out of your house, taken to court and sentenced to jail while the police investigates the murder next door.
The entire world would scream bloody murder (haha, word puns)!
We've always based our justice on gathering evidence, assessing the facts and the timeline, and then making a judgement. But that's hard when the investigators have their hands full with plenty of more cases.
Australian CS player Roflko, victim of the 35-player match fixing ban carried out by ESIC earlier this year, has come out on Twitter to show that it has been over 70 days since the ban, and yet no evidence has been presented to him as of yet.
That's a little over what it took Liquid to win the Intel Grand Slam... As a result, he's decided to quit - not even move to VALORANT.
But we also understand that ESIC has one hell of a task ahead of them. We understand you might want to get mad at them, but there's more to it than just this. ESIC is understaffed and overworked, and they're under a lot of pressure to make the right choices. Sounds like every teen after High School.
For all we know, the evidence is there, and Roflko is trying to work social media to make his judge, jury, and executioner look bad. Either way, it's best to stay on the side line for this one, and watch the show unfold. Put down your pitchforks people.
Before we get too deep into NaVi's roster, you should know that it's, at least externally for now, only for RMR events, which gives us the perfect opportunity to tell you that FLASHPOINT is now an RMR event.
Why do we want to tell you that?
Because North were invited, along with all the other big teams. aizyesque still doesn't believe they've gone; he's hardstuck at the denial phase.
Anyway, on to the main story - flamie is out with B1t coming in, just as we all suspected. Quite literally. NaVi think they're being slick pretending this is a new development, and it's only for these events. Those of us who are enlightened knew this was coming a while ago.
It might be that they bring back flamie if things go wrong at the RMR events and DreamHack Masters Spring - but if things go wrong there, it might be proof that the decision is kinda moot. Maybe the issue lies deeper than just one player.
Only time will tell. Unless, of course, you're enlightened, and maybe wrote a newsletter a few weeks ago about that.
Astralis, so often, are described as machines. Machines designed to perfectly shut down everyone else, designed to play every map perfectly, and designed to win Counter-Strike matches.
What's the one thing that humans appreciate more than machines?
Er, not that one, you dirty minded freak. More fittingly, it's art. Or should we say, arT.
When Luke Skywalker destroyed the death star, it required a sheer disregard for one's own safety; bravery or stupidity, whichever you prefer. Similarly, to destroy the Astralis machine, it requires a man who has unbound the key to walk backwards.
arT never walks backwards, he just turns around and walks forward.
Online CS is weird, and for a lot of people Astralis' recent woes were just a product of that - but when FURIA completely annihilated them, something was clearly wrong. This is the team that shut down s1mple at his peak, but they can't stop the relentless aggression of arT?
Maybe there is something more happening underneath the surface, or maybe us suggesting Astralis are 'destroyed' might be a bit much. But with the players' contracts allegedly about to run out at the end of the year, internal strife might rise to the surface.
Nah, we're definitely overreacting, right?