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December 17, 2021

We tell you what the NA in NAVI stands for, why FURIA were picked ahead of Gambit for Pro League and what happened to nawwk.

s1mple drowns in Liquid

"Natus Vincere"? More like "Natus Est Non Semper Vincere"

For those of you who weren't blessed with the fascinating Latin class of Ms Boring - so boring we forgot her name - in High School, that means "Born to not always win".

We can see you've all fallen asleep already.

No worries however, because all you have to do is watch the Liquid vs NAVI game and you'll be awake before you can say "lorem ipsum".

s1mple's former team - although not much is left of it - saw themselves take the Major Champions to all three maps, which we all thought was impossible after their Stockholm performance.

Overpass was Liquid's pick, and they took it with a decent margin over the CIS super team. Then came NAVI's pick, Dust II, where they showed us who's boss by taking down Liquid convincingly. But, the win was not without caveats.

As the decider map was loaded up, the last 50 rounds had proven tough for s1mple. Hovering around the middle of the performance table, it became clear ZywOo's biggest competitor was not up to his usual antics. Can you smell the foreshadowing?

The loading screen fades and we find ourselves on the sun-baked streets of Inferno, aizyesque's most hated map. The Russo-Ukrainian mix try their best, with s1mple even getting a desperate 4k to keep his team alive, but it's not enough.

None on the team manage to get ratings above 0.95, and Liquid find themselves standing victorious over those "born to win".

We don't blame them though, after a Major win we'd want an early holiday too.


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Is NiKo the best player in the world?

Illustration by NovaH. Source: G2 Esports

Well... maybe?

According to nexa, he is, and it's getting very, very difficult to find arguments against him at least being the best rifler in the world.

He essentially gave NiP the full force of the Balkans all by himself, collecting 82 skulls to add his already impressive stretch of bodies. To put that into perspective, the second highest fragger in the server was es3tag with 63.

Over a quarter of those kills were entry frags, too. He's untouchable right now, and we NEED to see a replay of him vs s1mple. Like, right now. Preferably in front of a crowd, but that's seeming less and less likely.

Well... it's only NiP. He'd have to do something similar to Vitality for us t-

Alright, admit it. You thought we were going to say he smashed them on his own, too. But you can't be beating teams like that on your own; that's one of the best dead rosters we've ever seen.

If anything, it outlined how reliant on NiKo G2 are. Even with his team losing 32-23 over two maps, he picked up a positive K/D, and didn't even need to AWP like that ZywOo kid.

It's alright, NiKo. Reinforcements are on their way in the form of m0NESY and maybe ropz or some other ridiculously expensive and illustrious video gamer. Just hold out, we'll get you a team one of these days.

Weird how NiKo's teammates always seem to get worse once they're on a tea- no no, don't think about it. Not today.

Oh, and it also set up G2 vs NaVi in the lower bracket, which is just - and pardon our French, here - flippin' brilliant. We get that match-up we wanted.


The roster machine whirs, but does not go

  • nawwk is aiming to restart his career on Apeks. Why it's taken quite this long for someone to sign him is beyond us.
  • Golden is a free agent, now. Apeks bound?
  • HEN1 - and by extension, LUCAS1 - are now free agents. Though we're not sure that's ever been the restricting factor...
  • Renegades and malta have split up, with the Malte- erm, Australian, now looking for a new team.
  • Fiend have dropped what remained of their team.

Why FURIA, BIG and Heroic joined the EPL

When ESL and 13 founding teams in the ESL Pro League announced the "Louvre Agreement" almost two years ago, it was seen by many fans as a way to franchise the CS:GO landscape.

Time has proved them wrong, and today the ESL Pro League allow more teams than ever before the chance to play against the world's best.

In the beginning of 2021, when 100 Thieves pulled out of CS:GO and pivoted their FPS-investment to Valorant, EPL Commissioner, Alexander Inglot, started a new application process to add one or more teams to the agreement.

With the inclusion of BIG, FURIA and Heroic earlier in the year, that process finished and the Louvre Agreement now has 15 participants. Recently Inglot and Heroic's CEO, Joachim Haraldsen, sat down with to discuss the process.

The interview gives a rare glimpse into the inner workings of CS:GO business, and the deciding factors in entering elite-level esports franchises.

We've gathered the most interesting tidbits below, 'cause ain't nobody got time to read a HLTV article:

  • 40 teams applied, but when Inglot let the teams know that a minimum investment of $3M was required, the field shrank to 10 organizations
  • The organizations had to check several boxes, including performance legacy, market forecasts, a clear vision and explanations on their investments in personnel and infrastructure
  • In the end there were only 5 teams left: BIG, FURIA, Heroic and two that are still unnamed
  • ESL didn't conciously remove any CIS teams from the process and Inglot is quoted saying "Ultimately, I can't force Gambit to bid or to be in the process", suggesting that they either didn't apply or couldn't fund the fee
  • FURIA, BIG and Heroic were picked in part because they help ESL plug gaps in their demographics: FURIA in Brazil and North America, BIG giving ESL a big German presence, and Heroic is touted as a Norwegian organization despite their Danish roster

The whole interview is very interesting (but also long), and touches on, among other things, on why the HUNDEN drama didn't influence ESL's decision about Heroic. In case you want another dose of that.


The French artillery takes aim...

  • ... And hits the Spanish dreadnought and the Dutch frigate straight in the kisser. Get burned Carlos and Haci.
  • Never knew BLAST could get us this excited for some floor plans.
  • We heavily suspect Astralis of keeping Bubzkji on the bench just to get him to tweet more.
  • For any of you that missed it - we know we did - EliGE is now officially an investor in Team Liquid.
  • All CARMAC needs now is some hot cocoa and a Christmas hat. And to give us more banger events.
  • We're nawwk going to lie, we think this might the right move for him. We'll show ourselves out.

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