We’re moments away from the action, players are warming up, stretching, and getting their last few drinks and snacks in before settling down for a twitchy, dog-dreaming-about-chasing-a-ball-type nap. When they wake, it will be coffee or some other caffeine, maybe a cigarette for the ones who make bad life choices, and then down to it, mousepad-squeaking, keyboard-clacking, heads-hanging action. But what, not can we expect, but should you look out for as the potentially significant things that can happen this weekend? Here are three.
G2 play well and win
One of the richest teams in esports had a shocking 2017, despite all the talent in France being at their disposal. The mechanical genius of NBK and the bouncing, Tigger-esque enthusiasm for running toward his death that apEX embodies simply did not fit with the mercurial genius of shox, or the almost nihilistic apathy kennyS seems to portray, and they were sent packing faster than a French monarch who just heard a drum roll…
Now, they return, with the most romantic team in CS history. Spiritual leader shox has handed out his roses, and in-game leader Ex6TenZ has been given the keys to a Ferrari after proving he can’t even drive a Lada, but this is French CS, where anything can happen. In most universes G2 struggle to get out of the group, but there are a few where this is the start of a new era, one of love.
If G2 win the event with Gallic flair, taking out the brute force of FaZe and the Scandinavian efficiency of Astralis, then CS could be forever changed. The meta will develop, with the CZ no longer the most powerful weapon, but friendship and being a decent human the true key to success, on ecos or buy rounds, and that isn’t a terrible thought, for esports or the world, except DaZeD of course.
Cromen is a god
FaZe are in trouble, just like Fnatic were when they lost olofmeister to medical issues, and they’ve turned to a man on the brink of death. Cromen was already at Dignitas in Switzerland, having signed the papers to….hang on, it’s possible that is a different Dignitas (does some reading). Nope, they have still rescued a man from death, although more of a metaphorical one than the literal sleep that never ends.
However, there is a world in which Cromen is the answer to all their prayers. The Dignitas man is subbing in for Xizt, who was subbing for olof, at ESL One Belo Horizonte, and although his HLTV stats make him look streakier than a packet of cheap bacon that could all be misleading, and he could turn out to be the support star this team desperately needs to achieve their potential.
For that to happen, FaZe obviously have to win the event, beating Astralis in the final, with Cromen starring and winning a number of clutches, something Cromen is currently above 50% for, so the conclusion is obvious. The next star of FaZe is already here, get your tape out, cover up the ‘NiKo’ on your jersey and write ‘Cromen’ over it. We’re in a new era.
Astralis don’t win the event
Now, the first two things may seem a bit unlikely, with friendship being better than planning and teamwork, or Dignitas secretly having the greatest player in CS history, but they are nothing compared to this last, ludicrous scenario. For the best team at the event to not win the event, despite the fact most of their competition is about as coordinated as a baby giraffe high on laughing gas, would be crazy, but then we’ve seen crazy things in esports before.
Sure, they lost to a FaZe team with Xizt on it at IEM Sydney, but since then Astralis have had an answer for everything. With the event being in London too, this could be a great dry run for the major later in the year, and they won’t even need to be at 100% when you consider their two main competitors on paper are the aforementioned superteam, and G2.
Still, it could turn out that like Sydney, Astralis fail to turn a winning position into a win, leading to renewed accusations of choking, needed to sign k0nfig despite him being a bit overrated, and that there is a secret RFRSH conspiracy to prevent Danish CS from ever being the best by making sure the best players are never on the same team. Then they’ll do a Jack and Jones x Audi advert where Dupreeh smiles winsomely at the camera and we’ll all forget how they messed the bed, again.