lurppis' 2012 team ranking
In this article, Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen presents the recent results and matches of and then ranks the top teams in Counter-Strike 1.6 heading into the summer season of tournaments.
As the summer season including DreamHack Summer 2012, GameGune 2012 and possibly others approaches, it's time to wrap up some of the results from the past few months and see where all the top teams stand after their recent changes.
This article goes over each teams' results from 2012 in terms of both placings at tournaments as well as individual match results against other top teams on the list.
It goes without saying this article is highly subjective, but the ranking is backed by an explanation to each team's rank below them.
1. Natus Vincere (ceh9, Edward, markeloff, starix, Zeus)
|1st||IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev|
|2nd||Kingston Trilogy Tour|
|2nd||IEM VI World Championship|
|2nd||Copenhagen Games 2012|
|5-6th||K1 League 2012 Season 1 (CS:Online)|
2-0 vs fnatic (16-7 de_tuscan, 16-4 de_train)
2-1 vs Lions (16-6 de_tuscan, 7-16 de_tuscan, 16-3 de_inferno)
0-2 vs ESC Gaming (11-16 de_train, 14-16 de_mirage)
2-0 vs Anexis (16-14 de_tuscan, 16-12 de_mirage)
0-2 vs WinFakt (14-16 de_train, 9-16 de_inferno)
16-11 vs Xapso (de_mirage)
16-10 vs ALTERNATE (de_inferno)
19-17 vs Lemondogs (de_dust2)
16-14 vs WinFakt (de_tuscan)
25-28 vs fnatic (de_dust2)
1-1 vs Moscow Five (10-20 de_dust2, 16-14 de_tuscan)
Looking at results, Natus Vincere have clearly had the best placings overall in 2012 as they have reached the grand final of every event they have attended while others haven't been able to perform anywhere near consistently. This upcoming summer will be a tough test for the Ukrainians who have been having problems with arguments that seem to take a giant toll on their game at big tourneys, seemingly making them lose all of their focus during important games. If they can put their differences aside and only focus on playing Counter-Strike rather than arguing over who is right and who is wrong, they have the best team in the world when Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev and Yegor "markeloff" Markelov are playing well, but can they do it? Realistically, I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to make a complete 180 on it because even when they were doing well at IEM 6 WC, the arguments looked fairly bad from the outside of it. However, I think having such long breaks from competition this spring has probably helped them and should ease it a little, although I doubt it will be fully fixed.
With the end of CS 1.6 seemingly approaching and the Ukrainians often citing their dislike for CS:GO in various interviews, it will be interesting to see whether that is something that will motivate the team that has already won everything there is to be won in the world of CS or if it will cause their motivation to stagger, knowing it might be over soon anyways. DreamHack Summer and GameGune will be immensely important for Natus Vincere who can be the best team in the world when they set their minds to it, but will they, is an altogether different question. I don't think playing CSOL for K1 league caused problems for their preparation because they have been known to only bootcamp for a week before tournaments which could mean they are becoming easier to anti-strat, but at the same time Sergey "starix" Ischuk's team have usually been the anti-stratters, not the anti-strattees. As far as the losses against Moscow Five at Kingston Trilogy Tour and TECHLABS Belarus, I don't put much weight on them because they were such small tournaments that I don't think Na`Vi were anywhere near at their best. Similarly, K1 League should be forgotten when comparing results simply because it was played using updaterate 30 and cmdrate 20 with a low rate - and if you don't agree, go play some CS using those settings, it will be impossible to hit anything.
