Over the weekend, Team Liquid dominated at IEM Chicago 2019 while a number of teams fates were decided for the upcoming CS:GO Major. Here are my biggest takeaways from everything that took place recently.
With the culmination of the European and American Minors as well as IEM Chicago this past weekend, we now must sit and wait for the players break to end before a majority of the Counter-Strike world resumes.
The Asia and CIS Minors will begin later this week which are followed by the Minor play-in, but after that, it is three weeks of empty calendar space.
Team Liquid dominate IEM Chicago
Team Liquid have added to their total of incredible performances this year by reaching their ninth final in a row and yet another victory at IEM Chicago.
It should have already been clear that this is in-fact the Team Liquid era, yet many are still arguing that point and missing their chance to just enjoy some of the best Counter-Strike ever played. Their level of skill and ability to shoot their way out of sticky situations is something we haven’t seen for a couple years on the global stage and it’s brilliant.
MiBR step-up in Chicago
The remaining seven teams from Chicago have left us with much less to discuss, especially because many of them have locked rosters until after the Major.
MIBR had a great run with their semi-final appearance while using Zews as a player, but as everyone knows he will move back to coaching after they play in Berlin. It’s still a bit too early to speculate on who they will look to add to their roster to replace coldzera.
Renegades’ performance was disappointing to see given what we know their lineup is capable of, I am starting to wonder how much the AUG nerf has affected their performance. I understand that Gratisfaction being in and out of the lineup had to have hurt their cohesion but now is the time to prove you can play at that high level again.
Fnatic need the Player Break
The Europe Minor has created a number of interesting storylines due to CR4ZY qualifying over the likes of Fnatic, Ancient, and BIG. While I dislike the timing of the Player Break in its current state, it comes at a good time for Fnatic.
They can all go their separate ways and reconsider how they want to approach the game in the latter half of 2019. I can tell you confidently that they will be making a roster move at some point in the near future and I’d be shocked if Flusha wasn’t involved. The question here becomes how many changes they want to make, because their previous approach wasn’t cutting it.
BIG could make changes
BIG is another team where a roster move is guaranteed as well, it’s just a bit too early to know how they’ll approach changing their roster. I’m aware that their analyst accidentally leaked some of their plans, but I’m told those aren't final decisions just yet.
Smooya’s name has been linked to another roster behind the scenes, so I’m not convinced he will return to their lineup as many people have suggested.
Ancient has a roster with a ton of talent and players that teams will likely show interest in, but their future as a team will come down to how committed to each other they all are. We’ve seen this story time and time again, where one player gets an offer from a larger org and the rest of the roster crumbles. I’m not saying that’s what will happen here, but I don’t think it’s out of the question.
The Americas Minor was far less interesting and isn’t really worth discussing. Both teams that people expected to move on to the Major actually did and did so with relative ease. Bear with me as we count down the days to the start of the Major, I promise to keep you entertained.