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JamYoung hive rise up. Rare Atom are here to party. Astralis are here to stink the place up, and Liquid are here to baffle and bemuse.
Two players have left their teams in somewhat mysterious circumstances - and though we already knew TACO was out, he’s offered a bit more information as to when he’ll be back.
Which is that he has no idea. Thanks, we guess.
In a somewhat cryptic twitlonger, TACO made it clear that he isn’t leaving CS or the team, but rather that his focus is on taking care of himself, learn and step back so he can direct his life and career in the right direction.
This also means he won’t be back for the Major cycle, resulting in 00NATION most likely continuing with the roster that beat NIP at Pro League just one week ago. Not too bad of an idea if you ask us.
We wish TACO all the best, and it’s a shame that a two-time Major winner won’t be able to attend at all; but health is more important.
In other roster news, regali has been benched by Copenhagen Flames despite being, by most accounts, their best player. Unless you ask their head of esports, of course:
“It should be obvious to all that regali possesses some unique qualities. As far as his raw skill and mechanical abilities are concerned, he already belongs to the absolute world elite. At the same time, we also have to recognize that in some ways the fit isn’t perfect for how we want to play and the direction of the team.”
Which begs the question: If he is already an elite level AWPer, why on Earth aren’t you changing the way you play to fit him instead of vice versa?
Oh, yeah. Because it’s probably a lie.
regali will have no shortage of suitors, we imagine. He’s very talented and even though the Flames head of esports is trying to ward people away, he is probably an upgrade for a lot of teams.
Back to fnatic, anyone?
Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Göran Schmidt, GRID / Igor Bezborodov
All bow to king Jerry.
No matter who leaves forZe, no matter how many times he has to rebuild, he builds his fortress stronger, and strikes back with a vengeance.
In what was considered a tough group for the perennial underdogs, forZe breezed past a lacklustre NAVI and a Team Spirit - who had previously dismantled Astralis - to move into pole position in Group D.
Interestingly, it was shalfey who ripped NAVI apart and carried forZe to victory, but he bottomfragged in the win over Spirit. There’s some serious depth to this team.
They’ll play ENCE in the Upper Final, after ENCE beat ATK in three maps and Rare Atom in two to qualify.
Yeah. Rare Atom. We’ll get to that later.
Poor ATK lost to ENCE, got treated to a lower bracket game against Team Liquid and now have Astralis in the Last Chance Stage. Astralis got swept by Team Spirit, as previously mentioned, but pushed NAVI to three.
Unfortunately for them, s1mple woke up.
33-17 in 28 rounds on Inferno left Astralis with not a prayer - a far cry from the GOATstralis line-up that always made s1mple look a bit silly.
Astralis 0-2 after two games, and we’re really not that surprised. How the world has changed.
Catch the full overview here of Group D.
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:
Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Reinald Kirchner, Superspidey33
Out of the frying pan into the fire.
Or at least that’s how it looked liked for the Snax led mix team, Let us cook, as they fought their way out of qualifiers only to meet fnatic in the first playoff match.
fnatic on the other hand, probably suspected this would be a bit like a Korean Barbecue: Full control over the heat and what to cook by when. And while winning 8 rounds on T-side Nuke did look like control, something went wrong in the second half where they got burned and ended up in OT before ultimately winning the map.
But despite the fresh burn marks, fnatic made a deadly mistake as they began on map two: They let them COOK.
With Snax’ culinary expertise, the team served a Michelin-star Vertigo so good it could get them out of Tier 2 CS. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. Still, s0und and byali (yes that byali) were a force to be reckoned with.
But surely a 40-year-old byali couldn’t repeat that?
Wait, he’s only 28? And he 30 bombed on the next decider map? Oh.
Some vintage byali was enough to bring the series home in a tight Mirage that went all the way to 16-14, knocking out fnatic before they even got started and sending Let us cook through on a run that ended in the semi-finals.
We hope that Snax and co stick around, and let this be a reminder for other teams to DON'T LET THEM COOK 👨🍳 🗣️
On a related note, Astralis finally won something. Or Astralis Talent rather, as they won the CCT North Series 4 finals over Gamer Legion.
Source: AI. Don’t ask.
We’re getting a bit tired of saying North American Counter-Strike is dead, but… they make it so easy.
Losing to Rare Atom isn’t that embarrassing. They’re not a bad team, and Asia is in the best spot it’s been in - globally - for a while. JamYoung and, especially in this game, Moseyuh are excellent players. And advent and kaze are very experienced.
On paper, this isn’t great for Liquid, but teams have bad days and Rare Atom can surprise a lot of good teams. It’s not like they got absolutely smacked on their own map pick and got 2-0’d, or anything
Oh. Oh but they did. Oh. That’s not good.
Losing Inferno is whatever - it happens, you get upset on a map everyone plays and that your opponent picked. But a 16-3 loss on Overpass, your home map? That’s indefensible.
The aforementioned Moseyuh went absolutely bonkers on Overpass, finishing on a 21-6 scoreline, and some of the shots he was hitting were beyond belief. oSee, on the other hand, picked up just four kills.
When four of your players are under 50 ADR, you got smushed. No ifs, no buts.
Fortunately for them, they did recover to beat ATK, but now face the unenviable task of taking on Team Spirit in the lower bracket - who Liquid have had issues with in the past.
That game - today - promises to be a banger.
🕰️ Like a time capsule
🤦♂️ Oh lawd…
2️⃣ ⚠️ Stay on high alert