Can FalleN to Liquid truly work? – The good, the bad and the ugly aspects
There’s no shortage of rumors about karrigan’s return to FaZe Clan after a topsy-turvy stint on mousesports, with the player himself apparently still undecided about what are no doubt just two of many offers for someone of his caliber. Now on the wrong side of thirty from a CS perspective, the Dane who was the first to get a girlfriend in high school may be looking at his last chance of securing a Major title and to bolster an already impressive legacy with it – so one has to wonder, if this is the end of the show with this mouz side, how should one rate their results and his contributions?
It’s safe to say that both parties were in need of a new beginning around the time when karrigan was picked up by mousesports. The in-game leader’s tenure on FaZe Clan disintegrated around him in spectacular fashion just as mouz were still reeling from the failure of the Snax pickup and their shock elimination from in the European Minor.
Couple this with their shared history – the Dane has already worn the mouse-adorned jersey during the early years of the previous decade, though still before the CS:GO era kicked off in earnest with the Majors – and the pairing made a lot of sense. There was quite a lot to be excited about here: though the team fell on hard times, they still possessed same core that briefly topped the world rankings off the back of two big event wins just a year ago in the early part of 2018. There was also the memorable comeback they pulled off against Team Liquid in the grand final of ESL One: New York 2018 with the Snax-burdened iteration of the lineup.
Still, that tournament victory came off the back of an early elimination at the FACEIT Major, and mousesports were merely treading water for the rest of the year, with Snax leaving for Virtus.pro shortly thereafter and prompting the return of STYKO to the active roster. They couldn’t recapture the magic though, and a set of failures culminating in a shock elimination to VALIANCE (the future CR4ZY squad) led to a compete revamp of the lineup as karrigan joined the picture.
The changes were swift, with both STYKO and sunNy getting the axe and woxic and frozen coming in to replace them. A team comprised of young and therefore quite moldable talent, an explosive AWPer plus long-term veteran chrisJ to augment karrigan’s calling? It was a promising mix, but no guarantees of success.
It’s been often said that karrigan’s rosters are the best early on during his tenure, with a well-established honeymoon period slowly but surely turning sour in the case of TSM/Astralis and FaZe Clan alike. Here, perhaps due to the inexperience of a few players on the squad, it took longer to get the machine going. A straightforward win in their ESL Pro League group was a good start, the lackluster loss to MIBR in the playoffs of IEM Sydney less so.
Like many other promising teams, their detour to a DreamHack Open event meant to kickstart their winning ways, and though their 6-16 loss to Valiance in the group stage winners’ match at Tours was a major concern to fans, they did end up getting revenge over their nemesis from the Minor with a 2-0 win in the grand final.
The team then comfortably navigated the next European Minor and made it to the semis of the ESL Pro League Season 9 finals, losing to a red-hot Team Liquid. Though an early exit at ESL One Cologne followed, they did rally in time for the Major, barely missing out on a playoff spot due to a punishingly tough slate of opponents (a loss to FaZe Clan followed by wins against North and Na’Vi, with defeats to Vitality and, again, Team Liquid scuttling their run). It was deemed a creditable performance by the side.
A string of poor results followed in the autumn, making it all the more surprising to see how strongly karrigan’s men closed out 2019. A win at the CS:GO Asia Championships over the Aleksib-free ENCE was followed by an incredibly impressive run at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, beating EG, Astralis and Fnatic in the playoffs to cap a marathon lower bracket run. A win at cs_summit 5 (with karrigan infamously skipping out on the end of the grand final to sort out some visa issues) and a runner-up finish at EPICENTER 2019 suggested there’s more to come from the team.
Instead, the eventual drop-off arrived, and it was much more pronounced than usual, even if you take into account the many additional trials and tribulations brought along by the hellscape that was 2020. Their win over Na’Vi at ICE Challenge 2020 back in February was their only trophy in the cabinet last year, with a silver medal in ESL Pro League Season 11’s European bracket soon thereafter serving as an early highlight of the year. Sandwiched between these two was a poor performance at IEM Katowice, losing to 100Thieves in the lower bracket decider.
