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Someone in Paris have been feeding the Vitality GM some weird food, because apparently dupreeh, Magisk and Zonic are on their way to team up with ZywOo. And Copenhagen Flames is for sale. The off season has officially started.
When we left you on Friday, we told you that ZywOo was basically on his own against s1mple and NaVi. And, obviously, we were right again.
4 players on Vitality had less than a 1.01 rating in their 2-0 quarter-final loss against the CIS superteam. We don’t need to tell you which ones.
But to be fair to them, the team might have been a bit.. dead, thanks to a cheeky Viking invasion. More on that later.
Okay, NaVi may have beaten off a Vitality-team that snuck through Swiss with a 3-2 record. But a semi-final against Gambit, the best new team of 2021, surely must be a banger, right?
Then the lights came on. The crowd roared. And Gambit crumbled.
Throughout the entire online era, we’ve had to put up with all the grumpy boomers telling us that every result has an asterisk, that "Player X" will crumble at LAN.
Well, we deeply regret having to inform you they might have had a point.
After a tight win over FURIA - after which groove, their coach, admitted nerves played a part - Gambit were absolutely battered by NaVi:
And it was the same story for Heroic, the other emerging power of 2021. After edging out VP for a tight 2-1 win in the quarter-final, they came face to face with G2.
Although, unlike Gambit, they put up a real fight, even clawing back from 13-6 down on map 3, they just couldn’t get it over the line, losing 19-15 in Overtime on Inferno. What a great name for a Podcast, don't you think?
Anyway, remember when cadiaN “couldn’t win Pro League like that”? Well, he definitely can’t win the Major like this, dropping a 0.74 rating in the semi-final. If you double that, you get the rating of NiKo on the other side of the server, a whopping 1.48.
It was exactly what everyone had feared for Heroic on LAN - strong fundamentals, but just not enough firepower. No superstar. No coach in the sky.
It’s not the end of the story for these two teams. It is their first major, their first massive event in front of a crowd. The greatest of all time have all choked, after all. Even s1mple did it - and he… [retracted] .
Sorry, no spoilers. Keep reading.
Say it. "Counter-Strike".
On LAN. With s1mple and NiKo in a Grand Final of a Major. The first Major in two years.
The script was already written: Whomever won, the victor would claim his first Major and most likely the MVP title too.
G2 surprise-picked Ancient and tried to pull a trick on NaVi, but s1mple stuck to the script and demolished the French/Bosnian mix with 32 kills in 27 rounds.
And then... Counter-Strike happened.
NaVi who had 17 consecutive wins on Nuke before the Grand Final became choppy. The strain was visible on their faces, and G2 were pulling ahead after a 10 round CT-side.
They got to 15 rounds well ahead of NaVi, and it looked a certainty that we were going to Mirage for the decider. Alas, NiKo and Major Finals don't mix well.
At 15-12, in a 2on2 with the bomb planted, the Bosnian had the drop on s1mple. All he had to do was hit him in the head, and let his team-mate defend the bomb.
Suddenly everyone was talking about NiKo, but for all the wrong reasons. As in Boston in 2018, he on a team that was blowing a 15-something lead in a deciding match.
It felt inevitable at that point. NaVi got to 15, and despite heroics by AmaNEk and huNter in the double OT, the best team in the world closed it out at 22-19.
NaVi became the first Major champions since Astralis beat AVANGAR in Berlin, 2019, and also managed to become the first to do so undefeated. 9 straight map wins, 0 losses.
And who took the MVP? You'll never guess.
Oh and as if the game wasn't wild enough, Boombl4 used the chance to speak in front of a record breaking 2,200,000 audience to propose to his girlfriend. You can't make this shit up.
(She said yes)
Apparently, and we're not messing you around here, Vitality are kicking Kyojin and shox, as well as their coach.
And if you thought kicking shox was weird, wait 'til you hear their replacements. Oh go on, have a guess. Are they stealing some players from G2? Bringing Bodyy back up to tier one? No way, is NBK coming back??
Err, no. It's - genuinely, we're not joking - dupreeh, Magisk and zonic.
Yeah, we're not sure either - but the source is neL, and he's always pretty spot on when it comes to French teams. Kyojin out wasn't entirely unexpected - hell, if another great French player came along we could see shox leaving.
But... for dupreeh and Magisk? That's a move that almost nobody had seen coming, perhaps even the Vitality players themselves. Well, except for the fact it's rumoured they were told before the playoffs.
We're not saying that's the reason Kyojin got five kills in a whole map, but it certainly doesn't help. Losing to NaVi is not in any way shameful, but we suppose you have to make big money moves to break the top teams.
Oh, and apparently ZywOo does speak good English, he's just been hoodwinking us this whole time, the sly dog. apEX speaks flawless English other than the heavy French accent - which is hard enough for native speakers.
Good luck Danes - you'll need it.
Illustration by Crash_ Source: Hogwarts Chemistry Lab
The Major is over, and that means we're going into the silliest of seasons in Counter-Strike. Think the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, but on all the drugs from Trainspotting.
If you don't believe us, just re-read the story above. Right?
We digress, this story is not about some mushroom-trippin' French GM, but the rest of the crazy stuff that's happening.
Like the fact that Copenhagen Flames are available for the cash equivalent of half a dev1ce.
While the Danes did not make it to the Major Playoffs, they have broken into HLTV's Top 10 ranking, establishing themselves as the 2nd best Danish team after Heroic.
The success comes at a price however, and as the players believe their valuation have risen, so should their salaries, which has left Copenhagen Flames with in a pickle: Re-sign the players on more expensive contracts, or transfer them at a rumoured price of $500,000-750,000 and re-build.
The latter is really interesting, because Maden and Farlig are two exceptionally talented players, with the latter being a Danish AWPer. And while Lucky has played well for Astralis, can the Danes resist adding more firepower to their roster?
If you're the type of person that loves to theorycraft insane lineups, you can throw mir and chopper into the mix, as they have both been transferlisted by Spirit. We love the transfer window.