Na`Vi transition to CS:GO
Na`Vi transition to CS:GO
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released in summer, 2012, and literally shook the entire eSports community. Most professional players and the fans of “1.6” version reacted with mixed feelings, being quite unsure about their own future in this brand new game. As for our legendary five, the guys, of course, experienced similar kinds of problems but all of them were eventually solved for the better.
Porto — the city were the era has come to an end
Three years ago, Na`Vi's full legendary roster (Zeus, Edward, markeloff, starix, ceh9) took part in the last big Counter-Strike 1.6 competition PGS EXPONOR 2012 in the city of Porto in Portugal. All matches went quite smoothly, except for the grand-final clash, in which our guys were defeated by fnatic (FYRR73, trace, MODDII, Friis, karrigan). Thus, the last 1.6 tournament for the Born to Win ended with the second place.
The last important Counter-Strike 1.6 tournament from Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko’s point of view Highlights of the Born to Win
The way our guys has parted ways with a 1.6 version was quite upsetting. At this particular tournament, they faced a problem that unfortunately wasn’t surprising to anybody at that time — the delays in prize-money payment (find more details here.)
The expressions of players can tell a lot
The end of «1.6» era
Now, let's once again return to October 2012. The biggest pressure that the Born to Win felt was a straightforward promotion of CS:GO to all eSports competitions. A new version of the game started to replace the older one in all spheres and aspects. Valve has put lots of money and ideas into the new product, trying to popularize it and bring in bigger number of users. The players, on their turn, were afraid to see something similar to Counter-Strike: Source that had been disliked by most of them.
Yes, the methods used by Valve were rather harsh, but soon they brought their results. One of the biggest CS:GO victories happened even before the release of the game (21 August 2012), on 14 June. Intel Extreme Master’s (IEM), one of the most prestigious tournaments conducted by ESL, removed Counter-Strike 1.6 from their list of official disciplines. Michal "Carmac" Blicharz explained that the main reason for this decision was quite low popularity of the game outside Europe.
Even bigger changes were approaching. Transition of the top teams to the new version was hindered by the fact that the game itself wasn’t quite ready. Most professionals and vast majority of the players expressed a dislike and criticized it for literally everything except for graphics. They considered it to be rather raw and unready to be implemented into the eSports scene.
Our guys were confused and taken aback by the new game, being one of the last teams stuck to CS 1.6. This game, after all, has helped them to win the status of world legends, and meant a lot more than anyone could imagine. Yegor "markeloff" Markelov, the best player of 2010 according to hltv.org, was one of the first professional gamers to take against the new game. “Haven't played it yet since updates and don't want to!”, he sаid.
Yegor Markelov took against the new Counter-Strike at first
We can’t say for sure if the opinion of markeloff was supported by the rest of the team, but the fact that they were one of the last to make a transition to CS:GO can’t be denied. In November 2012, Aleksandr “ZeroGravity” Kokhanovskyi stated:
"We have taken a final decision to try out CS:GO as a new and upcoming eSports discipline. It is impossible to compare CS 1.6 and CS:GO because these are completely different games with similar weaponry and map setting. It will be a TOUGH challenge for the guys as they are not 17-20 years old anymore and right now the time spent on gaming is much more valuable. I do not know who will be able and who will want to switch to CS:GO after these 60 days. I am asking all our fans all over the world to support our players during their streams, official matches and tournaments. Your support is really important to our players as it gives them confidence in their capabilities. On the other side you will be able to follow ceh9, Zeus, markeloff, Edward & starix team matches and success all together! "
The team was given two months to try out their skills in the new game. The veterans of our roster will surely answer positively if asked whether this challenge was difficult or not. The transition was very tough indeed. It was accompanied by many factors that internally influenced the team. The reluctance to play this new yet raw game was one of the main reasons of dismotivation.
CS:GO abbreviation typed into search engines showed huge number of bug reports
The captain of our team Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko once said:
“We are going to start playing CS:GO, as surprising as it is. The time will tell whether it was a good or bad decision. After all, we do that because we actually have no choice, and even though CS:GO is not that popular right now, new championships are announced almost every week, while CS 1.6 has almost no tournaments at all.”
The issues with the weaponry balance, official map pool and game mechanics remain important even now, as the game developers keep on seeking new and more optimal solutions. Can you imagine the game right after the release, when the brand new and not tested product ended up on the list of competitive disciplines?
Patience and hard work
Unsatisfactory results of the team were quite understandable, considering all those factors. After many years of practicing, the game became the real job for the guys, so there were things that they had to sacrifice. Their own wishes and desires were the first on this list. Motivational stagnation caused the increase of the number of losses. The fact that Na`Vi has managed to take only 3 wins out of 11 matches within the framework of StarSeries SLTV in early 2013 proves it better than everything else.
Increasing pressure from CS-community and fanbase as well as the strong desire to play well again encouraged our players to spend long hours on practicing every single day. Some of them mentioned that the duration of their trainings sometimes exceeded 10 hours per day. The proverb “Diligence is the mother of success” perfectly describes Na`Vi in 2013.
As expected, the first results came quite soon. In March, the guys have managed to defeat their most fearsome rivals — NiP, online. It has been the fifth online loss for the Swedish team since its formation, but still, they were unbreakable on LAN
Victory over Ninjas in Pijamas was one of the first good results of the team
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Na`Vi Counter-Strike squad has surely gone through that tough period of their history with great dignity, managing to build a solid base for a new team. Even though the roster underwent a number of changes, it kept up to date with all in-game events, fighting its way to the top. Now, Na`Vi is considered to be one of the best teams in the world and only few can recall the sad time of losses when its future was nearly impossible to predict. Now, all of us are patiently waiting for the trophy of one of the major-tournaments to come to Kyiv.