Let us tell you, the ‘vibes’ in that arena were immaculate. That’s what the kids are saying now, right?
Maybe we’d have got away with that line if we hadn’t gone with the second sentence.
Regardless, the noise was deafening. Between the unmistakable chants of ‘VEE-TA-LA-TEE’ that haunt our nightmares every time we close our eyes, the FURIA fans going mad for every kill, and the roar for every clutch; it was incredible.
Goosebumps, hairs on end, spine shivers - the lot. And that was just the crowd.
Even outside the arena - which was situated away from the hustle and bustle of Antwerp - CSGO fever had taken over. Multiple people asked us if we were ‘here for the tournament’, who otherwise had no idea or interest in CS.
The city centre was buzzing, and it being in Belgium made it so that wherever you went, the beer was sensational. Well, so we heard; we of course were professional enough that we went to as many bars as we could and didn’t drink any beer.
In some ways, it was lovely to be in a country, and a city, that wasn’t prestigious in CS:GO - a beautiful city that seemed a little confused to be hosting our great game, and we got to spread the word.
And boy did they get a show.
FaZe and Spirit put on possibly the game of the tournament, and there was a thick air of tension in that place. We almost choked on it. Witnessing the final round of Mirage with ropz’ crazy clutch was a special experience.
If you’ve never been to a LAN before, go to a Major. We promise you.
And that grand final; though the final map was somewhat unsatisfactory, the explosion of noise, the outpouring of emotion from the packed arena… that was a climax that belied the anti-climactic nature of the game.
That karrigan’s face stuck in our minds more than any play from that grand final immediately says quite a lot.
NaVi vs Heroic was the other great game of the playoffs; while we didn’t see any vintage s1mple stuff, we did get a reminder of just how good electronic is. He was out there winning impossible duels, multi-killing in one-and-done positions, and opening up sites on his own.
If that was NaVi’s last tournament together, as the rumours suggest, then it was so, so close to a romantic finish.