Recently, HLTV journalists and analyst Chad SPUNJ Birchill raised a seemingly forgotten topic – how fair is it to separate the CIS and Europe when distributing tournament quotas for the majors? Colleagues believe that the perfect moment has come for Valve to reunite the regions. Cybersport.ru recalls when our teams began to fight for getting to the Major only among themselves, how this helped the region and why the current system is a tribute to the CIS community from Valve.
When did the CIS have their own qualifiers?
Our Counter-Strike scene got a major boost in 2016 when Valve established regional miners for the CIS. Thanks to this, before the first Major of the year, one team was guaranteed to participate in the decisive qualification, and from the second to this day – two teams from the region.
Before that, slots on the majors were most often guaranteed only by NAVI, all the other teams in our region were butting in qualifications. FlipSid3 Tactics and the rosters of Kirill ANGE1 Karasev did it most successfully, while the rest were unable to impose a struggle on European teams from Sweden, France, and with the advent of Team Kinguin, even on stellar international rosters.
With the new system, teams began to have more opportunities to express themselves. The innovation has greatly helped open up many esports players who are now the stars of the scene. Take electronic, for example: he gained public attention thanks to his impressive performance for Team Empire in the Minor for ESL One Cologne 2016, and subsequently in many tournaments as part of FlipSid3 Tactics. The same can be said about Leonid chopper Vishnyakov, Nikolai mir Bityukov, Kirill Boombl4 Mikhailov and the backbone of the current Virtus.pro roster.
In January 2021, the secession of the CIS from the rest of Europe will be five years old, and perhaps it’s time to ask the question – what has our region achieved during this time?
The transit of generations on our stage began somewhere in the middle of 2017. Then the Kazakhs from Jami Jame Ali, Viktor somedieyoung Orudzhev and Quantum Bellator Fire with Boombl4 drew attention to themselves, which miraculously became the “legend” at ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018, having played in the decisive match of the group stage with mousesports from a score of 2:13 after the first half.
Despite the progress of players and teams, many did not have the opportunity to prove themselves at a high level. Virtus.pro worked with the Poles for quite a long time, and Natus Vincere did not renew the roster after the return of Daniil Zeus Teslenko – only a few chances fell.
By 2019, many teams in the CIS had grown stronger and began to win more often at prestigious tournaments. The trend was set by AVANGAR, which reached the final of the Major, and then by forZe, which by the end of the year had trophies from Copenhagen Games, DreamHack Open Winter 2019, a CIS minor and silver at BLAST Pro Series Moscow 2019.
In a pandemic, our teams have even more chances to prove themselves. COVID-19 severely crippled the industry, but with the transition of matches to online, the teams’ chances became equal – the number of championships increased, and underdogs in competitions increased. It was in 2020 that Team Spirit and Gambit Youngsters shone brightest of all, which, already with Abay HObbit Khasenov, began to perform under the main tag of the organization.