From then on, it all fell apart rather quickly, starting with the first RMR event: multiple joint-bottom eliminations and hardly any playoff showings eventually triggered woxic’s slow-motion departure. Though there was an uptick in results at the end of the year with the victory at the BLAST Premier: Fall 2020 Showdown and a second-place finish at DreamHack Masters Winter 2020’s European bracket, a joint-last finish at the BLAST event they barely qualified to (courtesy of back-to-back 2-0 losses to Vitality and Astralis, so admittedly a tough draw) showed that they are nowhere near back to being consistent contenders.
As for karrigan’s individual performances, the numbers are not good, but they never really have been in the first place. Apart from a big spike in 2014, his ratings on HLTV have always stayed below the iron barrier of 1.0, which makes his teams’ performances all the more incredible. Indeed, there is a good argument to be made that whatever the limitations of this mouz squad may be, it could be due to the doubled veterancy aspect and the massive loss of total firepower that comes with it considering what chrisJ’s been bringing to the table recently – it takes a legendary talent like s1mple or ZywOo to keep a squad competitive under these circumstances.
Still, the fact that his summer 2020 ratings equaled the career lows of late 2018 (the tail end of his FaZe tenure) also seem to suggest that this lineup has ran its course, at least as far as he is concerned. He has left an enduring legacy when it comes to the youngsters, most notably revitalizing ropz’s flagging displays, vindicating the org’s Moneyball-esque approach to recruiting fresh and unproven talent over the last few years. As for the issues with woxic, no matter how unclear they remain, his troubles in Cloud9 suggest there’s no reason not blame karrigan for that one in the grand scheme of things.
So all in all, should one consider the Dane’s tenure on mouz a success or not, were it to end once his contract is up? It’s true that the team did return to winning ways at some of the most high-profile events at the tail end of 2019, and the top-level competition is arguably tougher than ever with Astralis’ well-known strengths coupled with the ever-present threats of Na’Vi and Vitality, plus the emergence of tactical sides like Heroic and BIG in the online era, making those achievements all the more notable. However, the team never really found consistency and even though it’s a credit to karrigan that the team is already looking like less than the sum of its parts just by virtue of these rumors, it also makes one question the prospects of legacy.
A high ceiling with frustrating inconsistencies featuring a squad of youngsters: it’s tough to imagine anyone else doing a significantly better job with this side. It’s tough to envision a straight swap for another IGL making mouz any better than they are right now, and at the end of the day, it’s no surprise that karrigan holds all the cards when it comes to this particular negotiation – but by the same token, with what’s likely his last big contract in CS:GO, no doubt most neutral fans would like to see what he could do with another superteam.
Photo credit: HLTV
Egor “flamie” Vasilev will be left out of RMR tournaments and DreamHack Masters Spring 2021.
Natus Vincere will be performing at the upcoming RMR tournaments with a change in its roster, due to the player-change penalty rules established by Valve. The team has announced through Twitter that they are moving away from the six-man roster approach to adhere to Valve’s new rules. Because of this, Egor “flamie” Vasilev will be left out of their roster for the upcoming RMR (Regional Major Ranking) tournaments and DreamHack Masters Spring 2021. On the other hand, Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy will hold a permanent position on the team.
The five-man roster of NAVI CS:GO for the first RMR tournament is settled: get all the details.
— NAVI (@natusvincere) April 11, 2021
Due to Valve rules stipulating penalties for using substitute players, NaVi’s rotating six-player roster was put in question. A team found in violation has to undergo a compounding penalty of 20% of the points earned at the event if they substitute at least one player during the tournament. In response, Na’Vi has said “Valve made it clear that they do not intend to change the rules. Na’Vi needs as many points as possible to qualify for the Major. In this regard, the team had to coordinate the final roster for the next tournament to avoid penalty points.”
Na’Vi will prepare for their upcoming challenges at a boot camp in Kyiv, Ukraine, from April 11-24. DreamHack Masters Spring, their first focus, will be held between April 29 and May 9. The later CIS RMR tournament is expected to take place in May, around the same time as the European and the North American tournaments. “Despite this, DreamHack is still an important tournament for NAVI,” the organization noted.
The decision to opt for b1t over flamie was not explained in detail. But the team’s coach, Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi, will be providing clarification in a YouTube video to be posted “next week.”
