2017 CSGO review

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.

Roster Changes

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

Classification Tournament Date Prize Winner Runner-up
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
Premier EPICENTER 2017 Oct-2017 $490,000 SK VP
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