In the end, so far in 2012 they have been the best team in the world and I expect that trend to continue, although they will probably have to win one of the two big summer events to keep that title unless they place consistently in both and other teams get mixed results. K1 League might actually be exactly what Na`Vi needed to get a sort of a wake up call to prepare properly because they are definitely favorites in any best-of-three series you can put them to when they are prepared. However, it's impossible to tell from the outside if they are putting hundred percent of the blame on the server settings or if they are willing to look past it and realize they should still be beating those teams they lost against in Shanghai. Expect them to continue being the most consistent and overall strongest team around, especially with the lack of major events causing a drop in ESC Gaming's play.
markeloff has been consistently one of the world's best for over two years
2. SK Gaming (Delpan, f0rest, face, GeT_RiGhT, RobbaN)
|2nd||IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev|
|4th||IEM VI World Championship (with trace)|
|5-6th||Copenhagen Games 2012 (with trace)|
|1st||Swedish Championship Qualifier|
|1st||3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online|
|3-4th||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
1-2 vs ESC Gaming (14-16 de_nuke, 16-11 de_mirage, 14-16 de_train)
1-2 vs Lemondogs (16-2 de_mirage, 7-16 de_inferno, 9-16 de_nuke)
2-0 vs Xapso (16-6 de_mirage, 16-13 de_forge)
0-2 vs WinFakt (8-16 de_mirage, 13-16 de_train)
14-16 vs Lemondogs (de_nuke)
2-1 vs fnatic (17-19 de_tuscan, 16-2 de_train, 19-16 de_dust2)
16-12 vs Anexis (de_mirage)
2-0 vs ESC Gaming (16-7 de_train, 16-13 de_dust2)
2-0 vs fnatic (16-9 de_dust2, 16-11 de_nuke)
16-2 vs Moscow Five (de_forge)
0-2 vs Anexis (14-16 de_train, 7-16 de_mirage)
SK Gaming started off well in Kiev with Marcus "Delpan" Larsson but had luckluster showings since then with the lineup featuring Martin "trace" Heldt as they failed to impress at IEM 6 WC and Copenhagen Games. Since Delpan was brought back the team started looking more like their own selves as they beat fnatic twice at Swedish Championship qualifier and 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online. They also beat ESC Gaming convincingly at the latter. The loss against Anexis dropped their stock a little because that is a team SK Gaming should be beating without much trouble, but as hinted in the post Larsson was late to the match and was minutes away from being replaced for the first map which surely affected SK's preparation and mindset going into the match.
On one hand Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg, Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund and Larsson all showed impressive individual play at Inferno Online last month, but it seems like Johan "face" Klasson has been in somewhat of a slump lately while Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström has also struggled if you compare both to their earlier performances from this year or even 2011. Another factor to consider for SK Gaming is CS:GO - Alesund has been playing a ton of CS:GO to already get the hang of it when the scene might make the switch and Lindberg has also been seen playing with him. In fact, Lindberg has seemingly stopped using a silenced Colt M4A1 altogether after playing CS:GO (whose beta version does not include a silencer for the Colt M4A1) which is fairly significant knowing I probably haven't seen him play a single round of CS 1.6 without a silencer in the past seven years.
While many would argue fnatic has had better results in 2012 since their player change, it would be impossible for me to rank them above SK Gaming whose roster has yet to drop a single map against the black and orange since Lindberg and Alesund changed sides in early 2011. This was once again showcased twice in two best-of-three series over the last month or so. They also took down ESC Gaming, who have been struggling since the last major IEM 6 WC, easily. While I consider SK Gaming to be the second best in the world, I don't think it would take them much to make the jump to number one if Na`Vi doesn't show up in good form at DreamHack and GameGune. I think SK Gaming's psychological edge will help them keep fnatic at bay in the future and I still question ESC's motivation. I don't see SK losing to anyone else consistently, and therefore I rank them two.
