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June 12, 2023 also pick up a trophy, albeit a smaller one than their last, while Valve look to drop the hammer on partner teams. are back and more boring than ever are back and just as lethally boring as ever.

If they can’t shoot through you, they will constrict, choke and strangle you to death. Slow or fast, explosive or controlled - VP have every kind of round in their locker.

It was only a Challenger event, but we saw a version of VP we haven’t seen since Rio. Quite literally  n0rb3r7 played, and he also played extremely well, for the most part. He had twice as many entries as ENCE in map one of the grand final.

VP were unconvincing against Party Astronauts but ground out a BO1 win over ENCE to auto-qualify for playoffs. They made light work of 9z, and set up an expected grand final as ENCE spanked FORZE in two.

It looked like it might be an uncharacteristically fast game from VP after they tore ENCE a new ENCE-hole in map one, but reverted to type on Anubis. As ENCE seemed to have everything tied up, VP turned it on to bring it back to 14-14.

Before losing an anti-eco.

You didn’t think they’d get it done in two, did you?

Similarly, they found themselves down on Mirage, 8-13. As per usual, that’s when they started the true degeneracy, slowing everything down to a crawl and letting FL1T and fame work their magic.

VP won eight of the next nine, on the T side of Mirage, to deny ENCE back-to-back trophies and pick up their first since Rio.

The saying goes that you should never argue with an idiot, for they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. Similarly, you should never challenge at an ESL Challenger event.

VP leave CS:GO - probably - as trophy winners.

Final standings:

1st 🇷🇺 - $50.000

2nd 🇪🇺 ENCE - $20.000

3rd 🇷🇺 FORZE - $10.000

4th 🏳️ 9z - $10.000

5th-6th: 🇺🇸 Party Astronauts - $3.000

5th-6th: 🇩🇰 ECSTATIC - $3.000


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Valve remind TOs it’s supposed to be an “open” circuit

Illustration by NovaH.

Valve are a mysterious beast. Ever the absent father of CS, they work in the shadows compared to Riot and Activision who are the classic helicopter parents of their esports.

So when they do give us some attention, it’s probably important.

Which they did at the Paris Major — several pros were invited to their booth during the playoffs, and Richard Lewis is now reporting that talks were had there with TOs regarding the partner league system in CS:GO.

The open circuit is one of the few things Valve really care about, and in a bid to actually make some money ESL and BLAST have tried to push back against that principle in recent years.

For ESL that comes in the Louvre agreement for ESL Pro League Spots, and BLAST even stricter buy-to-attend spots for their BLAST Premier circuit.

These partner leagues give the teams guaranteed money, both in the literal revenue sharing and in guaranteed eyeballs for your gambling sponsors.

But it’s come at a cost: Majors are upset machines, we have to watch meaningless games at EPL and Spring/Fall groups, and fresh teams like Apeks are forced to wait for Majors for a fair chance at a prestige event.

Valve have been against exclusivity for years, whichever TO made a play for it. And the blind eye they’ve shown to BLAST and ESL since their partner systems is now firmly focussed on them.

Now, though, Richard Lewis’ impeccable sources have told him that Valve have “raised concerns” about the “state of the competitive landscape.”

We’re sure the partner agreements will survive — they’re one of the few ways teams can make money.

But it seems like they’ll have to be watered down slightly, and what that means for the scene remains to be seen.


The curse of the crown is no more

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source:  Heroic (jabbi), Vitality (ZywOo)

cadiaN has finally done it.

One year since Heroic last won an event - which was also a BLAST event - and Heroic have broken their curse of grand finals.

And all it took was an all-time bad performance from ZywOo and Magisk at the same time.

ZywOo dropped an absolute stinker on Vertigo, picking up just two kills on the CT side. ZywOo! Two kills! Ridiculous. Magisk collected just 34 kills in three maps. What is going on?

cadiaN doesn’t care, mind you. Hell, it’s a product of the Heroic system that both of them looked so bad. ZywOo’s tendencies were studied, pulled apart and used against him flawlessly, and Heroic looked very much like the best team in the world, the team they’d promised all existed.

Though Vitality were dominant on Mirage, there was never any doubt about who was going to win map three. Heroic were the best team from start to finish, and they were never, ever going to choke it.

It’s not like they would, we don’t know, drop a 15-7 lead in map three of a big game.

If you didn’t watch that one, you missed a masterclass from FalleN, rolling back the years and teaching cadiaN how to really AWP and IGL, and it was a genuine shame that after a miraculous comeback they couldn’t get it done.

In the meantime, Vitality made HooXi look like… well, HooXi. He’s a solid IGL, but man, his hands don’t work.

Vitality won the one that really matters, of course, but this will hopefully kick start Heroic into gear and break their cycle of choking big games.

Mind you, we said that last year.

Final standings:

1st 🇩🇰 Heroic - $200.000

2nd 🇪🇺 Vitality - $85.000

3-4th 🇪🇺 G2 Esports - $40.000

3-4th 🇧🇷 Imperial - $40.000

5-6th 🇪🇺 FaZe Clan - $20.000

5-6th 🇺🇸 Complexity - $20.000

7-8th 🇩🇰 Astralis - $10.000

7-8th 🇷🇺 Cloud9 - $10.000


Make CS Great Again

You have to ask: why?

  • Questionable (now deleted) twitter post by Heroic. We’d have expected better from an org that kept an active cheater on their payroll.
  • The real question, 3kliks, is: does it matter? Most of us tune our digital vibrance to over 9000 anyways.
  • Apparently BLAST aren’t so big on critics, as Twistzz can’t speak out or he’ll get fined.

🎶 Tell me more, tell me more

  • Come on nexa, don’t be so secretive. Spill your secrets!
  • Please, Astralis, do keep telling us how the +Staehr move hasn’t affected your team.

Shiny new skins

  • CS2 also means new skins, and boy does this deagle look good.
  • Although we can go for bringing back a classic as well. Same, but different, but still same.

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