Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one of my only true eSport loves and a game that historically is very close to my heart. However, CS:GO wasn’t always this massive prize-pool titan it is today, but for the most part the top-tier players are mostly the same. So, for you new players to the game, you’re going to recognize some names but to me these games are so significant to the games progressive storyline.
Number 5: NOSTALGIE vs. Natus Vincere
This game isn’t the most exciting and I posted game 2 out of the series for a few reasons. Firstly, a little context to who “Nostalgie” consists of. 2013, was the year that CS:GO really began to grow, Valve Introduced customized weapon skins and micro-transactions to fund what would later be a legendary event in it’s own boasting the games first ever $250,000 prize pool. But there is a small era before then, before “Majors” even existed. Back then, “majors” were basically events that had a selection of NiP, VeryGames, Virtus.Pro, Na’Vi or Fnatic, was played offline and one could later use in an argument for “best team in the world”.(which at the time was a game of “who can beat NiP”.) The District Prague Challenge wasn’t a major by any means, but this team “nostalgie”, out of nowhere took the cake. Other than OverDrive, who disappeared mostly into obscurity, Nostalgie was 2 young French Greats, “KennyS” and “Apex” alongside the 2 polish legends from 1.6 “Taz” and “Neo”. So why is this game significant? Well, it gave us a spark of what would later become the legendary Virtus.Pro we know today. Unfortunately for Taz and Neo, they never really took anything significant until 2014, with roster-change after roster change, the duo stayed with each other but it almost felt like CS:GO was not their game. Even in 2013’s Dreamhack Winter, the then “Universal Soldiers” was eliminated in groups by the Ninjas in Pyjamas. This game, maybe didn’t matter much at the time, but it really put hope into the Polish and French fans alike, both of whom would soon dethrown the Ninjas in seperate scenarios.
Number 4: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. TeamX(publiclir.se)
To me, this game on it’s own with the context the casters provide and the nature of how the game plays out, is one of the best CS:GO games to have ever been played and it demonstrates the significance that NiP held over the scene in it’s infancy. I could go on and on about how NiP had an 87-0 Offline record or whatever, but I feel this game truly exemplifies a term that to this day is still relevant: “you can never bet against NiP”(well, you can but it’s riskier than it probably should be).
For context, the only team to ever have as much of a dominating performance over a Scene would be current day Fnatic, but even then, at the time it was tournament after tournament after tounament with NiP taking away gold. This game, not only showed how legendary NiP are, but also proved that they are beatable. Something which at the time was nearly impossible.
Number 3: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. VeryGames
This game is a game that drives purely on context alone. There was a small era in CSGO history, which I would like to call “the VeryGames” era. As much as it lasted but a Fraction of the time that NiP’s dominating era lasted, for this time they were indeniably the best team in the world. This was the first time anyone could consistently suggest that a team was better than NiP, which was a revolution in the game context. A game that had been almost on lock-down by the Ninjas tyrannical claws was now a free environment where teams actually are capable of winning. I feel historically this VeryGames lineup was the most important lineup for it’s sheer innovation of the games sense. The “standard” of how the game was played was defined by NiP, but now teams needed to do more than the “standard” and had to really strategically and mechanically outplay their opponents.
Number 2: Fnatic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
So, this legendary match had to be here somewhere, I don’t think there was any reason to doubt this. I feel, to truly understand the context of this matchup, you really need to not only be aware of the already existent tension between fans of these 2 Swedish greats, spurred on by the infamous post-match incident that happened in Bucharest months prior, as well as how important the Semi-Final of NiP vs. VeryGames was to NiP which can be seen in their reactions. This game proved that not only can anyone win, but that they absolutely will. As much as the subtle beginnings of the NiP – Fnatic Rivalry, not only are these 2 teams both from Sweden, but these 2, are undoubtedly the 2 best teams in the games entire history. As soon as I hear “NiP vs. Fnatic” I get chills down my spine because I just know, that regardless of result, each smal victory for either side builds up tension for the next game. NiP, by some Miracle has made the final of every major valve-funded tournament in the games History, 3 of which were vs. Fnatic.(2:1 in favour of Fnatic for those counting). Given all this, I feel this game really was the first makings of the rivalry, the first true game that when it was discovered that these 2 teams would share the final stage, I got that intense nail-biting feeling I get when I know a game is going to be a great one. As much as NiP was by far the fan favourite, it was exactly that.
Number 1: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Fnatic
So, this is probably the most controversial one but I want to make sure it isn’t at least known as to why I chose this for my number 1 pick. Since NiP’s revival in CSGO, from the very beginning it consisted of: GeT_RiGhT, F0rest, Xizt, Friberg and Fifflaren. It was the longest any team in CSGO history had went without a roster change and the only comparison I can make, contextually would be when in League of Legends, owner of TSM, Reginald decided to replace their AD-Carry player Chaox. This game, however was the last major game Fifflaren played with NiP, who would then be replaced my Maikelele and later Allu. So why did I choose this game as number 1? Well, the community was split around it, some people felt NiP knew what they were doing and Fifflaren was not a problem while the other strongly believed without Fifflaren, NiP would be in a much better position. For some reason though, they aren’t. Allu, I mean by all means is a better player than Fifflaren but as a team I felt there has been no significant improvement since his departure when it comes to performing at Major events. But, it’s not Allu’s fault either. I feel like the team is still recovering from the change and really allowed Fnatic to dominate the scene while they attempt to do so. However, if there was any map NiP should have won just for closure purposes. It was definitely this one. As much as times have very much changed for the better, a more competitive more driven scene we have today, I felt like if it weren’t for these 5 matches to happen the game wouldn’t be allowed to evolve in the same way it did.
Thanks for Reading/Watching games I suggested, if you have any feedback you can email me directly at: [email protected]
As a long time spectator and enthusiast of eSports, I will gladly continue to write pieces like these given demand.