KATOWICE, Poland — FaZe Clan’s Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer Gustafsson nonetheless remembers the half-empty halls the place Counter-Strike: World Offensive main qualifying rounds used to happen.
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“Within the semifinal, we had like 500 folks within the crowd,” olofmeister stated. “The ultimate was within the Spodek area, however that was the one sport that was there. It is means, means totally different. There are such a lot of extra groups taking part in. Now, they’re skilled. Now, there’s rather more cash in every single place. Every part is simply extra skilled immediately.”
The previous couple years have been a grand departure from these first tournaments for the 27-year-old Swede. He is the one participant to make it to the playoffs of each CS:GO main championship, from profitable his first title 4 years in the past with Fnatic at Katowice to this yr’s championship, the 14th main.
After failing to win one other main championship in 2018 when North American facet Cloud9 upset FaZe in entrance of a hometown crowd in Boston, this yr introduced one other alternative for one of many sport’s most constant stars so as to add one other bullet level to his corridor of fame resume. And regardless that FaZe got here into the occasion not anticipated to problem for a title, the squad previously considered the “European superteam” jumped out to a quick begin over favored Natus Vincere within the quarterfinals by placing stress on Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and his staff.
The followers have been behind FaZe early on within the match, the stuffed Spodek area chanting “FAZE UP!” every time the previous giants of the scene took a spherical. Even s1mple, the perfect participant on the planet, was struggling to seek out his type early on within the sequence, falling behind in kills and unable to seek out room to work. Every part was working for FaZe till a couple of rounds slipped away, and identical to that, s1mple locked in, and FaZe was left with out a option to reply. Olofmeister, as soon as seen as that untouchable famous person, needed to watch as the brand new No. 1 within the sport, the teenager from the Ukraine, put his staff out of the event.
There could be not one other dream-like ending in Poland for Olofmeister, not less than this yr.
“We’re disenchanted in the way in which we performed,” he stated. “We thought we performed actually good throughout follow and did numerous preparation, however by some means we did not play the identical means we did in follow. We did not use what we did in follow, and it is a massive disappointment.”
FaZe Clan, left, and Natus Vincere put together to sq. off on the IEM Katowice Counter-Strike: World Offensive event on Thursday in Katowice, Poland. Natus Vincere received the match and superior to a semifinal matchup towards ENCE. Bart Oerbekke/Offered by ESL
Following the primary two days of the competitors within the Spodek, the sector to crown the following CS:GO world champion has been narrowed right down to 4 groups. Except for Na’vi, there are the Finnish upstarts from ENCE and former main winners in MIBR and Astralis, the reigning world champion. Astralis appeared to be on a collision course with Group Liquid for months main as much as the occasion, however ENCE, as they’ve finished all event, shut down a supposedly stronger opponent and eradicated the North Individuals in a 2-Zero sweep.
With Liquid out, Olofmeister believes MIBR could be the staff best-positioned to knock out Astralis. That match will happen within the second semifinal at 1:50 p.m. ET on Saturday.
“MIBR, particularly, has at all times performed actually, actually shut with them,” Olofmeister stated. “They appear higher now that it is a full Brazilian roster and so they can discuss in their very own [native language].”
Since Ninjas in Pyjamas’ 87-Zero map win streak in 2013, there has at all times been a query of which staff within the sport’s historical past was the perfect. Olofmeister’s Fnatic squad in 2014-2015 has an argument, profitable two world titles together with varied different event crowds throughout their reign. The following yr, the core that now makes up MIBR took their flip atop the CS:GO world, first profitable a world title beneath the Luminosity model earlier than changing into SK Gaming and defending their world title.
Two of the final 4 world titles have gone the way in which of Astralis, with the most-recent beginning 5 placing themselves proper there alongside the perfect to ever play the sport. Group ace Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz has solidified himself as essentially the most constant famous person on the planet and is placing up a number of the finest numbers of his profession in the course of the Katowice main.
If Astralis can repeat as champions, are they the perfect staff of all-time? Olofmeister would not suppose so.
Win or lose, he already believes Astralis is a pantheon all to themselves.
“I’d say already they’re the perfect staff on the planet within the historical past of the sport,” he stated. “That is the place I rank them.”