Is an area with a long tradition and background eSports development, in the 10-year history of the game’s development CS: GO The CIS (Community of Independent States, including countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, …) has produced many famous pro players and large teams regularly participating in the big arena. However, so far, the CIS region has only won two Major titles (Virtus.Pro at ESL One Katowice 2014 and Gambit at PGL Krakow 2017), a rather modest achievement when compared to its European counterparts.
Gambit members with the title of ESL One Katowice 2014 champion
However, since the beginning of 2021, we have witnessed a new wave with the remarkable rise of CIS teams in the world arena. In turn, names like Virtus.Pro or Gambit Esports have extremely excellent performances and created earthquakes in front of tough competitors. So what is the reason? Join us to find out!
1. Excellent personal skills
In a recent interview with HLTV news site, Astralis star dev1ce shared that: “There are too many talented players in the CIS region […] We weren’t able to keep up with the Gambit members in terms of individual skill, and CS is a game where you need to beat your opponent quickly. ”
Indeed, the first thing we can notice about CIS teams is that they have excellent individuals with great individual skills. At Virtus.Pro, the name YEKINDAR has had incredible performances since the beginning of this year; His aggressive and extremely proactive play style has caused many top teams a headache. Combined with the stability of JAME, the duo is the driving force that brought Virtus.Pro to the championship at Flashpoint Season 2, cs_summit 7 and runner-up at IEM Katowice 2021 at the end of February.
YEKINDAR alone destroyed Astralis roster in the match at IEM Katowice 2021
If Virtus.Pro has YEKINDAR and JAME then Gambit Esports has Sh1ro and Ax1le. The duo has contributed greatly to the IEM Katowice 2021 championship and runner-up position at ESL Pro League Season 13 a few days ago. More specifically, although not champions, Ax1le still has an extremely impressive rating of 1.28 with K / D +137, helping him be honored as the MVP of the tournament.
Sh1ro, a promising young talent from the CIS region
2. Youth and hard work practice
Another strong point of CIS teams is their youth. This is most evident when we look at Gambit Esports’ roster as their average age is just 21.2, a pretty rare figure on the world stage. Virtus.Pro also has an average age of 22.2, and this figure is at Na`vi is 21.6 years old.
4/5 Gambit members of Generation Z (born after 2000)
apEX, IGL of Team Vitality commented: “What I like the most about CIS players is the hard work of practicing; For them to be a pro player is a dream, and they strive to improve themselves in every possible way. ”
nafany, Gambit’s IGL in a recent interview also revealed: “For young players, winning is the only goal, and we don’t care if we play on LAN or online. […] I believe Gambit is one of the teams that spend the most time booting and training; we usually only have one day to rest and relax before we get back to playing. “
nafany, IGL and the brain of Gambit Esports
Thus, we can see that the recent dominance of Virtus.Pro or Gambit is not luck, but comes from the talent and hard work of these players.
3. The decline in performance comes from the opponents
Due to the impact of epidemic COVID-19, from March 2020 up to now CS: GO The pro had to break up with LAN tournaments and go back to the online format. This especially affects the top teams when for more than a year they have had to play continuously with very little time to rest and regain their form.
In turn, names like Astralis, Vitality or Na`vi were no longer able to maintain their performance and had unexpected losses. Although these teams have taken many measures such as roster changes or playing with a 6-man roster, time has shown that they are just situational solutions and have no lasting effects. However, this is not a problem for young, energetic and always looking forward to trophies.
Astralis are one of the teams that are most affected by this online gaming era
“I think having to play online continuously makes some players feel tired and lose motivation. They were used to moving to locations around the world for competition, but now they are forced to sit at home and practice from day to day. That will definitely affect the dynamics of the game and the change in the rankings says it all. ” – nafany
On the chart of the reputable news site HLTV, updated on April 12, Gambit Esports for the first time rose to # 1, along with 3 teams from the CIS region to participate in the top 10: Na`vi (# 4), Virtus.Pro (# 5) and Spirit (# 9), more than any other region. With the rise of these CIS teams, 2021 promises to be an exciting year for professional CS: GO, especially with the return of large-scale LAN tournaments at the end of the year.