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November 28, 2022

It’s almost December, which means it’s time to get the advent calendars in. Your first treats are: FURIA can’t topple Goliath, sdy getting bullied by s1mple, YEKINDAR trying his little socks off. Get ready for a Counter-Strike Christmas.

Galaxies apart

Illustration by Fuffy. Source: kat_csgo, twenty3cs, ana_csgo

While the men’s Counter-Strike is wide open, with the top of the rankings and every single trophy up for grabs, the same can’t be said of the women’s game.

The climax of the ESL Impact League saw a repeat of the final from last time around, with the familiarly flamboyant FURIA female team coming up against the ultra-dominant Nigma Galaxy, with a similar result.

Nigma Galaxy have been the queens of the scene for little while now; not exactly hindered by the fact that the previous dominant force moved to VALORANT under G2’s moniker.

They underlined their performances with a threepeat Impact trophy, spanking FURIA 16-5 in map one and overcoming them in a close-fought second map, with ANa - who was pointed out to us a while ago by guest writer NtroP - as the highest rated player by some distance.

Turns out we picked someone who knew what they were talking about. For once.

Nigma didn’t drop a map all tournament, in case you had any doubts about how good they are. FURIA are solid, but nobody can put a scratch on Nigma Galaxy.

The big shock of the tournament was HSG fe, who came in as complete unknowns and picked off both CLG Red and EG Gold in best of threes, just to ensure NA CS was dead in both scenes.

While the Asian mix ended up falling to FURIA, it’s still a fun little side-story, and perhaps a passing of the torch moment. For years, CLG Red were a huge force in women’s Counter-Strike, but this shock result might signal a change of the tides.

At least, for the top 5. There’s no changing of the tides at the top, as Nigma continued their reign of terror.


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The race to kill the demons of Rio

With Friday came the start of BLAST Fall Final’s playoffs, but there was no crowd just yet.

In Heroic’s way stood G2, a battle of the old, quantifiable, power of the NiKo-huNter duo against the post-Rio favourites of stavn.

Luckily, jabbi got help from his old boss: HooXi dropped a 0.24 rating on Mirage and 0.78 on the decider of Vertigo in a huge surprise to absolutely nobody as G2 slumped to defeat once more, sending them home for the year.

Meanwhile, G2’s old boss had no such issues. Aleksib’s NIP smashed into NAVI, silencing s1mple and bouncing back from their 0-3 record at the Rio Major.

FaZe were next up for Aleksib, and like in Katowice his luck ran out. NIP won map one before gathering a 14:7 lead on Nuke, two rounds away from the grand final.

But this wasn’t the Rio FaZe. This was the real thing: the FaZe that pulls 3v5s out of their arse whenever they feel like it. The comeback was inevitable, as was the 16:8 stomping of a shattered NIP on the decider.

Seems like losing a few BO1s and one BO3 doesn’t mean you’re suddenly useless overnight, eh?

Heroic also had the ghosts of the past as they marched into the Royal Arena. Boo’d last year by the same crowd, they were treated like true heroes this time round. Copenhagen were all comediaNs this year.

And that came with a new pressure. Heroic had been the villain against Astralis last year, the villain against FURIA at the Major. This team wasn’t used to the expectation that comes with the crowd’s adulation

Yet, the team we all thought were onliners weren’t fazed. Liquid were blown away by the home team, YEKINDAR’s efforts — top fragging for his team on all three maps — leading to nought.

YEKINDAR stood in pale comparison with Heroic as an individual trying to drag along a rusty old banger in the face of a well-oiled dynamic Danish machine.

In the final, that Heroic machine will face as stern a test as they did in Rio.

FaZe are undefeated in grand finals this year, and have only lost a BO3/5 series in front of a crowd to one team this year (Cloud9 at EPL & Dallas).

If Heroic want to put Rio behind them and win the final, they need to hit another new peak. This is a boss level on par with Jame’s band of merry savers.

