Feature -- Forrest "var1ables" Campbell releases #13 of his Counter Strike 1.6 Shakedown. This series will look at happenings in eSports the past week and his opinion on what's going on.
Note: None of this is the opinion Insider eSports or it’s sponsor(s). This is just my no-named wannabe-journalist opinion.
Roster moves of the week of august 26
So a lot of nothing occurred prior to the WCG grand finals and here are some of the bigger moves - of a bunch of teams that most people don’t care about. Online Kingdom lost it’s roster before it could even send it to any events. The organization cites poor placing on one of ESL’s online leagues as the cause for them not being sent to DSrack, but Øyvind "KF3" Magnestad told HLTV.org that the change was more due to the organization’s culture rather than the teams poor showing. So in the last year this team has changed names 4 times - ALCHEMIST’s to Vitriolic to Lions to Online Kingdom, and all the organizations they have left they blame for the cause. But guys, you there always seems to be some problem with you guys otherwise you’d not have any reason to leave or be dropped from the organization, regardless of results.
Next d2x - formerly ruins - has picked up EG’s WCG ringer Travis "tuBBy" Bechtol and ex-loaded now ex backfire player Paul "Adrenaline" Baker as strat caller and team leader Dustin "dizzaman" Dilyerdand long time teammate Chris "TRULS" Navratil who decided to take time off from counter-strike and do other things. Way better than calling it retirement, because nobody ever retires from CS. Look at Heaton and SpawN. Bechtol and Baker showed immediate success as they both helped the team upset the best team in north America, Evil Geniuses in ESEAi with a 16 - 13 win ending there undefeated season.
DTS.chanix picked up the team that narrowly lost to Na’Vi and almost upset them. So maybe they can go to more events and DTS.chanix can actually have a good chance of showing their former roster Na’Vi what-fer.
Okay so WCG grand finals was this weekend and i have to say WTF WCG. First look at what they did with the groups - seven teams pulled out causing three groups of three and two groups of two to be formed. How about they just merge the two groups of two and actually have a competitive group stage? How about invite the second - third now with PoV being no more - American team and so that we have fill out one of the groups of three and then find some replacements for the other two? It can’t be that hard with fnatic, power and many more sitting out on the sidelines.
Add to that the slashed prize pot from 36K for first place and prizes for the top eight to being a prize pot for the top three with a mediocre 25K grand prize. So basically epic cuts. And that’s with all that new marketing power they should have with the WCG ultimate gamer having been in the second series. Now I'm wondering, what’s the point in making a shitty reality TV show with a 100K prize for first - and more if you count the Samsung prize package and I'm sure that they are paying those guys for of couple weeks of their life - if you are diverting your attention from your bread and butter - your grand finals. It seriously annoys me that the biggest prize they will be handing out is to some asshole who is on a reality show rather than people who play hard and competed for the chance to represent their country and really game instead of these no named wannabes(sorry clown and jwong). It makes the sport,eSports (or competitive gaming if you are a patronizing jerk), look bad and it takes us back 5, if not more, years as it makes us look like a sideshow.
Then you have what they did with the broadcast/main stage thing. You have a bigger seating arrangement - the main stage - being squandered by the fact that all the good matches are happening at the smaller, albeit more important, broadcast stage. I get having a second stage to feature important matches, but wouldn’t it make more sense to have the bigger stage ALSO be broadcasting? This would allow for more people to seated comfortably and be able to see more. Have the side stage feature another important match which couldn’t be scheduled in due to time constraints, and not have both the counter-strike and Starcraft - the two biggest games at the event - be forced onto a smaller stage which is cramped and hard to get a seat at. Trust me i was there.
However these complaints are not outweighed by how awesome the event was. The matches were epic, the story lines, especially in the final - would Na’Vi take all three major titles, IEM, ESWC AND WCG? Or would mTw be inducted into the WCG hall of fame with their second win? - was a great show of the raw competition of this 10 year old game we all love so much. And if you don’t......why are you reading this? Go play quake or something.