Delpan's return has moved SK up in the ranking and they seem to be back in good shape
3. fnatic (Friis, Gux, karrigan, moddii, Xizt)
|4th||IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev (with cArn)|
|5-6th||IEM VI World Championship (with cArn)|
|1st||Copenhagen Games 2012|
|2nd||Swedish Championship Qualifier|
|2nd||3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online|
|1st||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
2-1 vs ESC Gaming
2-0 vs ALTERNATE
2-0 vs WinFakt
28-25 vs Na`Vi (de_dust2)
16-12 vs Anexis 16-12 (de_inferno)
1-2 vs SK Gaming (19-17 de_tuscan, 2-16 de_train, 16-19 de_dust2)
2-1 vs eSrael (16-1 de_dust2, 13-16 de_tuscan, 16-12 de_train)
0-2 vs SK Gaming (9-16 de_dust2, 11-16 de_nuke)
2-1 vs ESC Gaming (16-12 de_dust2, 12-16 de_train, 16-8 de_inferno)
2-1 vs eSrael (16-7 de_inferno, 11-16 de_train, 16-11 de_nuke)
2-0 vs Anexis (16-10 de_mirage, 16-11 de_train)
fnatic has been nothing short of impressive since Patrik "cArn" Sättermon retired and Finn "karrigan" Andersen joined up as the new fifth member of the team. They won Copenhagen Games, lost two finals to SK Gaming (granted, one of them at a small qualifier) and then won their online league fnatic PLAY league 2012 this week with some solid wins over the Poles and the two Danish teams. Some will argue that fnatic should be ranked above Na`Vi already but their results have only been over a course of roughly two months, whereas the Ukrainians have been way more consistent - and SK has been taking them down as usual which forces them down to the third place. However, while ESC Gaming's achievements have been more impressive in 2012 (and especially if we think about WCG 2011 for a second), fnatic has realistically been a stronger team at the most recent tournaments.
The team has an interesting mixture of players whom would all mostly be any team's second best player apart from Andreas "moddii" Fridh (who was the clear star player of SK and ESC). However, as a result, on paper they don't have a weak link in the eyes of fans the way that many consider the players with lowest stats of other top teams. So far Richard "Xizt" Landström has been able to keep the boat afloat very well and his individual play hasn't suffered too much, but I have yet to see fnatic play against a team who would anti strat their playing style. I think watching Na`Vi play fnatic in a best-of-three series would be extremely interesting as I for one would like to know if Landström can keep up his calling when the other team is aware of what they like to do just about every round (which wasn't the case at Copenhagen Games because fnatic was a new team) or if he will have trouble adjusting his usual calls, especially because mid game adjustments and reading the other team always seemed to be former leader Sättermon's strong suites.
From what I hear, fnatic seems to be the most motivated team out there right now in terms of practice which is great news for every fan out there. I think they have probably realized they are one of the best teams which means with little luck they are competing for the title of every tournament. It will be interesting to see if this fnatic lineup can finally take down SK after over 18 months' drought or if that rivalry will become as one sided as the famous Na`Vi-mTw matchup did in 2010-2011. I think fnatic will be competing for titles in the summer and unless teams figure out Landström's calling style and counter them, they will likely be making the top four in their tournaments because of how much skill their lineup possesses. However, I still see them falling short to the two teams ahead of them and possibly ESC if they get things going - remember, that FCL quarter-final win was largely due to Rasmus "Gux" Ståhl's ninja-like defuse and it could have been a 2-0 win for the Poles.
Can fnatic continue their impressive play in the summer and can they finally overcome SK?
