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Heroic might be the best team in the world, while G2 and NAVI are most certainly not. At least Vitality are (relatively) reliable.
What makes a team great?
While there are many arguments as to what makes a team great, the best answer is that they win. When the pressure is on, they perform. And they win the games that matter.
If that answer is true, then it’s fair to say G2 and NAVI are not great - amongst many others that didn’t make it out of the Legends Stage. While failing isn’t exactly unfamiliar to G2, the shame of a Legends State exit is a new feeling for NAVI.
G2 dropped to an 0-2 score - which many will handwave away by reminding us that is was BO1. Those people will fail to mention that an 0-2 scoreline means they likely would’ve lost a BO3 against any decent team, and then be shocked at the fact that they lost a BO3 to fnatic.
The same fnatic who got smacked by Into the Breach - a literal, genuine UK team. No, seriously.
For NAVI, they did perfectly fine in the BO1s, but got absolutely slapped by Monte and former teammate sdy in the BO3s - again, genuinely - and fell to FaZe in a BO3.
As you might have guessed by now, it didn’t go well.
Despite a dominant showing for 80% of the series, it was a comeback from FaZe which sealed the deal 2-1. FaZe have made a name for themselves as comeback kings.
G2, meanwhile, had no such excuse. They were dumped out unceremoniously by a fnatic team who got un-ironically spanked by a UK team. We know we’ve mentioned that previously, but we still can’t believe it.
ENCE, meanwhile, were so bad they barely made it onto the list.
Paris is incredible, by the way. The Croque Monsieurs and Duck a l’Oranges have been so good we’ve started to hate the French less.
The emotion shown when G2 lost almost made us feel bad for them, while interviews with CYPHER and Thomas almost made us support a UK team.
At least, until…
Every good Major has a Cinderella run. It’s just that this time around, we had about seven.
None were more impressive, though, than Into the Breach. A run that now, has come to an end.
Counter-Strike threatened to come home, with the Brits taking a 10-5 lead over Vitality on Vertigo. CYPHER was wide-swinging ZywOo harder than a level five on FACEIT with a Deagle, and maybe, just maybe, we started believing.
But once the half switched the gulf in quality was clear. Magisk was abusing the hero of the first half, CYPHER, on B with multi-kill entries. ZywOo woke up, and just like that map one had slipped.
ITB had flown close enough to the sun to see what lay inside, but their wings were melting and they were falling — literally, in CRUC1AL’s case.
Map two was Anubis and it was another heartbreaker, ending 16-12 in Vitality’s favour
There are some Cinderella underdog runs that are a bit.. Mickey Mouse, but ITB was not one of them. The Brits beat FaZe, ENCE, and fnatic. They ran Liquid close on map one, and Vitality close on both maps despite the hostile crowd. It is a story worthy of the last CS:GO Major.
There is just as interesting a story developing on the other side of the server, however.
Vitality beat Into the Breach 2-0, sure. But it was not as convincing as it might be — and tougher tests await the home favourites.
When we next write to you on Sunday, they will have faced those tests. Vitality, home crowd behind them, are in their first-ever Major semi-final.
Ahead of them lies the path to glory, and to shame. Vitality cannot be satisfied taking any prize home other than the trophy, in all its gooey glory.
The Golden Hornets need it. The organisation craves it. And the team is **capable of it.
It’s an opportunity they cannot take for granted. It’s now or never.
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 NovaH. Source: Heroic and Faze Clan/maxxeck
Don’t you just love getting treated to a final before the actual final? We did.
After the crowd had settled down again from the opening ceremony, the server room started warming up as the Danes and the Clan geared up for their faceoff.
FaZe started off strong on the first map, Nuke. Can’t blame them, Heroic had lost the map recently to BIG at IEM Rio. The pistol round and follow ups were won, but then things got real.
Turns out the saying “saving strats for the Major” does indeed ring true. Heroic unleashed the full force of their tactics - but also mostly their crosshairs - upon the international mix and Antwerp Major champions.
Heroic carried the momentum into the second half and were nearing match point with stavn’s single-handed pistol win, but either they got sloppy or FaZe got their confidence back because suddenly it all got chaotic.
FaZe thrive in chaos, and the comeback looked real. However, looks can be deceiving (see: our tinder profile). Right at the end, Heroic pulled through. 16-14, and the previous Major’s runners-up are now up 1-0.
Next up Heroic’s pick: Overpass. Things look similar, but in the opposite direction. Karrigan and co. bang out round after round, and Heroic look lost. We get to the second half, and then CS once again gets chaotic.
This time it’s Heroic that looks for a comeback, and they get close… But not close enough. Once again, right as overtime looks inevitable, FaZe shut down the fun and finally close things out. The score reads 16-12 now, and the maps are all tied up at 1-1.
The crowd’s already drooling at the thought of map three, the map we all know so well. Mirage.
This time Heroic decides enough is enough, and FaZe’s long road to the Major comes to an end in the dusty Moroccan palaces and weapon depots.
Despite Twistzz’ best efforts, Heroic shut out FaZe 16-6 and move on to the semi-final of the last CS:GO major.
Accor Arena might not be a restaurant per se, but it still serves hot portions of CS madness. Today's specials combine a familiar flavor with a European dash of spice and The other is… just bloody insane.
First off, Liquid will be facing the spicy EU mix of Apeks. The teams have already faced each other all the way back in the Challengers stage’s opening game where Apeks beat Liquid to everyone's surprise. Since then Liquid has had a second wind and surged into form and you can bet they’re out for revenge. As for the actual contents of the game? Odds are the highlight will be Anubis as both teams have been successful on it recently. Apeks have played it 20 times in the last 3 months and still have an 85% win rate on it. Mental.
Another interesting aspect of the game will be how Apeks’ players deal with the stage. Will the experienced players in jkeam and STYKO have to carry the team? And will rising star jL crumble under the pressure of stage? It’s gonna be a tasty matchup, that’s for sure and the winner will go on to face Vitality.
As for our second matchup, frankly, we’re not quite sure what to expect. If you told us that one of the quarter-finals of the last CS:GO major was gonna be a CIS mix team vs a European mix team… we would’ve 100% believed it. But we’d expect NAVI and FaZe, not GamerLegion and Monte.
It’s easy to see two lesser-known names and be turned off by the game, but don’t be fooled.
There’s serious talent on both sides of this game and who knows how they’ll shine under the stage lights. For these players, this is possibly the most important game of their lives and we have no doubt they’ll put it all on display on the server.
An unlikely quarter-final like this is what CS is all about. Tune in and don’t miss out on the magic. The winner will face Heroic in the semis.
😈 Out for revenge
🍔 Winner’s diet
✨ Nice looking pixels