In August of 2014, CS:GO will have its second anniversary. Despite this, the scene has but a few teams to really call real top tier. Ninjas in Pyjamas and Titan (ex-VeryGames) are the ones to get their name on the winners list a lot more often then anyone else. Fnatic won the DreamHack Winter 2013 as well as the biggest single prize pot that same year. Meanwhile, Clan-Mystik kicked Titan from the throne of ESWC, surprising a lot of fans. Still, their names are vastly overshadowed by the giants in competitive CS:GO. Just a few days ago, the CS legend and NiP manager HeatoN said to onGamers that he still isn’t convinced that Fnatic is a top team. If not winning the biggest event of a year, what does it take a team to join the concert of the big two?
Chances for a chance ahead?
But in late 2013, NiP and Titan both struggled in the big tournaments. Both ESWC and DreamHack Winter were not won by either of these two “alltime” favorites but opened up the stage for new teams to get their time in the spotlights. If EMS One Katowice is following this trend we might see another team polish the glory that comes by their name.
Looking at the pool of teams that will compete for one of the six remaining invitations for EMS One Katowice and the US$250,000 prize pool, we see a lot former big names from either CS 1.6 or CS:Source. Na’Vi is most likely the best example, as they appear to have difficulties getting back to the level of play they had when they won the biggest tournaments in CS 1.6, including a back-to-back championship at Intel Extereme Masters in 2010 and 2011. The roster of the last ever IEM champion ESC Gaming split up, with TaZ, neo and pasha going to Virtus.pro and Loord leading MeetYourMakers. They also have their fans waiting for the big plays like they happened in the past.
Can mousesports catch up to their successful past?
mousesports is in a similar situation. Their name stands for success but over the years, no team could ever get near the one that won IEM in 2008 and kept winning major tournaments until mid of 2010. This time around, their team is completely new. It introduces chrisJ, joined by cadiaN and fresh German players trying their best to live up to the expectations associated with their mousesports jersey. Missing out on a win at Katowice like at DreamHack, where cadiaN’s old team kicked them out in the BYOC finals, could have a negative effect on their “raw skill and talent”, which chrisJ praised in our interview lately.
The next three nights are all about who will be going to Katowice, joining the best teams in the world. Only six of our 16 teams can make it. Will we see the big names coming back or will the new names take “their” shine away?