This has been an incredible year for CSGO. We’ve seen new teams win unexpectedly and the usual top tier teams scoop their fair share of the spoils. Roster changes have happened to fix team performance or simply because a change needed to be made outside of the game. The competitive circuit is going to expand in 2018 with more tournaments and a lot more traveling to LANs for some of the top teams, it will be interesting to see how they will handle the increased pressure. We hope you enjoy ESP’s 2017 CSGO review, starting with some epic moments.
Epic moments of 2017
Here are some of the big moments of 2017, we have a poll running on Twitter, we’d love to see your vote on which was the best.
An in-depth look at CSGO in 2017
In many ways, 2017 was simply a continuation of 2016 in that it was a year that was dominated by SK Gaming. Spattered across 2017, SK claimed 10 first place titles at LAN events. Certainly, the Brazilian squad had low times throughout the year, such as a 5-8 placing at the PGL Major in Kraków, Poland. However, these low points were never long; the team led by FalleN was always quick to bounce back to reclaim their placing as #1 in the world at that given time.
Now looking back on the year as a whole, very few (if any) arguments can be made for SK not to be considered the best team in the world. Claims that they are the best team in the history of the game can also be strongly supported. While they cannot claim to have an 87-0 record of dominance like the NiP of 2013 can, the competition in the CSGO scene has never been more fierce. SK’s current dominance is done in the presence of the absolute powerhouse of Faze Clan; a burgeoning Danish scene; and the Americas growing in prominence in CSGO. We are in an era where the top 20 teams in the world can compete with one another — it’s no longer a competition between a top 4 like the days of old.
A significant reason behind this increase in competition is in large part due to the spreading of talent through roster changes. We began to see a mix of seasoned veterans mingling with the upcoming young stars in a potent blend. These changes were something even SK were not immune to. Coming off of a brief dip in performance at the end of 2016, SK swapped fnx for felps from Immortals in February of 2017. This influx of young talent into SK saw them rise again and claim several titles going into the summer. Following their early exit from the Kraków Major, SK saw a wide range of results that were both good and bad. In October, felps stepped down from the main roster to go inactive while boltz was brought in. Instantly, SK was back on top and look utterly dominant.
The availability of boltz to join the roster stems from another significant storyline in the Brazilian CSGO scene: the decline of the Immortals. On the coattails of the successes of SK Gaming, the Brazilian CSGO exploded onto the forefront and were able to put together another strong squad in the form of the Immortals. While they were not as dominant as SK (no one was), they were certainly in the top 10 for much of 2017, including a grand final finish in Kraków and finishing ahead of their Brazilian compatriots. The squad of boltz, steel, LUCAS1, HEN1, and kNgV- were looking strong.
September, what a month
In September things took a sudden change for the worse due to issues arising outside of the game. Having booked their spot in the playoffs at Dreamhack Montreal, kNgV-, HEN1, and LUCAS1 failed to show up on time for their matches twice. Included in this was also a forfeit of their first game in the grand finals. In the controversy and social media storm that followed, kNgV- sent a death threat to CLG captain FNS. kNgV, was subsequently suspended from Immortals and was barred from playing. The following few weeks, kNgV- played in an official match despite this suspension at the behest of the twins, HEN1 and LUCAS1. For disobeying the suspension, all 3 were subsequently removed by the Immortals organization, at the cost of their berth at the major spot (which are given based on having 3 out of 5 of the participating players, not by the organization). Steel and boltz, at no fault of their own, were now left marooned on a team that was struggling to find suitable replacements. Eventually, both found new homes — for boltz that would be SK Gaming.
Having a roster dissolve in such a dramatic way is a bit of an anomaly, and is not indicative of the scene as a whole, nor the Brazilian CSGO community. Perhaps what is telling is the region-based nature of the scene, with teams from any given region shuffling amongst themselves. Like the Brazilian scene, the North American, Danish, Swedish, and French communities all had their own shuffles. The North American Cloud9 team brought in RUSH and tarik, reolacing shroud and n0thing in August. North, hailing from Denmark, had their own shuffle of players when they benched Magisk and brought on valde from Heroic. As a continuation from the previous year, the Swedes tried to find their form again with perpetual roster changes between fnatic and GODSENT, as well as NiP bringing in two young players from Epsilon. The French saw a major swap of players between G2 and Team EnVyUs as well.
