This last week was full of surprises and upsets. From Gambit winning the major to the ex-iBUYPOWER and Epsilon players being unbanned. Today, we’re going to take a look at what we learned from this week and possibly look to the future.
Gambit can no longer be underrated
Who would have guessed on the first day that Gambit and Immortals would be in the grand finals of the major? Well, maybe Gambit was a possible prediction but them winning the major was probably the biggest surprise. Especially considering SK’s dominance in Europe, FaZe’s consistency, Astralis’ preparation and Cloud9’s rise. There were a lot of factors pointing against Gambit winning the major.
The biggest story-line from Gambit’s victory was by far Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko’s long and hard journey to a win. He lead Na’Vi to two major grand finals at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca and MLG Columbus. After that, he accomplished a quarterfinal finish at ESL One Cologne 2016 before being kicked from the team in place of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Zeus then went on to join Gambit in the fall and has been on a steady rise ever since.
Of course, an argument can be made that Gambit didn’t have to face the big dogs, SK, making it easier for them. But, Gambit did face G2 and VP in the Swiss Stage, then fnatic and Astralis in the playoffs. Their only relatively easy matches on paper were mousesports and Immortals. Given all of this, Gambit deserved the win with their work ethic and motivation. The huge question mark that now stands is if they can keep it up by the time Malmö rolls around.
ex-iBUYPOWER and Epsilon players unbanned by ESL
An unexpected announcement made on Monday was the unbanning of match-fixers by ESL. While no one is certain about how or if ELEAGUE, ECS, Starladder or other big organizers will change their rules, the unbanned players are able to play in EPL, ESL One and IEM events. ESEA leagues will also be available.
This is huge for the North American scene. Young players will now be able to build themselves under the leadership of Sam “DaZed” Marine and Joshua “steel” Nissan. Star players like Brax and Joye “fxy0” Schlosser will be able to play at a professional level once again too. Not only that, the return of Keven “AZK” Lariviere is all but confirmed. A team with a core of DaZed, Brax and AZK is supposed to become a thing. There’s also a chance of fxy0 joining them as their AWPer.
James Bardolph also made a tweet saying: “As far as ECS is concerned, watch this space.” Implying that ECS is considering unbanning them from their league as well. This would give a chance for the players to actually have a career in CS:GO. This chance would be even more extended if ELEAGUE and Starladder choose to allow them to play. Unfortunately for the players, Dreamhack spoke with ESPN’s Jacob Wolf stating that they will stand by the current ban. Whether or not this will change is undetermined but as far as we know for now, they will not be able to play Dreamhack events.
What the unbanning means for the scene is overall unknown. Maybe if the team led by DaZed goes far in a tournament such as EPL Season 6 finals or ESL One New York (if they qualify) more organizers may be pressured into unbanning the players.
Featured image by hltv.org.