4. ESC Gaming (kuben, Loord, neo, pasha, TaZ)
|1st||IEM VI World Championship|
|9-12th||Copenhagen Games 2012|
|3-4th||3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online|
|5-6th||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
2-1 vs SK Gaming (16-14 de_nuke, 11-16 de_mirage, 16-14 de_train)
2-0 vs Natus Vincere (16-11 de_train, 16-14 de_mirage)
1-2 vs fnatic (16-11 de_train, 10-16 de_dust2, 9-16 de_mirage)
14-16 vs Anexis (de_tuscan)
9-16 vs ALTERNATE (de_dust2)
0-2 vs SK Gaming (7-16 de_dust2, 13-16 de_dust2)
3-16 vs WinFakt (de_dust2)
16-12 vs eSrael (de_train)
1-2 vs fnatic (12-16 de_dust2, 16-12 de_train, 8-16 de_inferno)
When Filip "NEO" Kubski's team won IEM VI World Championship, they were undoubtedly the best team in the world, having also won the previous major tournament which was World Cyber Games in December. If the Poles are known for something, it is going all in for major tournaments and winning a lot of them, only to suffer problems at the smaller tournaments. That is exactly what they have done once again in 2012 after an oddly consistent 2011. They started off by winning the biggest event of the year, only to lose a close series against fnatic at Copenhagen Games and then fail to make top eight after a close loss versus Anexis. According to people on-site in Copenhagen their team was seen arguing Na`Vi style during those matches which could be a major factor, but it's also known they simply don't often bring their A game to the smaller, less prestigious events.
Same trend continued for the 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online where they went down to SK Gaming 0-2 in a fairly one sided series. On de_dust2 it looked like Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas and company could force the series to three maps, but in the end the Swedes were simply better that time around. Add in one more close loss against fnatic online that could have been prevented by stopping Rasmus "Gux" Ståhl's ninja-like defuse in a four-on-two situation, and you have ESC Gaming's 2012. There have also been tons of rumours about Wojtas and Kubski being more motivated in playing League of Legends than Counter-Strike even if it hasn't shown too much in their performances, which could obviously cause some issues. Furthermore, Kubski stated in our pre-Intel Core Challenge interview that knowing CS 1.6 is struggling makes it harder to motivate themselves to practice, but I assume all these losses sting enough that they will improve for the summer.
ESC Gaming's future is up in the air, but luckily for them they are in the driving seat. Similarly to Na`Vi, if they get over the supposed arguments, decide to bootcamp before tournaments and put in effort, they will most likely end up on the podium. They have been a strong team for seemingly forever and they have shown that their A game is simply on a different level than everyone else's but SK's and Na`Vi's, with fnatic as a new challenger this year. ESC Gaming's preparation and motivation will determine how they fare at DreamHack Summer and GameGune, if they want it badly enough they are good enough to get it, but in 2012 they haven't played at the top of their game since early March. ESC Gaming will be an interesting team to watch at the next events.
ESC Gaming with their star player NEO in focus at Copenhagen Games
5. WinFakt (FYRR73, kHRYSTAL, niko, threat, zneel)
|5-6th||IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev|
|3rd||IEM VI World Championship|
|1st||Swedish Championship Qualifier|
|4th||Copenhagen Games 2012|
|1st||Nordic Masters 2012|
|5-6th||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
1-2 vs Na`Vi (6-16 de_tuscan, 16-7 de_tuscan, 3-16 de_inferno)
2-1 vs SK Gaming (2-16 de_mirage, 16-7 de_inferno, 16-9 de_nuke)
2-0 vs Anexis (16-14 de_tuscan, 13-16 de_mirage, 16-9 de_inferno)
0-2 vs ALTERNATE (12-16 de_nuke, 11-16 de_inferno)
16-10 vs Anexis (de_tuscan)
16-14 vs SK Gaming (de_nuke)
17-19 vs Na`Vi (de_dust2)
12-16 vs eSrael (de_tuscan)
15-15 vs KerchNET (de_tuscan)
16-12 vs ALTERNATE (de_tuscan)
16-3 vs ESC Gaming (de_dust2)
0-2 vs Anexis (12-16 de_tuscan, 6-16 de_mirage)
The former Lions and Lemondogs team seemed to finally catch a big break at IEM 6 WC when they came back from a 2-16 loss on the first map of the third place decider against arch rivals SK Gaming and managed to win the series 2-1, and with that, for the first time take down SK Gaming. Unfortunately we will never know if they could have done something even better at Copenhagen Games with both SK Gaming and Natus Vincere in lower bracket as they failed to score the expected win over ALTERNATE and quickly went from looking to fight for the event title to simply trying to salvage what's left of their showing at the event. In the end they still scored two wins over Anexis and took down SK Gaming once again before losing to Na`Vi in overtime. Since then they won Nordic Masters over weak competition and struggled in FCL with losses against eSrael and Anexis and a tie against KerchNET for a 5-6th place.
