22 Aug 2013 - 25 Aug 2013
Status COMPLETED (0)
In less than twenty-fours hours, the first major LAN event featuring CS:GO in 2013 will be taking place. Attending this LAN will be three national Polish teams and one international team, all of whom were assured a place through online qualifiers. Although the team list is small and a diverse register of the current best teams in CS:GO is not present at the event, this event may prove to be monumental in setting the tone of professional CS:GO for the year of 2013. On top of having the distinction of being the first major LAN of 2013, the Your Road to Katowice tournament may also be a trial run for IEM's chances of picking up CS:GO as a competitive title so viewer numbers could play a significant role in setting the success of the LAN. On top of all this, the event also offers a $7,000 purse and the glory of LAN gold for a team other than NiP, a worthy honor that was first set by ESC Gaming less than a month ago at the Starseries LAN finals. All things considered, this tournament promises to offer plenty of great Global Offensive action and pit together two of the hottest teams on the international scene as of now: Polish ESC Gaming and Czech/Slovak squad myDGB.net.
We here at ESPlanet.net have created a preview of the two upcoming semifinal matches in this single elimination best-of-three tournament. We will focus on the match-ups themselves, players to look out for, and a likely winner in the brawl.
Poland's Best Duel It Out: ESC Gaming vs. MaxFloPlay
This match can easily be the tenser and more fraught with rivalry of the two semifinals, pitting together the 1.6 legends of the Golden Five against several of Poland's best Source players. It is widely acknowledged that these two teams are the best in Poland (with DELTA trailing in the sad spot of third) and in the early days, many even expected the Source experienced MFP squad to defeat ESC in their first match-up. Neo himself acknowledged in an interview in the early fall of 2012 that MaxFloPlay, who were then known as Banana Phone, was the domestic team that ESC most feared. Since then however, the breeze has swain in a slightly different direction and, with two faceoffs (one on LAN and one online) already notched down between these two teams, ESC have emerged victorious in both situations and claimed the title as Poland's best. In fact, the ESC squad, who some could say have more resources and time and others could say are simply more talented and teamwork oriented, have only further widened the skill gap between the two teams and gone on to become one of the world's best in CS:GO whereas MaxFloPlay have yet to show stellar performances the kind of which would have them placed in the highest tier of CS:GO teams.
ESC Gaming are on their best form in CS:GO as of the current moment. Their LAN victory at Starseries IV in Kiev has been complemented by strong performances online in the ESEA Global Invite League and their strategy and individual aim has jumped in leaps and bounds. The two hottest players on the team right now are said by many to be Jarosław "pasha" Jarząbkowski and Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas, both of who have shown stellar aim and flexible play.
MaxFloPlay on the other hand are caught between a rock and a hard place going into 2013. They went through a roster change (longtime player David "dejv" Herlak was replaced with Przemek "ngo" Ciborek) and their performance both online and at LAN has been middling. In the former, the MFP squad dropped out of the ESL Major Series playoffs in the first round after losing to Danish rivals 3DMax; however, all hope is not lost as the team sits at a strong 5-1 record in the European division of ESEA Open. At LAN, MFP showed signs of true strength at Northcon (defeating teams such as Anexis) while also losing several key matches and ultimately not falling into the top four of a tournament where only a few big name teams were in attendance and such a feat surely could have been possible.
All in all, this BO3 promises to be quite bipolar actually. Maps could go down to the wire or MFP could lose their momentum early on and crash out in a total blowout. All things considered however, ESC are most likely to once again showcase their exemplary teamwork and incredible endurance and fortitiude and pull ahead with a spot in the finals.
Will TaZ and Co. make it to their third LAN finals in a row?
A Walk in the Park or a Chance For a Giant Upset? Favorites myDGB.net Take on LAN newcomers ALSEN.
Don't underestimate this match. LAN finals often prove to make heroes of underdogs and break giants down and this could very well be the place for such an upset.
myDGB.net are the heavy (and make sure to underscore that word) favorites going into this BO3. Not only are ALSEN a less established team on the Global Offensive international scene, there are also some who would not even place them in the top five of Poland's GO teams. In the ESL Pro Series for Poland, the team sits outside of the top four playoff spots with a record of three wins and five losses. Otherwise, not much has been seen or heard of ALSEN in Global Offensive, although all five players were known on the 1.6 scene within the country. Therefore, this tournament could be a real chance for the Polish underdogs to step it up and shock the CS:GO scene, and in a way they already did so when they defeated strong Polish teams such as aSperagamers and Team From Korea in the last Polish online qualifiers to secure the final spot for the IEM Polish event. No strangers to surprise then, ALSEN may shock and awe, so make sure to keep your fingers crossed for an upset win if you like Polish teams and have Polish pride or if you simply like titantic upsets.
Otherwise, myDGB.net are clearly the favorites in this showdown. Their third place victory at the Mind Sports Festival in Prague and their strong performances online have cemented their status as one of the top ten teams in CS:GO as of now. With the return of .PhP one can expect an increase in raw skill, although myDGB.net's weakness may lie in their lack of bootcamping and strategical precision given a roster change. In any case, expect the Slovak/Czech mix in the semifinal.
Will myDGB.net start the year strong?
There will be no public GOTV available for the tournament but make sure to turn to ESPlanet.net for coverage, analysis, articles,and the latest news!
*Second photo provided courtesy of Cadred.org