On Wednesday, Counter-Strike’s scene was rocked, and not just by Source 2.
G2 lost their map streak, their series streak, and now they have bottled their tournament streak to boot with a round of 12 exit at EPL Season 17.
They were vanquished by the less-than-mighty ENCE, who have looked electric since adding NertZ but should still pale in comparison to G2’s star-studded roster.
ENCE do have a veto advantage, banning Inferno (G2’s second-best map) and being really good at Nuke (G2’s best map) but let’s be real: NiKo, huNter-, and m0NESY versus dycha, NertZ, and SunPayus should not be an 0-2 defeat.
This might have come at a good time for G2. They have been humbled ahead of the RMRs and Major, which could re-focus them as we enter the business end of the season.
But sometimes, the first event loss is the most damning. You lose your aura, and suddenly every team is rushing to pounce. They take their normal duels, show their normal lack of respect, and truly believe they can topple Goliath.
It’s what happened to FaZe last year, as just a few losses all but eroded the clutch factor that carried them to so many trophies at the start of the year.
HooXi and company will hope they can avoid the same fate. Paris may well be the last Major played on Global Offensive, one final chance for NiKo to get the tournament he has hunted for nearly a decade.
EPL is not the be-all or end-all, but it is a crossroads. G2 could become the last great CS:GO dynasty, or be relegated to just another flash in the pan. Their legacy is in their own hands.