And so, the stage was set for Grand Final Sunday: karrigan’s FaZe against cadiaN’s Heroic. gla1ve didn’t even get invited to the showmatch.


Home town heroics in Blast Premier Final

Illustration by ANDY. Source: BLAST Premier

BLAST Premier’s Copenhagen events in Royal Arena, have always been somewhat of a rollercoaster. On one hand, the Danes turn up in thousands to watch, primarily Astralis, get booted from the competition, but on the other they don’t really engage.

You know, it’s not for nothing it’s been called The Library of Counter-Strike, because the only thing you hear after Astralis go out, is the shuffling of feet towards the entrance.

This Sunday it was completely different. Not only were Astralis shirts in the minority, but the home crowd were guaranteed to see a Dane lift the trophy for the first time since BLAST’s inception.

Hometown hero and showman extraordinaire, karrigan, up against home country hype monster, cadiaN. You probably couldn’t have scripted a more energized matchup if you tried.

And Royal Arena duly delivered. Packed to the brim, alight with fans of both teams, karrigan entered the Arena clad in the Danish flag, while cadiaN proudly showcased his new rainbow captain’s band. A gesture befit of a Danish captain, but a hollow one unless he repeats it in Abu Dhabi a few weeks from now.

What followed from the dramatic entrance, the hyped up crowd and the imposing stage was… not the best advertisement for Counter-Strike.

Overpass was, except for a good start by FaZe, dominated by Heroic who had the the map swept up in their palm from round 10. In the end the Danes closed it out at 16-11 to resounding applause, but it could have been 16-9, or worse.

On Inferno, FaZe never really got comfortable despite it being their map pick. But Heroic looked even less at home, and as ropz + broky dropped a combined 51 kills in 28 rounds, the crowd advantage fizzled out.

How we wish the decider had been Nuke. Both teams are experts on the map, and it plays well both on tempo, strategy and gunplay. Instead we got Mirage…

Yes, there are good Mirage matchups, but this wasn’t one of them. Heroic ran away with 11 CT-rounds in the first half, before FaZe managed to sweep 8 of their 9 first defensive rounds. Not quite the tactical tit-for-tat we had been hoping for on Nuke.

No, instead it was complete chaos. Speed and brute force, in the place of finesse and smarts. And as any Silver II player will attest to, that usually favour those able to switch off and aim.

And oh boy is jabbi one of those players. We’ve said before that Heroic doesn’t have the same elite level firepower as their competitors, but on Mirage, jabbi showed he can go toe to toe with the best.

Granted, it took overtime and clutch plays to get there, but Heroic got it done in the end with a 19-16 victory. And jabbi? Well he finished 71-59, 1.20 in rating and 80.3 in ADR in a LAN Grand Final. He’s the real deal.

A curse undone. For Heroic on LAN, for the Danes at BLAST Premier in Copenhagen, and for cadiaN, who can finally put the ghost of North back on its burning longboat where it belongs.

Final standings:

1st 🇩🇰 Heroic - $200.000

2nd 🇪🇺 FaZe - $85.000

3-4th 🇸🇪 Ninjas in Pyjamas - $40.000

3-4th 🇺🇸 Liquid - $40.000

5-6th 🇺🇦 NAVI - $20.000

5-6th 🇪🇺 G2 - $20.000

7-8th 🇧🇷 Fluxo - $10.000

7-8th 🇪🇺 OG - $10.000


Toxic s1mple: the sequel

😓 Trouble in the East

  • s1mple doesn’t seem too happy with sdy. Weren’t you a changed man, s1mple?
  • According to OverDrive, sdy won’t have to suffer much longer though - him teaming up with boombl4 and mir surely spells trouble.

💪 The right way to warm up

  • First, you have to play deathmatch like an absolute moron. We know you’re out there, your 1000 kills in DM are worthless to us.
  • And then you watch smoke lineups on youtube right before the match.

💥 Final fluff


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