When the Covid-19 epidemic shook the world in March, Counter-Strike moved from LAN events to online tournaments. This transition brought the expectation of major upsets in the highest echelons of the game. Now that we’re a couple of months into the online era of CS:GO, we can draw a conclusion on which teams over- or underperformed.
BIG’s Cinderella story
When I say that the community expected some upsets, I meant that some smaller teams could reach a semi-final and we could see some bigger names falter. No one expected BIG, who started the year ranked 46th on the HLTV Ranking, to be such a dominant force. They started off slow, finishing last in the ESL Pro League before finding form by winning the first two weeks of the smaller Home Sweet Home Cup.
They entered Dreamhack Masters Spring as one of the mid of the table teams. BIG went undefeated in their group and beat FaZe with relative ease to secure a top-three finish. When G2 managed to topple them in the upper bracket final, the story seemed over. They had a good run, but surely they would not surprise FaZe in their rematch. Except, they did. They once again beat FaZe with relative ease. And despite going into the grand final with an 0-1 disadvantage, they managed to avenge their loss to G2 by winning in 3-2 fashion.
But the German squad wasn’t quite done yet. The next time they faced tier-one opponents, at CS_Summit, they continued to wreak havoc on the server. They lost a game in the group stage and were knocked down to the lower bracket. But they clawed their way to another grand final. By beating Vitality in a close back and forth, BIG was crowned number one on the aforementioned HLTV Ranking and kings of the CS:GO online era.
- Home Sweet Home Cup 1: 1st
- Home Sweet Home Cup 2: 1st
- Dreamhack Masters Spring 2020 – Europe: 1st
- CS_Summit 6 Europe: 1st
The coming of a juggernaut
When Jason Lake posted his ‘Let’s build a juggernaut’ tweet, many people were skeptical about the potential of the roster. The American-European mixture is one of its kind and took some time to get off the ground. But just like it did for BIG, things suddenly fell in place for the squad. And just like BIG, it started with winning the Home Sweet Home Cup.
At the start of the online era, Complexity made the decision to stay in Europe. Teams had the option to play in whichever region they had stranded in, and for Complexity this meant playing in the region with the stongest opposition.
Unlike BIG, Complexity did not have a dominant run, they just won one tournament of note. But for this team that one win meant so much more. They have been ridiculed, some of their players had to leave their homes, stay in a rented apartment on the other side of the world and had to face the steepest of expectations. But when they lifted the virtual trophy at the Blast Premier Spring Finals, Jason Lake had his Juggernaut.
It’s hard to predict the trajectory of the squad. They might build on these results, or they could fall back to being a mid-card team.
- Home Sweet Home Cup 6: 1st
- Home Sweet Home Cup 7: 1st
- Blast Premier Spring 2020 Europe Finals: 1st
Furia are crowned the Brazillian kings
The first time we saw Furia reach the highest echelon of Counter-Strike, was at the 2019 Katowice Major. Spurred forward by the hype around their Major stickers, the team had a decent showing and seemed to be set to take over from MIBR as Brazil’s leading roster. But despite the anticipation, they never really got over the last hurdle. They still showed flashes of brilliance, but they were never quite able to dethrone MIBR. This all changed when the CS:GO online era began.
Furia started to dominate the head-to-head against their fellow countrymen. But it wasn’t just the rivalry that they dominated. Furia started to make deep runs in events and managed to win the Dreamhack Masters Spring event. They even had a winning streak over the region’s most successful team, Liquid.
- ESL One: Road To Rio – North America: 2nd
- Dreamhack Masters Spring 2020 – North America: 1st
- Blast Premier Spring 2020 Showdown – Nort America: 1st