Asian CS and the Slow Walk Back to Prominence
Not too long ago, Chinese team TyLoo was able to win a map against Ukranian giants Natus Vincere, as well as Danish side Astralis, at this year’s StarLadder i-League Season 2. They also eliminated the defending Major champions Luminosity in DreamHack Masters Malmo 2016, while The MongolZ displayed impressive results against their opponents at IEM Taipei earlier this year.
With this turn of events, talk of Asian CS:GO regaining its place in the international CS ecosystem suddenly became abound.
But is it really coming back to global relevance? Or is it just a result of certain teams performing beyond their expected levels?
Asian Teams at Top-Tier Tournaments
The only Asian team that has appeared at any CS:GO Major up to this very date was India’s Team Wolf, who qualified through an exclusive Indian qualifier for ESL One Cologne 2014. The Wolves lost 7-16 to eventual champions Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) and 4-16 to HellRaisers in the group stages of the tournament.
Since then, no other Asian team has appeared at a CS:GO Major, though teams have started to show up in other high-tier tournaments, notably IEM and DreamHack.
The thing about Asian teams is that although they may have the skills and team chemistry to go toe-to-toe against other teams outside of their region, they lack the strategic depth and knowledge of the map-veto system that is common among top teams, as evidenced by Dignitas’ 3-16 drubbing of Chinese side TyLoo in the fifth round of ESL One Cologne; it is generally understood among CS players that Cobblestone is a strong map for Dignitas.
However, in general terms, Asian teams have been improving their head-to-head results against teams from outside their region, thus making a case for Asia’s return to the global stage.
TyLoo is synonymous to high-level Asian Counter-Strike in the global CS ecosystem. When they formed back in 2007, they turned out to be one of the most successful Asian CS rosters to date, having the distinction of being the only Asian team to be able to consistently place in the top-eight in major tournaments that they participated in, most notably IEM Chengdu 2009 and WEM 2009, among others.
With their recent results at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2, DreamHack Masters Malmo and the offline qualifiers of ESL One Cologne 2016, the Chinese side seems to be the strongest candidate for bringing Asia back to Counter-Strike glory. Still, they need to improve their map pool, as well as to drill out their counter-strats for the teams that they face outside their region, if they want to consistently get results against the top teams in the world.
The Other Candidates
Besides TyLoo, other Chinese teams, such as VG.CyberZen, as well as The MongolZ, Malaysia’s MVP Karnal and Korea’s MVP Project, have shown some initial promise. But then, they suffer the same problems as TyLoo does, along with a lack of general experience in terms of facing teams from outside the Asian region.
However, more tournaments that cater the Asian region should slowly allow these teams to catch up and eventually go up on equal and honest terms against teams from the rest of the world.
Asian CS is starting to grow both in strength and in relevance, as evidenced by their recent results in international tournaments. However, they still need to improve several aspects of their play if they are to get good results against other international teams in a consistent manner.
It’s not a fluke that Asian CS:GO is rising. It’s just a matter of time.
What do you think about the potential of Asian CS:GO? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Image taken from the official CS:GO blog. Rights belong to their respective owners.