WinFakt's clear strength over other teams lies in Björn "threat" Pers' leadership and the preparation work he does for this team. It would be hard to argue the team could compete with most others on this list in pure skill, but Pers has always put effort into playing the correct way strategically and due to his teams having stuck together for such a long time they are actually one of the strongest strategically along with Natus Vincere and eSrael. While online results hardly matter the same way when comparing teams, it's been a little surprising how weak their showing in FCL was overall especially since they recently picked up by the WinFakt sponsorship, which I would assume would motivate them to put in more effort into proving to their organization that switching Timi "aslak" Verkkoperä to them was a right choice. Missing the 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online also makes it harder to gauge the current level of the team.
One thing most people aren't looking into is Emil "FYRR73" Karlsson. Looking at his performances, I think him playing way above his usual level at DreamHack Winter, IEM 6 Kiev, IEM 6 WC and Copenhagen Games has been instrumental to ex-Lions' success. He became the clear star player in the team out of the blue but has also seemed to struggle lately with weak showings at Nordic Masters and fnatic PLAY league. If WinFakt is to continue competing for the titles, I think the key for this team is Karlsson's play because Pers' leadership and strategies won't go anywhere, but it's going to be interesting to see if Karlsson's new level of play is here to stay with the team surely planning on attending both DreamHack and GameGune this summer.
A lot relies on FYRR73 for WinFakt to do well
6. Moscow Five (Dosia, ED1K, Fox, hacker, ROMJkE)
|3rd||IEM VI Global Challenge Kiev (with xek)|
|1st||Kingston Trilogy Tour (with xek)|
|5-6th||IEM VI World Championship (with xek)|
|7-8th||fnatic PLAY league 2012 (partly without Dosia)|
0-2 vs SK Gaming (17-21 de_mirage, 10-16 de_train)
2-0 vs fnatic (16-10 de_nuke, 16-10 de_train)
2-1 vs Na`Vi (16-14 de_tuscan, 4-16 de_mirage, 16-12 de_inferno)
0-2 vs Na`Vi (17-19 de_inferno, 9-16 de_tuscan)
0-2 vs ESC Gaming (14-16 de_tuscan, 5-16 de_nuke)
6-16 vs fnatic (de_dust2)
16-5 vs WinFakt (de_inferno)
2-16 vs SK Gaming (de_forge)
2-0 vs Na`Vi (20-10 de_dust2, 16-14 de_tuscan)
15-15 vs Anexis (de_inferno)
Moscow Five's spring has been quite uneventful ever since being knocked out of IEM 6 World Championship in the relegation stage by ESC Gaming. They were the only top team that went to India Gaming Carnival as opposed to Copenhagen Games and paid the price for it as the tournament ended up not being ran and the chances of receiving their prize money must not be high. The year started well with a third place finish in Kiev where they played reasonably well despite of the mixed group stage results. At IEM 6 WC the results were once again inconsistent in the group stage and this time it wasn't any better in playoffs where they lost a big lead against ESC Gaming and then completely fell apart in map two, seemingly giving up without trying. The team played FCL without star player Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov so the weak results can be overlooked but the TECHLABS Belarus win over Na`Vi seems to be one of more value as every round counted for $50 in the show match.
They managed to take down Na`Vi a few times this year at Kingston Trilogy Tour and the TECHLABS show match but since those tournaments weren't as important and Na`Vi showed their true level of play quickly after the Turkey trip at IEM 6 WC (and right prior to it at IEM 6 Kiev) it seems somewhat irrelevant in the big picture. The fact is, M5 still has a a relatively good chance of beating almost anyone on this list and some of the teams such as fnatic, WinFakt and the two Danes below them have actually gotten off a little too easy so far in 2012 because of the Russians absence from Copenhagen Games, 3rd Intel Core Challenge and fnatic PLAY league with their correct lineup.
