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April 28, 2023

It’s a little subdued as everyone catches a breath before the Major starts, but not too deep of a breath. There’s still action everywhere you look.

Epic ranking battles of history

Illustration by NovaH. Source: ESL

Heroic vs. Vitality, begi- Oh, sorry. We got a bit carried away by the bit there. What we meant to say was: The HTLV ranking has been updated, and Vitality has to be a little peeved.

The French org has been put in #2, which might sound very good, and it is, but the team that’s taken #1? Heroic. The same Heroic that just lost to Vitality in the IEM Rio Grand Final. On paper, that sounds ludicrous, but if you’re not aware: The HLTV rankings are based on consistency over a longer period of time. Heroic has been more successful more often on average, granting them the 31 points they need to be clear of Vitality.

In a peek outside the top 2, the biggest riser in the top 30 is nonother than BIG; A perfect example of how short-term results can affect the ranking when you’re not around the most elite teams. Finishing 5-6th at IEM Rio gave them enough of a platform to get above the teams around them that had their points decay.

Our final team worth mentioning is Astralis, who has fallen down to #21. That’s significant because it’s the first time the organization has dropped below 20th in the world. Their previous low was exactly #20 after Magisk and Dupreeh left the team, really showing just how far they’ve fallen. Thank you Kasper Hvidt!

The updated Top 10 is:

#1 🇩🇰 Heroic

#2 🇪🇺 Vitality

#3 🇺🇦 NAVI

#4 🇪🇺 G2 Esports

#5 🇪🇺 FaZe

#6 🇷🇺 C9

#7 🇺🇸 Liquid

#8 🇧🇷 FURIA

#9 🇪🇺 ENCE

#10 🇷🇺


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Bye, Bye, Bo5

Is it Christmas already? Senior Product Manager at ESL “Cynil” has confirmed ESL are scaling back the amount of Bo5s in their circuit. The first event this applied to was the just-finished IEM Rio, where the change was met with a generally positive response.

This doesn’t mean we’ll never see Bo5s again; they’re still around for the non-major S-tier events like Katowice and Cologne. Weirdly, Pro League was mentioned in this list as well. Stop trying to make Pro League a thing ESL. This is probably the best compromise because no matter how hard it is to watch for the average viewer, Bo5 is still the ultimate test of CS endurance.

But as with anything ESL does, the opinions are divided. Some wholeheartedly welcome the change. Whilst primarily fans seem to really like their Bo5s. Probably because they’re the 1% that have 7 hours to watch a single series of CS without any problems.

This is what it really boils down to: If everyone had the time to watch a whole Bo5 series and they were all as competitive and fun as Iem Katowice 2022’s final between FaZe and G2 there’d be no discussion about this. But, unfortunately, that isn’t reality.

Most Bo5s are mostly boring and have interludes of interest, and they take bloody forever; HLTV’s brcho took a sample of Bo5 finals, and other than one exception, all of them took 5 hours minimum. Most people simply don’t have time for that.

So, we welcome the Bo3s back from their LAN final break. We’ve missed you, buddy.


North America’s saviour speaks out (sort of)

Illustration by Fuffy

aunders joins us for episode 100(ish) of Overtime on Inferno to talk about a wide range of topics from his comeup to the caster he is today, pay per view tournaments and how he might save the Americas region.

We also get into

  • How Twistzz’ chewing gum maybe made his career
  • Launder’s favorite and least favorite players to watch
  • FURIA and arT

How to flip text in an email, wait this isn’t Google

Welcome down under!

If you’ve got a crazy sleep schedule in Europe or you’re from somewhere else in the world, this might just be the event for you. As we write this - at 3:30AM CEST - there’s been just one game played.

In fact, if you wake up at a normal time, it will probably still be going on.

It’s an odd mish-mash of teams, which makes for an intriguing one. There’s basically five of the eight teams who can probably win, and seven who will feel they can. We’ll let you figure out which side of that EG Black sit on.

Perhaps the biggest name here is Complexity, who featured in said game with one of the squeakiest, least convincing wins of all time over ECSTATIC. hallzerk won two 1v3s, including in round 30, to give Complexity the 16-14 win from a 12-3 half time lead.

Other big names here include… erm, Bad News Eagles. That’s about it. Grayhound and VERTEX make up the Aussie offering, with Rare Atom coming from Asia.

Originally TheMongolz were here, but they have been replaced by Movistar Riders for seemingly unknown reasons, and EG have sent their ‘Black’ roster.

It’s something to watch for those of you who don’t normally get CS at reasonable times, and it should be a fun time for all involved. The Aussie crowd and talent are great fun, even if the team list is not massively exciting.

It’s the only time this decade you’ll see an NA team be favourite for an event, for crying out loud.


A chance for redemption

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: BiG Clan

Online tournaments, remember them?

Relog Media are putting on a $333,000 tournament this week, featuring Astralis, Cloud9, ENCE, BIG, and an array of tier 1.5 teams.

We’re one day into Brazy Party what a name for a tournament that is, by the way and it’s already got interesting.

For the teams that didn’t make the Major, this is the best level of CS they’ll be playing for a while. And, let’s just say that you can tell.

00NATION charged out of the gates to 2-0 BIG, and Altekz shone on his Astralis debut with a 1.22 rating as the Danes stomped GamerLegion (who were just saving strats for the Major, obviously).

Cloud9 were also making the most of it, needing 101 rounds to beat Sprout in their opener.

As did fellow RMR failures SAW, who beat ENCE (who had Nertz on 80 ping) 2-1 in one of their first games with new man arrozdoce.

What’s next, Imperial beating 9INE?

No. Of course not.


“Forgot to book plane tickets” yeah sure

Time for a change

  • device, you have four majors already. That’s plenty; leave some for the rest.
  • Who knew all you had to do for your favourite team to win an event was to ask the TO to let them win? It’s that easy.

🎉 So excited

  • See, you might think ZywOo, cadiaN, and jabbi are just dancing to the music here - but no! They just got our newsletter in their inbox.
  • We’ve been told we need to be hyped af for this kid Joel. Will do bossman.

↘️ Downfall

  • We might just show up to Astralis’ downfall better dressed than at our own wedding.
  • For some of us, that statement is a little more literal than for others.

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