The weekend just gone had many amazing moments to offer, not just from Paris, but around the world of esports. We did, of course, see some of the greatest Dota in recent memory from Disneyland, with one moment in particular from PSG.LGD the sort of jaw-dropping instance that can win fans over in an instant, but one of the other ‘big moments’ that occurred has actually been a tad overblown by people who really should know better.
We refer to the winning streak held by Danish side Astralis on Nuke, a map in CSGO on which they had previously won 31 games in a row. It was Finnish side ENCE that ended their run, after what seems like a lot of VoD review and anti-stratting judging by interviews with the players, but the fact is that every passing week made the loss more likely, and the same goes for any win streak in CSGO.
The cycle of life
There is a cycle when it comes to map dominance, and we’ve seen it from plenty of other teams. Mousesports were kings of Mirage for a long time, and ended up getting ‘stale’ on the map which is a clue in itself. We’ll lay the cycle out below for all to see, and once it’s in black and white it should be easier for those of you who are new to the game to understand. The most crucial piece of information you can have is that there are seven maps in the competitive pool, and current wisdom says there are not enough hours in the week to practice them all.
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Simply put, once you get really good on a map, people will automatically ban it whenever they play you, and with the paucity of best-of-five in modern CSGO that means you almost never play it. Once that starts, any time spent working on tactics becomes time wasted as you’ll never get to play it, which naturally leads to a regression in performance on said map. At that point, teams will start trying it against you now and then, but not regularly enough to be worth practising, and when they do so with as much research as ENCE that will eventually lead to a loss.
As you can see, unless CSGO goes to entirely bo5 with bo7 finals we are never going to see a run that goes forever, which is not to devalue the work either ENCE or Astralis have done. Thirty-one games without losing on any map is special, and testament to their intelligence that they were able to do it on a map many teams don’t even understand yet, but the end of a map streak means very little in CS, other than that the cycle has come to a close, and could start again elsewhere. 32-0 on Vertigo, anyone?