Combine that with them having made one player switch in 2012 and it's close to impossible to know where exactly Moscow Five ranks on this list. As of right now I have to assume they are above both Danes because of their previous results, but the summer events will determine just how M5 will fare against both as well as the teams currently ranked above them. They have showed some promising results in 2012 but a player change and the most recent losses make it hard for anyone to realistically rate the Russians higher.
M5's decision to go to India and Dosia's vacation have forced them out of the spotlight
7. eSrael (ArcadioN, coloN, trace, turkizh, Xyp9x)
|1st||DEL Finals (with zanoj)|
|7-8th||Copenhagen Games 2012 (with zanoj)|
|3-4th||3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online|
|3-4th||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
0-2 vs SK Gaming (6-16 de_mirage, 13-16 de_forge)
11-16 vs Na`Vi (de_mirage)
16-12 vs Lemondogs (de_tuscan)
15-15 vs KerchNET (de_tuscan)
1-2 vs fnatic (1-16 de_dust2, 16-13 de_tuscan, 12-16 de_train)
2-0 vs WinFakt (16-13 de_tuscan, 16-6 de_train)
16-7 vs ALTERNATE (de_tuscan)
1-2 vs fnatic (7-16 de_inferno, 16-11 de_train, 11-16 de_nuke)
eSrael first made waves by beating Anexis at DEL finals and then followed it up by an average performance at Copenhagen Games where Morten "coloN" Johansen played especially well, proving he can get kills in a LAN environment as well. Since then the team attended 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online where they took down the former Finnish WinFakt squad easily 2-0 but fell against fnatic in a close series after receiving a stomping on the opening map. Their results in FCL were good but not great and dropping out in the semi-finals against fnatic proved they are not yet on fnatic's level as they keep losing relatively close series against them.
There is no doubt that this team has already improved immensely and will keep improving with the likes of Martin "trace" Heldt and Timm "ArcadioN" Henriksen leading the way for them, but although they seem clearly better than Anexis and I would assume in the long run KerchNET, they have yet to play Moscow Five who have achieved more than them which forces them down to the seventh place in the ranking. I think eSrael and the new WinFakt team would actually match up against one another very well due to the two in-game leaders being some of the most strategy oriented ones left in the game, so that would be another interesting series.
I think eSrael could easily make the jump to as high as fifth place in the world with very little improvements, but due to the team not being in attendance at DreamHack Summer next week, that will have to wait at least until the end of July. With the newer players Morten "coloN" Johansen (who has seemed great online and in earlier rounds of LAN tournaments but has yet to transfer that game to the deciding matches) and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth still looking to gain experience, every event at home is a missed opportunity and we will have to wait and see how much further up eSrael can climb on the list during the summer.
eSrael has produced impressive results with coloN and trace leading the way
8. Anexis (BERRY, lomme, Nuggi, Snappi, zanoj)
|11-12th||IEM VI World Championship (with zE- & SFM)|
|2nd||DEL Finals (with zE- & SFM)|
|7-8th||Copenhagen Games 2012 (with zE- & SFM)|
|2nd||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
0-2 vs Xapso (14-16 de_tuscan, 9-16 de_mirage)
1-2 vs Lemondogs (14-16 de_tuscan, 16-13 de_mirage, 9-16 de_inferno)
0-2 vs Na`Vi (14-16 de_tuscan, 12-16 de_mirage)
16-14 vs ESC (de_tuscan)
10-16 vs Lemondogs (de_tuscan)
12-16 vs SK Gaming (de_mirage)
12-16 vs fnatic (de_inferno)
15-15 vs Moscow Five (de_inferno)
2-0 vs WinFakt (16-12 de_tuscan, 16-6 de_mirage)
2-0 vs SK Gaming (16-14 de_train, 16-8 de_mirage)
0-2 vs fnatic (10-16 de_mirage, 11-16 de_train)
0-2 vs eSrael (16-12 de_inferno, 16-6 de_tuscan)
Anexis had about six months of constant disappointment after close calls under their belts when they decided to recruit Jonas "zanoj" Velling from Xapso and Frederik "Lomme" Nielsen from Last Kings to replace former members Baljit "zE-" Lal and Samal "SFM" Mikkelsen. They would always come close, often even have the lead but then crumble over the pressure and excitement of possibly upsetting one of the big dogs and then go home empty handed after the group stage, or very seldomly, after the first round of playoffs.
