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Astralis’ woes continue, YEKINDAR did some YEKINDAR things and NA continues to blow our minds. Not in a good way.
Illustration by NovaH
Ah, NA. We’ve missed you.
All this talk about NA being bad and going out in last at BLAST was amusing, but it missed a certain je ne sais quoi. A certain level of amusing incompetence instead of just disappointing incompetence.
Step forward Party Astronauts.
The full story of what happened is here, but you’re not here to read a lot. It’s kind of in the name of the newsletter. Essentially, after getting a whole lot of money from the community - including members of TLDR - they booked a bootcamp in Europe.
They then tried to move it due to the RMR timings not lining up (in their defence, they were adjusted after booking) but they seemed to have worked it out.
Germany, where they were supposed to bootcamp, changed the restrictions around COVID and letting people in from the US last week, and this apparently became a problem as one of the players isn’t fully vaccinated.
You might be asking: why on earth would you not be vaccinated if you were planning on travelling to a different continent? And... we don’t have the answer. It’s beyond short sighted.
In a blind panic, their manager then immediately cancelled the flights for some ungodly reason, losing money in the process, instead of just having one player have dodgy ping from the US. He then had to beg the airline for the money back, of which he recovered some.
But now the Party Astronauts, ironically enough, are stuck on the ground in the USA.
If we’ve learnt anything, it’s that if you want to fly to a different continent, it might be worth getting the vaccination that most countries require. Oh, wait, we didn’t just learn that. That was f’ing obvious.
The sun has set on the IEM Katowice play-ins and really, despite intrigue surrounding several teams due to stand-in situations, most of the qualifier went about how it was expected to.
FaZe, despite having a substitute in the form of jks, claimed solid wins over Sprout and Mouz that saw them advance without too much fanfare. Likewise OG came off of their strong Blast groups performance into a pair of wins over Renegades and ENCE to qualify.
One of the bigger surprises of the week was the Copenhagen Flames, who despite being ranked 18th in the world, I’m not sure I’d ever watched until this week. They claimed a win over fnatic and then a 2-0 over NIP in order to advance in a surprisingly easy fashion.
Speaking of fnatic...oh fnatic. It should be noted that, miraculously, they did qualify, but losing 16-7 to the Flames probably wasn’t a thing they were super hoping to do this week. smooya getting less than a 1.0 rating over the six maps they played is also not a great sign for them, despite high hopes.
fnatic is not, however, the biggest disaster. At the risk of a swarm of angry fans, it would be hard for a team to look worse than MiBR did.
0-3 on the week, one of the first teams eliminated, going out on a loss to Movistar Riders of all teams. None of those are facts that the Brazilians wanted to be true this week and yet they all are.
To add insult to injury, only one of their players had above a 1.0 average, and that was JOTA. Two of their players, Tuurtle and WOOD7, were in the .7s.
Mouz and NIP, while also making the playoffs, both seemed somewhat uninspired at times; NIP lost to the aforementioned Flames before solidly beating Movistar to advance, while Mouz and standing JDC lost a series to FaZe before beating Entropiq.
All in all, not one of the most surprising qualifiers ever, but that sets the tone for the group stage.
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:
There was a little bit of ZywOo-doubting, pre Katowice.
In the past he’s done badly in Poland and has yet to get through to the quarter-finals and beyond, but he might be finally breaking the ‘curse’.
Which is a wild thing to call something that’s happened thrice, but we’re nothing if not narrative drivers.
ZywOo went pretty berserk against MOUZ, dropping 97 kills over the series. That’s not a typo, you’re not still half asleep - he dropped 97. If this form with the new Vitality line-up isn’t enough to win Katowice, what will be?
We’ll add a caveat that this is MOUZ without their full roster, and at times stand-in JDC struggled - but you can barely be a pro if you haven’t been humbled by ZywOo a few times these days.
Another team who look like they might be in Katowice-winning form is Virtus.pro - not deterred by their own curse of being the team aizyesque picked to win the tournament, they ripped Copenhagen Flames to shreds.
YEKINDAR, in typical fashion, bottomfragged, was the only negative member of his team, and had the highest ADR in the server. He also picked up three aces in two maps, making up 43% of his kills.
Gambit somehow conspired to lose against NiP. We’re not sure what it is about having no ping that seems to affect Gambit so badly, but for them to lose to NiP missing device it must be pretty bad.
OG collected their first loss of the nexa era as Heroic ground out victory as they so often did in the past; it required a superhuman effort from stavn, but the Danes won out in an 87-round series.
Speaking of Danes, Astralis’ struggles continued as arT taped his W key down and tied Astralis up. It’s never a good sign for your chances of going far when the guy who is famous for his over-aggression and dying for his team is second on the team.
Finally for day one, Team Liquid did their national duty of raising American hopes in map one before bringing them crashing down by getting bodied in map two and three by FaZe, without ropz.
Never change, NA.
😟 Sad news
🤡 Fun stuff