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April 14, 2023

There’s just two days of left of glorious RMR chaos, and we plan on indulging in it for as long as possible. And then we can’t wait for Paris. Man we love Counter-Strike.

EG hit refrezh

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Evil Geniuses

If you’ve read our newsletters at all recently, you might’ve noticed EG isn’t doing too hot. Their commitment to rebuild the NA scene through the “blueprint” and “pipeline” is the only thing keeping them in a positive light.

This is why it makes complete sense that they kick the recently promoted HexT for Danish player refrezh. Wait no, that makes zero sense.

We’ve turned the page in the latest chapter of the book “What is EG doing” which seems to never end. We can’t wait to read the story behind why they decided to risk becoming “the saviors of NA” for a bang-average European player.

refrezh’ time on Sprout wasn’t particularly successful or statistically impressive. Yeah, he could’ve claimed IGL as an excuse for his stats but not after he ended up changing roles and still not improving.

To be fair, he’s not a terrible player. He’s just not the star that EG needs. In general, raising a team’s floor is a good idea, but if your ceiling is 20CM from the floor your priorities need reshuffling.

Stay tuned for the next chapter…


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Astralis and Spirit hit the rocks

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Astralis CS

There’s always a couple of teams who completely balls it up.

Astralis aren’t exactly averse to a comical failure, but they weren’t alone. In fact, they inflicted one on Team Spirit.

It’s not completely out of the blue for Team Spirit - they’ve been on a bit of a slide for the last few months, but an 0-3 seemed out of the question. Losses to 500, Aurora and yes, Astralis left them out of contention for Major qualification.

Astralis might’ve survived an extra day, but device was dealt a fatal blow at the hands of the org he originally snaked Astralis for. Karma might not be a female dog, but she certainly has a sense of humour.

Spirit had massive structural issues from the jump. Even in their map win over Astralis, they were largely winning rounds with disadvantages, losing space and opening picks, but pulling off miracles. They looked lost, and weirdly, as if they had barely any firepower.

A very strange showing from them.

Astralis’ issues were somewhat hinted at in that paragraph, too. They were picking up opening kills left, right and centre, but falling apart after that. device still looks money, but xyp9x and gla1ve might be done at this level, sadly.

While FaZe’s fall was spectacular, they at least are still technically still in the event and have a shot at the last chance qualifier.

Spirit and Astralis missed that, and then some. Changes inbound, one would assume, for both.


A calm in the middle of the storm

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:

  • Why the format isn’t to blame for your favourite team losing
  • What exactly are VP doing?
  • Why refrezh to EG isn’t that bad (or that good, really)

Still got 9INE lives

Source: 9INE died so that Polish Counter-Strike could live.

Imagine saying that… wow, seven years ago now we suppose? Time flies.

9INE are the new names on the block, dragging Poland back to the heights they deserve to be at. Perhaps not quite the heights reached at the alpha stages of CSGO, but it’s nice to see them back at the omega.

The tier two-terrorising Poles swept through the bracket with n’ere a scratch on them, pipping G2 to the post, outlasting BIG and clobbering Vitality 2-0 in the BO3. They’re looking scary, and they’re led by a familiar face in hades.

The former-ENCE AWPer has taken more of a leading role in 9INE, and, so far at least, is putting up the performances to show ENCE why perhaps they could have given him a bit more freedom.

Not least because they’re… 2-2.

Having lost to both forZe and Monte in BO1s, ENCE have equalised the score in the BO3s with statement wins over… iNation and 500. It’s a start.

iNation joined Spirit in the 0-3 bracket after a rough draw, while 500 and Eternal Fire moved to 1-3 with Astralis.

The other 3-0 team, who we’ve not mentioned so far, is Heroic - largely because that’s all that was expected of them. Fair play, good work, move on. Reliable as ever.

Also going to Paris is dupreeh, and Vitality (obviously, that’s how this works). The French-ish team will at least give the home fans 2/5ths of a team to support, but perhaps more importantly, dupreeh has been to every single CSGO Major.

Think about that for a second. That’s ridiculous.

Not a single one he hasn’t qualified for, been away from the game, not been on a great team or not showed up. You can talk all you want about device being ‘Mr Consistent’ - dupreeh is actually that guy.

They’ll be joined by G2 powered by some ridiculous performances from m0NESY, not least against Cloud9 - and Monte.

Monte’s star man has been BOROS, which won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s seen the guy play before. He’s been frying big time - a 30-bomb in a loss to Heroic, back to back 26 kill games over ENCE and Cloud9 and a 28er in the qualifying map over forZe. He’s had some visa issues that seem to be over, and we couldn’t be happier.

That just leaves the 2-2 games, and the last chance qualifier. Settle in!


Seven games? In one day?

Two days left of the RMRs, and four spots left to decide in the tournament.

Aurora vs forZe doesn’t sound at first like a banger game, but both teams have been quietly very good. Anyone whose team has been playing qualifiers (that’s you, Astralis fans) will know just how scary Aurora are, and almost everyone is afraid of forZe by now.

BIG and NIP are duking it out for their chance at being the team who go out 12-14th in the Challenger’s Stage. NIP smacked Astralis, but have been largely unconvincing, while BIG are perennially unconvincing. Are either team any good? We have no idea.

Bizarrely, that leaves ENCE vs Cloud9. Mind you, ENCE have had basically nothing but easy games up until now, and managed to lose two of them. Both teams are very good usually, but neither have been great at this event. Still, it should be a banger. You better tune in. We’re watching you.

G2 and Vitality square off for a shot at toppling Monte, with the winner of that bracket taking a Legends spot. Sadly, it’s at the same time as ENCE vs Cloud9, so we will be watching two screens at the same time.

That’s not all, though, folks. FaZe, B8 and Falcons are waiting in the last chance qualifier with the first three games being played today as well.

This is amazing. Why aren’t more days like this?


We think about it every day, s1mple

💪 Counter-Strike Oddity

  • Ukraine’s biggest and world’s best s1mple says he “sometimes wonders how he would do in an international team”. Brother, give the people what they want!
  • We don’t know, is it rare to get a five-in-one? It’s so rare we just coined the new term for it.

🥱 Sorry, what?

  • Loba, we’ll have to be honest with you: cry is free.
  • They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

👨‍🏫 Good news everyone!

  • Unfortunately we’ll have to miss out on VP at IEM Rio, but that does mean the Brazilian fans get a home team to support.
  • Needed a place to drop your CS art and meet other artists? Look no further.

☹️ de_cursed


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