PGL Krakow was one of the craziest tournaments in CS:GO history, and undoubtedly the wildest major. Dubbed the “Surprise Major” for its constant slew of sleeper successes and unsuspecting upsets, the PGL Major will remain in our minds for years to come. For the expectations, it shattered, and the truths it proved wrong, PGL’s pilot major event will forever be ingrained in our memories. As the dust settles on such a legendary event, what can we make of its unexpected results?
Chaos Rules Supreme
July 24th, 2017 marked the death of several eras. The Astralis Era, the SK Era, and even the short-lived FaZe Era, all met their untimely demise on a Sunday night in Poland. Any hopes of order or regularity, as such of the early stages of the year, were dashed and burned by the ludicrous upsets that occurred in the weeklong tournament. SK’s tournament streak has come to a quick and unforgiving end, burning in the quarterfinals for the team’s worst placing since Starladder Season 3. Astralis failed to rekindle their early year promise, falling to the eventual major champions in an upset no one would predict just a week before. And finally, FaZe, ripe with promise and talent, fell most suddenly of them all, embarrassed by even the most unlikely of tier 3 lineups.
Even as Gambit found themselves victorious at the end of the Krakow epic, no one team emerged on top from the bloody inferno of the major. There are no champions of CS any longer, eagerly awaiting another trophy to add to their massive collection. Instead, why live in a time of chaos, where nothing is certain and no one can be trusted. If Gambit and Immortals can go to the finals of a major, then so can Mousesports and NiP and any other team who hovers on the outer reaches of CS:GO’s elite. While Gambit and Immortals came out ahead on this occasion, no one would argue their objective superiority to the top-tier teams that they beat. Instead, they would place these results in a clusterf#ck of unknowns and possibilities. We have yet to see what the future holds in the epic of Counter-Strike. But if one thing’s for certain, it won’t go as expected, if anything can be expected at all. Chaos reigns supreme in the world Counter-Strike.
The CIS Hierarchy has Been Fundamentally Altered
Since the early days of CS:GO and the disbandment of Astana Dragons, the CIS region has been ruled by one team alone: Na’Vi. Even in the best of times, Hellraisers and Flipsid3 couldn’t come close to the world class of the illustrious Natus Vincere. With the greatest minds, the most promising talent, and the sturdiest of veterans, Na’Vi stood as the crowning achievement of the mighty CIS region in CS:GO. Through roster changes and temporary struggles, the Russian-Ukranian squad always found a way through and returned to the top of CS:GO in due time. In the meanwhile, their original region struggled to find an identity. The CIS Minor was a laughingstock and mocked by analysts as a free pass to mediocre mixes and tier 3 nobodies. Constant shuffles marred the region and brought down the old guard of Hellraisers and Flipsid3 to a level of insignificance. As Na’Vi continued to improve, the future of a region was placed in their arms.
Now, just 7 days after the 4 year anniversary of the creation of the Astana Dragons, Dosia and AdreN have once again returned to the top of CIS. With a brand new logo and a young, new-look team, Gambit Esports challenge the dominance that Na’Vi have held for so long. With their win at PGL Krakow, Gambit brought the first ever major championship back to their home region. All 3 of the region’s most notable representatives, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, received their first major title on the stage of the TAURON Arena, not from the old guard of Natus Vincere, but the new stars of Gambit Esports.
In the meanwhile, the decade-crossing brand power of Na’Vi, as the harbingers of CIS’s strength to the world, has begun to lose its potency. With a year of mediocrity in the books, Na’Vi look weaker than ever before, more devoid of auratic greatness than even their lowest pitfalls. Roster change rumours have already begun, circulated by the organisation’s players themselves. There seems to be a general lack of order in the once-proud org, as it becomes increasingly a shadow of its former self. Once a fully decked out lineup of long-lasting greatness, Na’Vi have become a product of S1mple’s firepower and little else, losing the tactical prowess and disciplined strength spread across the team’s previous versions. More and more, the name is wearing off, and Natus Vincere becomes just another CIS team, joining the likes of Flipsid3 and Vega Squadron, as Gambit rises to become one of the greats.
Playstyle Has No Right or Wrong
Tactical finds success
Firepower finds success
True success comes from:
A good balance of both, even if one is favored over the other