NaVi roster for DreamHack Spring:
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Adin Ross is a popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber who is known for playing Grand Theft Auto: Online RP & NBA 2K during his streams, having over 600,000+ followers on the platform. However, he has been under the spotlight recently due to various controversial events surrounding his streams and personal life. Just recently his channel fell victim to trolls who were using bots to follow his channel which resulted in his follower count going over 4 million followers.
Adin was streaming alongside ZIAS!, a famous YouTuber who is known for reacting to music videos and vlogging. During the stream, Zias answered a phone call and called Adin a “f*ggot” while he was reportedly away from his room.
Adin immediately contacted a Twitch mod who said “it’s fine” to continue the stream as Adin was not the one who used the derogatory term, yet he was banned immediately while freestyling in front of 83,000 viewers. This isn’t the first time his channel was banned as he was previously banned for a week on June 8 2020 due to an unknown reason.
His followers started the ‘#FreeAdin’ movement to clear his ban as they claim that it was unfair. Adin later tweeted the hashtag, stating “Free Adin #freeadin. Mfs don’t wanna see me win. All G tho… let’s hope it’s not a perm.”
It is unclear how long his suspension will last as it could be another week-long ban or even last up to 3 days.
Teamwork in Warzone can be hard, but this Reddit user may have solved all our problems.
It’s been just over a year since the release of Warzone, and while many players team up with a regular squad, some like to play with randoms online. In both scenarios, communication between your team can be hard, and Warzone’s UI does nothing to help that.
Well, Reddit user Abood_Abuoaid has created a new mockup for the Warzone UI, showing each player’s scorestreaks, plates, gas mask, etc.
With over 5.5k Upvotes at the time of writing, this has proved to be very popular, with many players calling for the update to come soon. Warzone already shows if players have self revive, so adding the other icons shouldn’t be too much hassle for the developers.
This little addition to the Warzone UI would change the game drastically. Teamwork would be much easier, and the leader of the squad who’s always checking up on their teammates’ plate/UAV situation wouldn’t have to keep asking.
If we see this update, it’s likely to come with the Warzone map change that is rumored to happen soon. With a move to a Black Ops Cold War-themed Verdansk, many players will be excited to see what arrives in the coming months.
Throughout April 10, the top World of Warcraft teams continued to duke it out in the Arena World Championship Shadowlands Circuit. A place in the Season 1 Finals was at stake.
Day 1 of the third week of round-robin matches began with games between Creed and Tegridy Damp in the Nagrand Arena. Creed won the first game and followed that up with two more victories.
Tegridy Damp tried to land a Freezing Trap for crowd control, but it was to no avail as the opposing team’s Demon Hunter landed The Hunt and helped end the third game.
In the games between Blast Wave Bros and Ad Hoc Gaming, the latter team took the series with a quick 3-0. Against their opponent’s they played in the Nagrand Arena, Dalaran Sewers and Tiger’s Peak.
When Skill Capped faced Reload Esports, the first team was victorious in the Nagrand Arena. However, Reload Esports tied the score 1-1 at Hook Point. The third game took place in Empyrean Domain and had a nail-biting end, with Skill Capped earning another win.
— WoW Esports (@WoWEsports) April 10, 2021
Reload Esports had to win the next game, but the Dalaran Sewers arena went to their opponents. Meanwhile, the Method EU versus Cowana Gaming games were intense as both teams had a score of 2-2. Method EU won the fifth game in Empyrean Domain. This victory closed out the third week of Europe’s Arena World Championship games.
Over in the other region, the first round of games began with Unitas versus Cloud9. The latter team fought against their opponents in the Nagrand Arena, Ashamane’s Fall and Hook Point. They obtained victory with three consecutive wins.
World of Warcraft team Hamsters & Hares then clashed against OTK. While Hamsters & Hares earned a win in the first game, OTK tied the score 1-1 in the next arena.
Hamsters & Hares succumbing to @OTKnetwork in this second game, bringing this series to a tie and we’re moving onto GAME THREE!
— WoW Esports (@WoWEsports) April 10, 2021
OTK continued to turn the games around in the following two games, earning a score of 3-1.
The final game of the day came down to Method NA versus the Golden Guardians. Although the latter team fought valiantly in three different arenas, Method NA closed it out with a score of 3-0.
The first season of the Arena World Championship Shadowlands Circuit consists of four weekends. Once completed, each region’s top four World of Warcraft teams will head into the Season 1 Finals.
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