In many respects, 2021 and 2022 signalled a return to normality in the professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive landscape. Tournaments returned to LAN again and it was a collective sight to witness excellent international teams play head-to-head again after the internet age of pandemic.
Highly anticipated PGL Major Antwerp 2022 is just around the corner and now might be a good time to look back and examine all of the surprising, and mind blowing moments from the ESL. Here are the top five professional CS:GO moments from the last few years.
refrezh 1v5 clutch
If you're a Heroic (or Team Liquid) fan, you're probably already aware of this ESL Pro League Season 14 highlight. Liquid were in excellent form throughout the event, and they appeared to be the favourites to win Map 3 of Inferno and proceed to the playoffs.
"refrezh" Ismail Ali had different intentions. In a 1v5, the 23-year-old rifler maintained his cool by systematically taking out Liquid's members one by one with his Galil. He finished the clutch with a ridiculous headshot on Michael "Grim" Wince, forcing overtime, which Heroic finally won.
Refrezh's dance and Liquid's stunned expressions make this a top 2021 moment.
|Also Read||PGL Major Antwerp 2022: Dates, format, qualifiers & teams|
cadiaN 1v4 clutch a.k.a. “You can’t win Pro League like this! You can’t win Pro League like this!”
Not surprisingly t's another Heroic 1vX clip from the ESL Pro League playoffs. Except this time it's Casper "cadiaN" Moller in the grand finals of EPL Season 13 vs Gambit Esports.
cadiaN provided one of the finest CS:GO moments of the year on Mirage, the decisive map in a best-of-five between the two strongest teams from the online era of CS:GO. Heroic's in-game commander immediately got himself a knife kill and his signature AWP with only a P250. Heroic had won the event with four kills. What ensued was one of cadiaN's notorious flip, in which the entire Heroic went completely insane.
Apparently he can win the Pro League like this.
S1mple’s descent from heavens
After only one major, it was s1mple's turn to provide an all-time highlight. On July 9, 2016, Team Liquid faced the time-tested heritage of Fnatic in the semifinals of ESL One Cologne. As the first half came to a close, KRIMZ and Dennis attempted to seize the B site and a much-needed round. s1mple had a different plan.
While falling like an angel from the sky, s1mple unleashed his own hellacious no-scope. After eliminating Dennis without needing to zoom, he tried his luck again and dispatched Krimz in a same manner, driving the Cologne audience into a frenzy. Liquid defeated Fnatic in the semifinals, but fell to the Brazilians again in the grand finals.
Dosia’s 200 IQ HE Grenade denial
This one was even commemorated as a graffiti on Inferno since 2017.
Most Majors games feature an unusual team making a lengthy run into the playoffs. In 2019, we saw ENCE reach the IEM Katowice grand finals and AVANGAR come second at StarLadder Berlin. However, it is unusual to have two surprise teams get to the championship round.
Gambit Esports got their vengeance in the Krakow Major in 2017 after being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Fnatic at the previous two majors. They then beat Astralis in the semifinals to get to the grand finals. Immortals defeats Luminosity/SK Gaming in the grand finals for the second time in a row. IMT were one loss away from missing the playoffs after losing to FlipSid3, but then beat BIG and Virtus. Pro to secure their place in the finals. The series progressed to a third map on Inferno, when Dosia pulled off the play of the year in a round his side lost.
Immortals had just won their second round after surrendering nine, but their economy was in shambles. That collapse came in the shape of a delectable and deviously clever grenade from the "X" god himself, which assured that two of the three surviving IMT players would perish in the bomb detonation. That high IQ performance aided Gambit in securing a superior CT side, and hence the map and championship.
Evil Geniuses vs. Swole Patrol from ESL Pro League North America
Evil Geniuses had the Swole Patrol squad cornered into a corner during the 11th season of ESL Pro League North America. All they had to do was nail the perfect peak to win the round.
CeRq of EG was leading the charge, but he was shortly dispatched. Stanislaw shared his religion, leaving Brehze to fend for himself. Though Brehze peered around the same corner as his colleagues, he appeared to be more prepared to confront what awaited him, easily dispatching Swole Patrol's Zellsis, who had been ripping through the EG squad minutes before.
Brehze added two more kills, all from different angles, demonstrating his pinpoint accuracy and quick reactions. Brehze's clutch was critical in securing the round since he arrived just in time to neutralise the bomb.
In May we’ll see the grand PGL Major Antwerp 2022 commence, and hopefully will be bombarded with more moments like this. Stay tuned.