IEM America preview
Group A with the Brazilian power house now under the banner of coL will be able to advance with little challenge, winning there group 3 - 0 but the real challenge will be fighting for second. I know that this Brazilian lineup was having problems with artyk showing just how good the Latin American talent is in the overall scheme of things, or how poorly this team is practiced, and we all know how good area51 is and how experienced on LAN d2x is so there are sure to be some challenge for that second spot. I expect are51 to come out narrowly 2 - 1 with a loss to coL.br. mL-gaming’s still to in experienced to be competing with this international opposition. d2x, even with all their talent, i seriously doubt that they can best area51 and the new coL roster.
Group B will have EG continuing there dominance not dropping a game - or even 10 rounds as Scott “Sirscoots” Smithwould call it...you better be right this time around! - making it another race for second place. Loaded hasn’t been very strong in recent history and i don't’ see that changing anytime soon so i don’t see them coming out the group. Backfire has been coming up strong so i can definitely see them upsetting Loaded and excello.zowie, a team that hasn’t played at a high level in North America for like six months.
The brackets would come to EG vs area51 and like WCG Pan American championship Area51 will be rolled hard by EG 2 - 0 as EG has been just getting stronger and area51 without GRT is not as big of a threat as they once were. coL.br vs backfire will just like EG vs area51. Backfire is good but they just don’t have the experience to compete with the 2006 ESWC champions and the extremely impressive play from Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo de Alcantara.
This makes the final EG vs coL finals again for the second year in a row, albeit with a very different coL roster. However i think that EG’s stellar performance recently will be enough to beat coL - and I've said in other articles - who has only beaten EG coming out of the lower bracket and in a bo1 format. EG will win the series 2 - 1, i don’t know what maps will be picked but it just seems like EG has been to strong to be beaten by a team which hasn’t seen big international competition, albeit they placed fourth in this WCG, in the last 9 months, especially when EG has meshed and prepared like they should be for this event.
WCG grand finals recap
So the biggest event of the year was this weekend. Or was supposed to be the biggest event. But with power, mouz, alternate, fnatic all not attending it seemed relatively lackluster from a viewer-ship perspective. Furthermore there was little drama in the groups with two of them being groups of two and three groups of three made it seem like the favorites will always progress. And they always did - with the exception of full-gaming formerly known as wCrea and p00nhandlers leaving early. Then brackets went as planned with only exceptions being the two Swedish teams leaving in the first round to Na'Vi and Frag eXecutors respectively.
EG got beat early 2 - 0 by a well prepared mTw roster which then went on to beat coL.br team 2 - 0 in round three to get into the finals. Na’Vi did the same to Lions Beat4Gamers(B4G) and Frag eXecutors to make it to the finals to mTw, who the roster has never lost to in the short history of the team. This meant history would be made either way the result went - Na’VI would swept the three biggest events of the year, ESWC, IEM and WCG only leaving two major events, kode5 which nobody knows when will take place and dreamhack winter, or mTw will be inducted into the hall of fame, making it the second purely 1.6 team to make it into the WCG hall of fame and the second in two years to make it.
However it was not to be as the first game it appeared that mTw had asked Na’Vi a very weird question before the start of the match - namely “hey guys i heard you like winning major counter-strike events, you want this one too?” And Na’Vi responded “F-yeah” as they only dropped eight rounds, and controlled the map the entire game. The next map seemed like it would be the same way as Na’Vi rolled hard on tuscan getting to 14 rounds dropping only a handful before mTw came back,and had 3 1deag’s in one of the pistol rounds, to win 16 - 14 to send it into map #3.
Now this is the money game. De_train featured some of the best play from both teams, a incredible first half by Na’Vi which they managed to win T side 9 - 6 going into the second half and strung together a series of round to make it 14 - 6. However mTw wouldn’t go down and rallied back to make it 14 - 13 before Na’Vi started to dash there hopes with 15 - 13 before mTw sent it into OT with a two round victory equaling out the score 15 - 15. The first OT Na’VI rolled mTw 3 - 0 and only needed one round to win it all, however wouldn't’ stay down and swept there CT 3 - 0 to send it into a second OT. That said OT started much like the first with Na’Vi Sweeping mTw and finally closing out the round to win the whole tournament and sweep themajors of the year, winning IEM in the spring, ESWC in the summer and finally WCG in fall.