This event made for an excellent microcosm of the year in CS:GO so far. Liquid dominating, ENCE taking second place, and Astralis nowhere to be found. Liquid continue their salted Earth approach to CS, absolutely incinerating anyone that so much as looks at them wrong. This should make for an interesting Major later next month.

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“Trophy" Liquid

Team Liquid just don’t stop impressing. They’ve added a Grand Slam title to their trophy case, and were absolutely dominant in Grands. They held ENCE to 19 rounds total over three maps, shutting them out in the best of five.

Man, can I be honest with you guys for a second? This performance was absolutely bonkers. The top three performers at this event were EliGE, NAF, and Twistzz. All five Liquid players were in the top eight. That should never happen. EliGE had a rating of 1.41 over ten maps. They dropped just one map out of the 10 they played, and allowed their opponents to hit double digits just three times.

Now, it’d be impressive to say that we have never seen domination on this level. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. We saw Astralis do this last year. What I can say, however, is that Astralis won two back to back Majors. We are just weeks away from the next Major, and I think it’s fair to say that Liquid are the clear frontrunners.

“Trophy" ENCE

Poor ENCE. What hope did they have going head to head with Liquid? The Finns just can’t seem to catch a break, and they haven’t been able to get over the hump and start winning tournaments.

It feels like they still don’t have the star power. I don’t know how many times I’ll have to say add suNny, but the answer is likely a few more. Aerial barely squeaked out a positive rating, going 1.04 over 10 maps. His teammates sergej and allu both had ratings of 1.13, which is a respectable figure, but apparently not enough. ENCE are going to need a booster shot if they want to scale that final mountain and plant their flag at the apex of Counter Strike.

“Trophy" Vitality

This was a pretty poor tournament for ZywOo. He only had a rating of 1.20, which frankly is disappointing for a player of his caliber.

Yes, that was a little tongue in cheek, but my point still stands. He had a negative K/D in their best of three against Liquid, which is far from encouraging.

All that being said, Vitality look like a real contender. Assuming his supporting cast can hang in there and keep it together, they’ll make a deep run at the Major no doubt. The responsibility, oddly enough, rests on the shoulders of everyone but ZywOo. He is one of the most consistent players in CS, despite his age.

Vitality make for a great bet against pretty much anyone other than Liquid and ENCE. I’d expect to see them in the playoff bracket come Major time, and after that who knows?

“Trophy" MIBR

Are you familiar with the Ewing theory? Patrick Ewing was an all-star center for the New York Knicks in the ‘90s, who led his team to countless playoff appearances. Unfortunately, he never made it all the way to winning a chip. The Ewing theory says that a player that is perceived as great, who leaves a team that’s underperforming, and the team proceeds to play better.

I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at here. Maybe it was time to blow up the MIBR core, maybe this is exactly what the team needed. Obviously one top four placement with a coach filling in is not a shining endorsement, but still.

At the very least, MIBR could finally be fun again. A new look for the Brazilians will be a lot of fun to watch, and will likely make it more fun to play. While they’re unlikely to make real waves at the Major due to the roster lock, be on the look our for them in the future.

“Trophy" Heroic

I’m impressed with Heroic. They took three maps off Vitality over two best of threes, pushed ENCE in a close 0-2 loss, and we saw a glimpse of prime Friberg again.

BlameF seems to have been an excellent pickup. He’s putting up excellent numbers, while also in game leading, which is not easy to do. Heroic is obviously still a ways away from being a real threat in tier one, they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. They fell short in the Closed Qualifier for the EU Minor, and so won’t be appearing at the Major, but they could be a big deal next time this year.

“Trophy" G2

Can someone please save KennyS? Please, please, can we get him on Vitality? Maybe we can start a gofundme and buy his contract out. KennyS put up a 1.14 this tournament, shox had 1.06. It’s just a shame that a generational talent like Kenny is wasting away on a tier two team.

I like G2 as an upset team by virtue of their firepower alone. KennyS will win you some games no matter what, so it’s tough to put money up against them in best of ones. Consistent success, however, is not really their MO.

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