Gambit Esports win Krakow 2017 and now are the new CIS Superteam following turmoil with Natus Vinere’s roster changes.
Gambit Esports was a joy to watch at the recent Valve Major “PGL Krakow 2017”. Their placement leads me to believe that Gambit Esports is the new CIS super team. They brought a large tactical depth together with massive individual performance and (at times) an explosive play style to bear. It’s no small feat for a team that is a combination of old CS 1.6 pros (Mou, Dosia and Adren), a CS:GO pro (Zeus) and a rising star (HObbit) were in their second major. Managing to knock out some of the scene’s heaviest hitters. Winning in convincing fashion against the Brazilian new blood “Immortals”. I find myself asking “Is this finally the time when the CIS field a dominant team in the world of Tier 1 Counterstrike: Global offensive since early 2016?”
I find myself asking “Is this finally the time when the CIS field a dominant team in the world of Tier 1 Counterstrike: Global offensive since early 2016?”
Gambit Esports were not without their fair share of success prior to Zeus joining them though. Having won several titles at smaller events and qualifying for a LOT of other competitions in the past. Zeus seems to have breathed a new lease of life into the team. Bringing together the monstrous level of individual skill their players had and the slow and steady grind of Natus Vincere under his leadership to make Gambit Esports one of Counterstrike’s titans. Of course, you only have to look at their recent form since Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko joined their roster back in October 2016 to see that it was just a matter of time until this heavy-hitting team won a Major CS:GO event after placing in the top four teams in 7 out of 12 online and offline events. They have qualified for every event that they have entered, finally earning their rightful place as a “Legend” by making it through the group stage in stunning 3-0 form. Noone can even begin to say that their run was easy either, with them knocking aside teams
Of course, you only have to look at their recent form since Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko joined their roster back in October 2016 to see that it was just a matter of time until this heavy-hitting team won a Major CS:GO event. Especially after placing in the top four teams in 7 out of 12 online and offline events. They have qualified for every event that they have entered, finally earning their rightful place as a “Legend” by making it through the group stage in stunning 3-0 form. No one can even begin to say that their run was easy either, with them knocking aside teams like: Fnatic, Astralis, Immortals, Virtus Pro and G2, to claim their first Major.
After losing the first map in a crushing 16-4 on Cobblestone – a map that they started to make their name on at the beginning of 2016. They regrouped and came back with their shoulders squared and minds set on smashing the young Brazilians “Immortals.GG” out of the park. The second map was more of a one-sided affair than the 16-11 scoreline would lead you to believe. This seemed to take the wind out of the young guns’ sails and left them looking uncoordinated and undisciplined in the final map: Inferno. During the final two maps in this best of three, everything seemed to work out for Gambit, force-buy victories, CT aggression and most of their executes just seemed to steamroll their opponents.
Considering Zeus’ comments that he put out on twitter “I will not quit until I win a motherfucking Major”, you can understand just how much it meant for Na’Vi’s ex in-game leader to claim his first title with this roster. In post-game interviews Dauren “Adren” Kystaubayev was quite literally left speechless “I have no words, sorry”. Their emotions are perfectly visible in the video above.
No article about the CIS region of Counterstrike can be complete without mentioning the most widely known CIS team: “Natus Vincere”. Following their bombing out in the groups in a horrific manner, Ladislav “Guardian” Kovács and Denis “Seized” Kostin are now listed as “Inactive” members of their roster. Natus Vincere has released a statement confirming that replacements are taking the spots of the two long-standing veterans and that the iconic duo have stepped down.
This is hardly surprising as, since the signing of Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev from Team Liquid to the CIS “Superteam”, Na’Vi have found it hard to find their groove in most games. This could be down to personality clashes, the change of the “In-game Leader” role or down to the fact that Na’Vi’s playstyle just doesn’t allow for s1mple to have the same sort of freedom as he was allowed under H1ko. Meaning that he’s just not able to have as much of an impact he has be known for.
Natus Vincere has been looking flat as of late, both online and offline. With what should be “easy” wins being taken away from them by teams that are considered underdogs against them. It’s fair to say that they haven’t been performing anywhere near their early 2016 leve. Guardian will be moving to FaZe Clan to replace Aleksi “allu” Jalli. Rumours that Seized will be switching with CS:GO Legend Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo have been utterly discounted by the SK Organisation in a tweet put out by Dekay. Their replacements are: Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow from Hellraisers and Denis “electronic” Sharipov from Flipsid3. This means that Flipsid3 will be left without their fifth player and have not yet named his replacement.
Seized may be picked up by the Russian team as Flipsid3 have been struggling with consitency recently. This means turmoil for Na’Vi as the issue of the in-game leadership has not been addressed. I would expect their “Honeymoon” period to be longer as a result of having to try and fit the IGL role with players who have no prior experience. This leaves the mantle of CIS Superpower firmly seated on the shoulders of Gambit Esports.
The subject of in-game leadsership is something that has plagued Na’Vi since the Valve major rules changed to prevent team using their coach as an IGL. Since this ruling, the team of stars has seen a considerable drop-off in performance. They have even been seen arguing amongst themselves which has cost them important rounds and matches. Which is one of the reasons that they decided to replace Zeus with s1mple towards the end of 2016.
It’s clear now that replacing leadership with firepower just doesn’t work. Seized and Flamie have both tried out the IGL role and neither seems to have the knowledge and understanding of Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko. Oftentimes, we have seen their mid-round calls falter and fail altogether as they weren’t keeping track of their opponents’ economy and (on occasion) have failed to manage their own.
The CIS’ shining light of Na’Vi appears to be fading, spluttering and struggling to stay lit but another one is rising to bear the torch for one of the most under-represented areas in the current professional scene. Let us hope that recent transfers don’t lead to the collapse of one of the CIS region’s favorite teams and instead signals a resurrection of what was at one point, the hardest team to beat in the game.