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January 28, 2022

sh1ro makes HLTV look a bit silly, we’re about to see G2 with m0NESY and Richard Lewis has our podcasters crying with laughter.

Uh oh, sh1ro is back

sh1ro really took that top 3 snub from HLTV personally, and forced them to give him an MVP at Funspark.

The immortal sniper dropped a ludicrous 1.43 rating over the whole tournament, proving once more that Gambit are flat track bullies to anyone even slightly outside of the top tier.

We like stats, so here’s some ridiculous ones to show you just how much better sh1ro was than the rest of the competition.

  • Over twice the K/D differential of 2nd place (+102 to +49)
  • 26.4 damage diff per round (2nd place had 18.3)
  • 0.49 deaths per round, with 0.89 kills per round (top on both aspects)
  • 10 clutches in 10 maps
  • 80% success in opening duels

It’s no surprise, in that case, that Gambit went 8-2 in maps and won every single series at Funspark ULTI. While Entropiq muscled past BIG to face Gambit in a rematch, their revenge was not served to Gambit cold; Gambit came in hot.

In 51 rounds, sh1ro died 22 times, as Gambit collected 32 of ‘em and dusted Entropiq off in the grand final.

Certainly makes us a bit more excited about Complexity; one of two teams who took a map off of Gambit, with the other being Entropiq who had a few more attempts.

Either way, HLTV ended up giving the MVP to sh1ro, through gritted teeth. They tried to give it to NiKo, but as if it was a Major final, he didn’t show up at this event.


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BLAST Premier groups begin

Oh boy, we’re excited.

Three days of wall-to-wall Counter-Strike at an ideal time zone for most of you. Sorry, Asian and Oceanic friends, you might have to stay up late.

But it’ll be worth it; by the time you’re reading this it won’t be long before G2 take on Complexity. It might even have started - but if you’re in NA you already know that, because you set an alarm to watch it.

We get our first viewing of the new G2, with expectations and hopes ridiculously high. There’s almost nothing they could do to meet them, outside of 16-0ing every game.

After that it’s NiP vs BIG, which... alright, that’s much less exciting. device is out for a while, so we get to see NiP without their best player against the Early Access beta test version of the old Astralis; similarly methodical, but nowhere near as polished.

At least we can wash that down tomorrow with NaVi murdering MIBR, and a gander at the new (and improved, wink wink) version of OG as they take on an out-of-sorts Astralis.

We’ve got no idea who is going to win that group. Not a clue.

The final group is very interesting, ‘cause anyone could win. Well, except Evil Geniuses. You’d think we’d learn not to write off this core, but we just don’t see it.

FaZe Clan though, we’re super excited to see them - and their first game is against oSee’s Liquid. That one could go either way, and we’re not going to make any sweeping statements about how many rounds FaZe are going to win by.

Vitality get the chance to show off their new roster against EG, which should be a Vitality win, but if EG do win, then we wouldn’t want to be neL. Because Ryan will be tweeting at him, and nobody deserves that.


The greatest tweet ever?

Tune in to this week's episode of Overtime on Inferno where your favorite hosts aizyesque and Logan Ramhap go deep on the biggest news in CS:GO:

  • The difficult Saudi Arabia question
  • Why EG might be the fourth best team in NA
  • Why Richard Lewis has us rolling on the floor laughing

MTG sells ESL (which merges with FACEIT)

Illustration by NovaH

We are the TLDR, but there’s not really any way to make that headline prettier, because this story is HUGE.

MTG, who bought ESL and DreamHack in 2015 have handed off their entire esports business, in what has become esports first unicorn transaction.

And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the story yet, so let’s start with the basics.

Savvy Gaming Group is acquiring both ESL and FACEIT for $1bn and $500m respectively, in order to merge the companies to create ESL-FACEIT. Really savvy name there, lads.

Yes you read that right. ESL, DreamHack and FACEIT are now gathered under one umbrella, controlled by one company.

If you’re interested in the financials, here’s how our resident P250 Sand Dune investor, PHedemark sees the deal.

Where’s the money coming from you ask? Oh well just the Public Investment Fund, which is Saudi Arabia’s state investment company. In what has been described as a direct investment in SGG to acquire ESL and FACEIT, PIF now indirectly controls most of the existing CS:GO landscape outside of BLAST.

Did we say indirect? Oh maybe we spoke too soon, because Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is also chairman of the board in SGG. Welp.


Vince quits and Frankie takes a break

It’s hard to put a human face on business. Business deals aren’t made to help a person or community, they’re made for gasp money.

Which certainly feels even more like the case in regard to the ESL-FACEIT combined sale to SGG.

One key point from most critics, is that this is not just a sale to a company based in a country with human rights abuses; the owners of ESL-FACEIT is a company chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has been linked with killing and dismembering a journalist in 2019.

The ties through SGG to PIF, means that ESL-FACEIT is now essentially owned and funded by a government that discriminates women, and publicly punishes gay men with whippings, imprisonment, or worse.

Which obviously raises a lot of questions, not just for fans but also for talent, players and employees.

Multiple personalities in the CS:GO scene have already voiced their concerns, including Vince Hill, who has said outright that he won’t work with them, and Frankie who won’t commit to anything, but definitely don’t rule out walking away either. We don’t care what you decide Frankie, you’ll always be a star in our book.

With rumors of ESL attempting to host a Major in Brazil late this year, and their involvement with numerous large events in the next eleven months, this issue isn’t going to go away quietly.

Will Valve for example give ESL the rights to host a Major, knowing who the new owners are?

And what if ESL were to host tournaments in Saudi Arabia? There would be a very realistic chance that some players, staff or talent would be unable to safely attend, which begs the question: How will they protect the commitments they have made to inclusion and diversity?

We don’t mean to be pessimists, because ESL has increased funding of their female circuit #GGForAll, to include South America, but it will take more than token gestures to calm the waves in the community for now.


The Ultimate Twitter List for CSGO

  • We follow these 50 accounts on Twitter to write this newsletter. Well, we follow a few more. Catch the rest including our reasons in this blog.
  • Shoot your shot at a free PC or a ton of other prizes ($10K worth) by submitting a clip of your mega fails. No really, you just have to submit a CSGO clip to enter, e-z.
  • Turns out CSGO is actually unplayable, for once.
  • We’re probably biased, but this 2022 roster-wrapup is hilarious. If only there was a way to get a newsletter from the same guy... yeah, that’s aizyesque
  • You’ll need to do anything but throw to profit from iBUYPOWER apparently.
  • If you, like us, avoid Dust2 at all cost, you don’t need this. If you’re a Danish 5 stack on FACEIT, you probably know it already.
  • If you’re a Danish 5 stack on FACEIT, get rekt. You don’t get to force Dust2 anymore, so we won’t need that video. Get rekt. Again.
  • We thought jks was consistently invisible, but over at RushB Media they stan him. Here’s why.
  • When they say there’s no Swedish talent, don’t believe them.
  • Last time a team went public to ask for funding to go to Europe, one of the biggest dynasties of CS:GO was created. We’ll put €100 on Party Astronauts to win the 2 Majors in 2023. But really, please support them.

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