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April 3, 2023

We’re three days out from the start of the RMRs, so expect a whole lot of Major stuff in the coming weeks. And indeed, today, in some senses.

End of a fanTaZtic career

Illustration by NovaH. Source: TaZ

That’s all folks! That’s all TaZ had to say this Friday, when the Polish legend ended his illustrious career.

If you only recently got into CS - and judging by recent player numbers there are a fair few of you - you might not know why TaZ retiring is a big deal. So let us enlighten you.

TaZ has been on top of the Counter-Strike world since 1.6 when he won “World Cyber Games 2006” with Team Pentagram together with another Polish legend, NEO. A man TaZ ended up sharing 5400 days with on various teams. That’s longer than most marriages last.

Let’s fast forward a bit to CS:GO, by now TaZ has won 7 elite events (all with longer names than the last) and showed no signs of slowing down.

In 2014 TaZ really found his footing in Global Offensive, doing so with the Virtus.Pro team that went on to become the longest-standing 5-man roster in CS:GO history. They kicked off their success by winning EMS Major Katowice 2014, beating the Legendary NIP roster (GeT_RiGht, f0rest, Xizt etc..) in front of a Polish home crowd.

A dream start for the soon-to-be-nicknamed Virtus.Plow.

That Plow took home 11 big trophies in 4 years, including 1 major. But these stats don’t even do the team justice. They went the distance in almost every major they attended, a shining example of the longevity this roster had. They’re firmly amongst the greats.

But nothing lasts forever, the plow’s engine eventually gave in. Their last trophy was in 2017 at DH Masters Las Vegas, despite attempts to “fix it” by benching TaZ and adding Michu in 2018.

TaZ went on to multiple smaller projects culminating at Honoris, an org he and NEO founded. Like we said, longer than some marriages.

This stayed his home for the last 3 years as he sought to develop the Polish scene with his experience. Unfortunately, this week the org announced that they’re closing its doors due to financial constraints. That same day, TaZ announced his retirement and we’ve come full circle.

18 Notable trophies, 2 different Counter-Strike versions and a total of 22 years is a career most can only dream of. It’s also very hard to TL;DR.

We wish TaZ the best at whatever he decides to do next.


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We’re bringing EG back (yeah)

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Simpsons, duh

What do Evil Geniuses and a bad smell have in common?

You can’t get rid of them. And they smell bad.

Despite being dumped out of the RMR qualifiers by TeamoNe - and kassad having to pay a cool grand to them - EG have wormed their way back in by way of Detonate having to miss out.

They’ve had to miss out as two of their players have been forced to drop out, and as such, their spot goes to Evil Geniuses for… some reason. Probably because they were the closest to going through, but we prefer to blame bias and unfair ruling, rather than the clear logical answer.

Much more fun that way.

The roster they’re going to use, however, is entirely unclear. It’s going to be a massive surprise - not just to us, but we suspect to Evil Geniuses as well. Their academy roster has been taking part in Showdown and doing better than the actual EG roster, but we’re not even sure if they’d be allowed to use that one.

And if they are, would they?

What a kick to the metaphorical family jewels that’d be for the already much-maligned main roster. Why even bother having one at this point?

Well, actually… we might be on to something there. The main roster has already failed - the EG Black roster quite literally cannot do worse than failure to qualify for the RMR.


Homeless heroes

Source: BLAST Premier

There will be no NA teams in the US capital.

You heard us. There will be no American teams in Washington D.C for BLAST. No Liquid, no Complexity, and no Evil Geniuses. They all faltered at Showdown; not even making the final game.

Which is fortunate for us, because we can write this piece before three in the morning.

Liquid were toppled once more by paiN, who are becoming a real… thorn in their side. We refuse. No bad puns from us. biguzera, who’d recently taken over IGLing duties, led by example with 68 NA-defeating kills.

EG - using their academy roster (named EG Black) - surprised FURIA with a mini-reverse sweep, powered by a ludicrous performance from junior. A performance that FURIA never ever saw from junior when they were paying him, and that, for us, is just hilarious.

“Take a look at what you could have won…”

But they were powerless to stop vintage FalleN, who dragged Imperial past the plucky underdogs. Honestly, EG are already currying more favour by using a roster of younger, untried players. It’s a much nicer team to talk about, and they actually beat FURIA.

They won’t be at Washington, mind.

FalleN, however, will, as he and his Imperial roster overcame paiN and booked their spot in the capital.

Neither will BIG - though they put up an admirable fight. After pulling it back against 9INE to move into the final at Showdown EU, they were met by a Cloud9 team who’d knocked out NIP en route to the final.

As we’ve already alluded to, Cloud9 took them down. It was a close first two maps, but Cloud9 smushed them 16-3 on the decider to become, somehow, the closest thing to a home team at Washington.

Which is just chef’s kiss.


An organisational mess

🤔 What org they doing?

  • Okay so TSM is out of esports for now seemingly, but are still looking to enter CS:GO? What?
  • Same thing with HellRaisers, what is going on? Are they out, or are they in? We think some things might’ve gotten lost in translation.
  • A passport issue, a medical issue, the universe is seemingly trying to tell Detonate not to go the RMR. It also doesn’t help when Valve won’t let you field an emergency sub.

🤑 Here comes the money!

  • Goddamn. 39.5 million cases opened in March of 2023. That’s like every single Californian, from infant to elderly, opening a case.
  • Valve is reaping in buckets of cash with these case openings. All they had to do was release Source 2, no biggie.

😑 Don’t get ahead of yourself

  • Slow down, Vorborg, it’s still EG you’re talking about. You lot did win, but nobody likes a sore winner.
  • BIG, you guys do know you have to clear A-site before you can focus on Jungle right? Right?

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