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June 9, 2023

Astralis, Vitality, Cloud9…. your boys took one hell of a beating. At least ENCE are taking it easy, and can’t quite possibly lose in Washington. Unless…

CS2’s Mirage Fades

It might’ve taken 76 days, but CS2 finally gets its first major refresh. That refresh might’ve been adding the most overplayed map from CS:GO… But, we’ll take it.

That’s right, Dust 2 is out and Mirage is in. Some well-needed variety after the Sisyphean hell that was playing D2 over and over.

Mirage has gotten an overhaul that looks nothing short of amazing, even if you might need sunglasses to play it. The comparison is almost crazy when you look at the highest settings. Now, we’ll be honest and say, maybe, it would’ve been nice to see something like Nuke or Overpass first. We all know Mirage and to many of us it’s just kinda boring. Which in a way, is exactly why it’s a good pick – you know what you expect which makes it easier to compare.

You might’ve heard more complaints from us if that was all in terms of updates, fortunately for everyone with Beta access, there’s more.

Valve has been taking notes from Valorant and overhauled the buy system. You can now make your own 5 gun load-outs per side, if you want both M4s on CT, you got it. Do you think the AWP is a crutch and people should get good? No problem, remove it from your load-out, we’re sure you’d rather use the auto-sniper anyway.

That’s not all. You can now sell your accidental buys! No more will you be the only one forcing on round 2, you can just sell your Deagle and armor. As frequent Faceit puggers ourselves, this one is huge.

Both of these updates alone would’ve been quite the content boost, but Valve couldn’t help themselves and had to make massive updates only casually mentioned in the patch notes.

Take for example a fix for the “floaty movement in subtick” that was reported by many players. To a lot of pros, this was a major complaint, now Valve has just fixed it with no fanfare. But not just that, they also tuned the length of a HE smoke fade, reducing it to make it less OP.

Now remember what we said about copying Valorant? That’s about to get even more obvious. VAC will now ban players mid-game and end it at that round. The result will even be made invalid, whilst still gaining XP for your coveted service medal. So long you didn’t queue with the banned player.

To round things off, Valve also announced the release of Hammer for Source 2. A map editor that the more creative side of our community has gotten used to in CS:GO when creating custom maps and skins. So go out and be your creative best. It’s more fun than playing Mirage.


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ENCE’s victory lap of Katowice… or?

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

That’s what everyone other than ENCE will be chanting to themselves in the mirror in prep for ESL Challenger Katowice, for the bounty is certainly on Dallas’ kings.

While there are threats at this event, ENCE come in as huge favourites given they were the best team at an inarguably more stacked event, and come to Katowice looking to win two trophies back-to-back.

Who stands in their way?

The two biggest enemies come from the east, with FORZE and flying into Poland. FORZE are a perennial underdog who can often surprise but rarely dominate, and could quite easily beat ENCE and still lose the final. are a massive question mark; they’re back with their Major-winning roster, which is a mental sentence, but we’ve not seen them play for a while. Perhaps they’ll have changed their playstyle to something more aggressive, and fa-

Yeah, sorry, our heart really wasn’t in that. We can’t even finish that sentence.

paiN and 9z make up South America’s contingent, and honestly, paiN should be looking at this event as one they could make the finals at. Seriously. FORZE and VP are beatable, and every team below them are extremely beatable.

9z are a wildcard, joined by ECSTATIC. If things go wrong they can quite easily make it into playoffs and beyond, but nobody is going to be backing them until then.

Still, that’s a better shout than either Party Astronauts or Bravado, who you’d imagine will get smashed by everyone. Party Astronauts are probably a better team, and are more likely to get a win and could possibly do something, we suppose.

We’re just trying to be nice.

They do have Bravado in their group, after all. A win isn’t a crazy prediction.


FalleN just keeps dancing

Illustration by NovaH. Source: Fallen

The end of the season brings with it some strange motivation imbalances in the server.

Case in point: Vitality, Major champions, who probably haven’t practiced since Paris and are already thinking of sunny beaches, against FalleN’s Imperial who arrive fighting to keep the Professor in the team.

Vitality came in colder than ice on map one, and were smashed 16-3 on Overpass. But it was the 16-14 win on map two that was truly impressive.

On one of Vitality’s best maps, and historically a terrible map for FalleN and company, Imperial stood tall to upset the world’s best team.

In their second match, against G2, Imperial once again punched above their weight — despite a 30-bomb in ONE HALF from NiKo as G2 won Ancient.

Imperial did succumb eventually, but only after beating G2 on their best map of Inferno and 29 rounds of Nuke. The win over Vitality has secured their first playoffs of a Big Event since FalleN joined, even if it only required an online qualifier and one best of three.

Elsewhere, Cloud9 won the “most dead dead team” competition with a last-place exit, with nafany coming out afterward to moan about players not listening to his calls. We wonder why they weren’t listening, Vladislav.

Astralis also had a torrid time, despite signs of progress in Dallas. A loss to FaZe is fine, but they were then eliminated at the hands of Complexity in a 90-round thriller of a best of three.

device, after a 1.42 rating at Dallas, only managed a 0.89 in Washington. That’s mostly thanks to stand-in AWPer Sonic, who killed device 11 — yes, eleven — times on map three with just two replies from device.

To make things worse, five of those were with a deagle. It was an absolute paddlin’. Watching from home, hallzerk is worried about his place in the team and you know what? Maybe he should be.


Everything Else 2

💣 Learning nades

  • Don’t worry about learning nades on CS2, everyone has already done it for you before it’s out.
  • If even our story was too long for you, ESL handily put out a video on it, voiced by our own aizyesque. If it wasn’t already obvious, he’s writing this section today. Unbiased opinion: his video is great. Honest.
  • You could always just not bother learning stuff. Hasn’t seemed to hurt rain’s career.

🔄 Roster moves, ish

  • sdy is burnt out from playing thousands of maps in the last month (minor embellishment). He’s being replaced by marix for the moment.
  • niko has entered free agency after his trial with OG ended. Yeah, his trial. No, we didn’t know either.
  • draken is benched, along with RuStY. Wow, who could have seen this coming.

📝 Miscellaneous

  • Hugo has ruined CSGO. Good job CS2 is coming soon.
  • device reckons Staehr is quite good. He is, but you also said Astralis were several steps behind NIP when you joined NIP, mate, so forgive us for not trusting your word.

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