In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there are no greater tournaments than the Majors. In fact, the competitive season revolves around them. Teams work for months to prepare and qualify for them, trying to keep or improve their form in other tournaments. The ELEAGUE Major takes place in Atlanta. It’s held in the same studio that was used to air both ELEAGUE seasons, however, the stakes are much higher due to the prestige of the Valve-sponsored Major.
The first hyped event of 2017 in CS:GO uses an unusual Swiss system, where winners play against winners and losers play against losers until a clear top 8 can be seen after five rounds of play. This means that you can never know which opponent you’re going to play against next, causing you to have to adapt every day. The more you win, the harder opponents you will have to face, but the closer to the top 8 you will get if you manage to win.
The tournament started with 8 Round 1 matches, where Gambit played against North (former Team Dignitas), Fnatic played against G2 Esports, SK Gaming faced HellRaisers, Virtus.pro versed OpTic Gaming, Natus Vincere were opposed by mousesports, Liquid tried to win against Team EnVyUs, Astralis faced GODSENT, and FlipSid3 Tactics played against the FaZe Clan.
Just as in every good tournament, there were matches which went as expected and some which were stupefying in their unexpected outcomes. For example, it wasn’t that much of a stretch that G2 Esports managed to beat the bled out Fnatic 16-10 on Cache, but seeing North, the team which has been called as best in the world for a week or two recently, getting beaten by Gambit… That was… weird. SK Gaming understandably wiped the floor HellRaisers, Virtus.pro won a close 16-13 match against OpTic Gaming, Natus Vincere absolutely demolished mousesports 16-3, FaZe won against FlipSid3 Tactics. Those results made sense, they were okay.
But then, the match between Liquid and EnVyUs took 46 rounds to end, EnVyUs won even though they were up 15-7 at one point. GODSENT somehow managed to win against the tournament favorites Astralis too. Weird results like that bring home the fact that in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, anything and everything can happen. While we often say that that team or another is bad and has no chance in the matchup, it doesn’t mean that they do not have the resources to upset their opponents after catching them in a mistake and taking full advantage. In a Major, every team is world-class. Even the lower-ranked ones beat out numerous competitors to get there. That should be remembered, we learned. Sometimes, the seemingly weakest dog bites the hardest, after all.