While we can't exactly say this new Anexis squad has kicked the habit of disappointing, they managed to take down ESC Gaming at Copenhagen Games with their old lineup and since then have had some solid results online with the new group of five players. They took down both WinFakt (ex-Lemondogs) and SK Gaming in fnatic PLAY league's quarter- and semi-finals before falling short against fnatic in the grand final. While the online results aren't enough to bump them up any higher, I think the fact they were able to pull them off at least shows the new Anexis team is finally improving, even if at a slow pace.
Anexis aren't currently sure if they will attend DreamHack Summer which is a huge blow for the team who are riding high confidence levels after FCL and could have used that to achieve some real wins in a LAN environment. I'd imagine they will attend GameGune in July, but seeing as that's still over seven weeks away it's probably too far to use the FCL wins in their favor unless their level of play permanently rises from these results. Also, losing the domestic battle to eSrael over and over again has to hurt Nicolaj "Nuggi" Larsen & co who had a few months of being the best in Denmark after mTw's disbandment.
Will the addition of zanoj finally push Anexis over the edge?
9. KerchNET (B1ad3, bondik, Krutoi, Maloy, z1)
|3-4th||TECHLABS Cup 2012|
|9-10th||fnatic PLAY league 2012|
20-10 vs Moscow Five (de_train)
16-14 vs Anexis (de_inferno)
18-12 vs eSahara (de_nuke)
2-0 vs ESC Gaming (16-8 de_nuke, 16-14 de_train)
0-2 vs SK Gaming (3-16 de_train, 9-16 de_inferno)
15-15 vs Lemondogs (de_tuscan)
15-15 vs eSrael (de_tuscan)
15-15 vs ALTERNATE (de_nuke)
14-16 vs ESC Gaming (de_nuke)
KerchNET showed promise all the way back in February when their previous lineup that featured Aleksandr "shara" Gordeev took down Moscow Five, Anexis, eSahara and ESC Gaming in TECHLABS Cup online. Since then Gordeev was forced to leave the team due to internal issues, and he was replaced over a month later by Igor "Maloy" Marien. The team has yet to attend any LAN tournaments since last year's December, but they showed promise in fnatic PLAY league which they got into through a backdoor once fellow Ukrainians Natus Vincere dropped out.
Although they were knocked out during the group stage, if it wasn't for a format that didn't play overtimes, their fate in the tournament could have been entirely different. They went on to tie three teams; Lemondogs, eSrael and ALTERNATE while beating e2g and losing 14-16 against ESC Gaming. The lineup shows similar promise to the one they last competed with in February, but as these results are online it's too early to judge the team, especially as they seemed to lack killer instinct in closing out those games. They have shown promise, but it is up to them to make something out of that promise during the summer.
Out of all teams on this list KerchNET is the only team that has no LAN experience in 2012, and therefore has to be ranked the lowest. However, I consider them to have done more than any other team that is likely to attend tournaments in the upcoming months (e.g. TyLoo doens't count because they won't travel to Europe). Hopefully we will see them at an international tournament this summer, but it is still a question mark.
Will we see B1ad3 & co attend an international event this summer?
Do you think a team should have made the list that did not? Who would you rank lower or high and why? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
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