Sent on
June 16, 2023

Hello, dear reader. We, like the players and viewers, need a break too.We’d like to spend time with our friends, families and… that’s all a lie. We just want to play Counter-Strike and drink. But we’ll see you right here in your inbox very soon.

The omega and the alpha

Yes yes, we know. This season just ended. We should be getting excited about a potential Brazilian shuffle or where exactly iM and BOROS might be going, but we’re all into Counter-Strike for one reason.

To watch… Counter-Strike. We thought that was obvious.

Thankfully the wait won’t be too long - short enough in fact that Cologne invites (and supposedly roster lock) have been sent out and announced this week. Hilariously, there’s no ‘Local Hero’ invite, presumably because BIG’s academy team qualified so the main team can’t get offered a spot.

All the big teams you’d expect have invites for the main stage - Vitality, Heroic, ENCE, Cloud9, FaZe, G2, NAVI and… GamerLegion. Without, we’d imagine, at least one of the players who has got them to this position.

Still, you can’t really complain. They were Major finalists, and if one of the ‘bigger’ teams wants to suggest they should be above them, they should have proved it when it mattered.

Similarly, Apeks, Monte and Into the Breach picked up much-deserved invites to the Play-In, where we’ll hopefully see some more of what we saw in Paris. 9INE, fnatic, FURIA and a bunch of others will hopefully show us something completely different.


We still have no idea what game they’ll be playing, mind you.

There’s still a chance that CS2 doesn’t come out until the end of the year (or perhaps later; who on Earth knows), which would make the Major one of the first CS2 events. Which we now have dates for.

God we’re good at segues.

The RMRs begin on Valentine’s Day and end at the start of March, with the Major starting on the 17th March and ending on the final day of March, allowing all of us to be massively hungover for April Fool’s Day and hopefully sleep through all the ‘jokes’.

We’re already prepping our ‘Vitality won the Major? Must be an April Fool’s joke!’ tweet.


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Illustration by NovaH. Source: NIP

Nearly one year. That’s how long Aleksi has had the reigns over NIP. When he joined, NIP had managed to gain 6th position in the HLTV rankings, peaking as high as 4th and they didn’t even have a “Real IGL”.

So what happened when they signed Aleksib and got that “Real IGL” you ask? Instant regression.

Under the Finnish players leadership, NIP bled HLTV ranking points and struggled to show up at big events. Once they dropped out of the top 10, they only got it back once. For a week with the help of signing headtr1ck.

So is it any wonder that NIP has decided to bench Aleksib for a returning hampus?

For those who don’t remember, hampus originally left the active roster back in January citing personal reasons. k0nfig then signed a long-term deal to replace the Swede despite telling us hampus was only taking the spring season off.

So with k0nfig on a long-term deal, we wonder what the plan was. Did REZ just dodge a bullet? Or was Aleksi doomed from the start?

Regardless, hampus now faces a new challenge.

When he left the team, they were still speaking Swedish. Fast forward a few months and they’ve switched to English. There’s also no way back with headtr1ck being their marque signing and all.

For hampus, this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, he faces a language barrier he didn’t have to deal with originally. On the other, he finally has an AWPer, because let's not forget, hampus carried NIP to the top 10 with REZ of all players AWPing.

As for Aleksi, he’s left homeless on a bench, ever waiting. Maybe one day he’ll find the “team that suits his strengths” which Kassad apparently believes is out there. But with roster locks for the next tournaments just around the corner, we hope Aleksi’s bench is comfortable because it might be his only home for a while. Unless G2 wants to do the funniest thing of all time.


Siuhy’s homecoming

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:

  • Where were we last week?
  • Heroic’s reign begins (again)
  • are back baby

The prodigal son returns

Illustration by aNdyj. Sources: MOUZ (siuhy), GamerLegion (background)

siuhy was at the top of most of tier one’s shopping list going into this silly season, and the Major finalist has found a new home already — according to Luis Mira at least.

But it’s none of the big dogs; it’s not G2, or FaZe, or even Liquid. siuhy has returned to MOUZ, the org where he made his name winning four WePlay Academy Leagues back-to-back.

It does make you wonder why they didn’t just promote all four of them back in 2022 but hey ho, we got there in the end. Let’s talk about the here and now.

There’s good and bad to this.

Good: siuhy goes back to the 4-man core he made serial winners at youth level. He links back up with sycrone. He’s not at one of the huge orgs that spit out IGLs after 6 months. Expectations won’t be sky-high.

Bad: He leaves iM behind, who might be finding it hard to get out of GamerLegion, according to smooya on HLTV Confirmed. We won’t get to see if GamerLegion were a flash in the pan (they were). He’s not at one of the huge orgs that has the superstars to win trophies.

Okay, that last one might be harsh on MOUZ. xertioN and frozen have the potential to be superstars, for sure. frozen might already be one, even if he is a little bit too stat-paddy for our liking sometimes.

The big question mark will be on torzsi, who looked like the next big non-m0NESY thing under siuhy in the academy league but has struggled in the big leagues.

For siuhy, it’s a bigger stepping stone on the gilded staircase on his road to greatness. There is more hype around this 20-year-old IGL than anyone not named m0NESY. And, for our money, that is earned.


We’ve all got issues

😓 Life is tough

  • Looks like dexter is going to get into some parental issues.
  • Whoever wrote that NAVI is going through changes: you’ve got a problem with s1mple now.

🌈 So colourful and nice

  • Anubis in CS2 looks way better than it has any right to look. We just refuse to play anything but Mirage.
  • Nice looking hair, Aurora.
  • It’s not really esports related, but come on, tell me DeaziD’s (one of ESL’s photographers) clothing line doesn’t look super cute.

Facts that sound fake but aren’t

  • Hiko is apparently the one and only Mr Worldwide. Remember, some russian.
  • Seems like Astralis did not in fact drop a big wad of cash for Buzkji. Less than most others even…
  • NiKo, the greatest to ever wield a rifle in CS:GO, has had a myriad of different top of the line AWPersAnd still didn’t achieve greatness.
  • We’re not going to lie, cadiaN looked sharp af on the analyst desk.

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