Roster changes are a constant in the CSGO scene, and sometimes they can be done successfully, such as for G2 who has had a string of fairly good results with their new squad. However, it can also be a detriment to that region’s performance, as seen by the swap of players by fnatic and GODSENT. Other times it can be a dramatic explosion of controversy, exemplified by the Immortals case. On the whole, it can be said that shuffling players is healthy for the scene. It allows for a spreading of ideas on how the game should be played between peers and a synthesis of veteran wisdom and the influx of new ideas from the young upstarts.
Major/Premier class tournament results
|Major||DreamHack Leipzig 2017||Jan-2017||$100,000||F3||BIG|
|Premier||ELEAGUE ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017||Jan-2017||$1,000,000||Astralis||VP|
|Premier||DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017||Feb-2017||$450,000||VP||SK|
|Premier||Intel Extreme Masters XI – World Championship||Mar-2017||$250,000||Astralis||FaZe|
|Major||The Summit cs_summit||Apr-2017||$150,000||SK||Gambit|
|Major||DreamHack Austin 2017||Apr-2017||$100,000||Gambit||IMT|
|Premier||StarLadder i-League Season 3||Apr-2017||$300,000||FaZe||Astralis|
|Major||DreamHack Tours 2017||May-2017||$100,000||G2||HR|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 5 – Finals||May-2017||$750,000||G2||North|
|Premier||ESL One: New York 2017||May-2017||$250,000||FaZe||Liquid|
|Premier||Intel Extreme Masters XII – Sydney||May-2017||$200,000||SK||FaZe|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 5 – North America||May-2017||$125,000||SK||Liquid|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 5 – Europe||May-2017||$125,000||North||G2|
|Major||DreamHack Summer 2017||Jun-2017||$100,000||SK||Fnatic|
|Major||Adrenaline Cyber League 2017||Jun-2017||$100,000||VP||Na`Vi|
|Premier||ECS Season 3 – Finals||Jun-2017||$660,000||SK||FaZe|
|Major||DreamHack Atlanta 2017||Jul-2017||$100,000||Envy||Heroic|
|Major||DreamHack Valencia 2017||Jul-2017||$100,000||NiP||Red|
|Premier||PGL Major Kraków 2017||Jul-2017||$1,000,000||Gambit||IMT|
|Premier||ESL ESL One: Cologne 2017||Jul-2017||$250,000||SK||C9|
|Premier||DreamHack Masters Malmö 2017||Aug-2017||$250,000||G2||North|
|Major||DreamHack Montreal 2017||Sep-2017||$100,000||North||IMT|
|Premier||ELEAGUE ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017||Sep-2017||$1,000,000||FaZe||Astralis|
|Premier||ESG Tour Mykonos 2017||Sep-2017||$240,562||mouz||Liquid|
|Major||ECS Season 4 – Europe||Oct-2017||Fnatic||FaZe|
|Major||ECS Season 4 – North America||Oct-2017||C9||OpTic|
|Major||Gfinity Elite Series – Season 2||Oct-2017||$116,000||nV.A||Epsilon|
|Major||DreamHack Denver 2017||Oct-2017||$100,000||C9||BIG|
|Major||eXTREMESLAND ZOWIE Asia CS:GO 2017||Oct-2017||$99,000||Flash||Eclipse|
|Major||BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2017||Nov-2017||$250,000||SK||Astralis|
|Major||StarLadder i-League Invitational #2||Nov-2017||$150,000||RNG||VP|
|Major||iBUYPOWER Masters 2017||Nov-2017||$100,000||C9||RNG|
|Premier||Intel Extreme Masters XII – Oakland||Nov-2017||$300,000||NiP||FaZe|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 6 – North America||Nov-2017||$125,000||OpTic||SK|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 6 – Europe||Nov-2017||$125,000||Fnatic||North|
|Major||ROG Masters 2017||Dec-2017||$235,000||Gambit||TyLoo|
|Major||DreamHack Winter 2017||Dec-2017||$100,000||Na`Vi||mouz|
|Premier||ESL Pro League Season 6 – Finals||Dec-2017||$750,000||SK||FaZe|