The CS:GO division of Esports Organization “Team SoloMid, a North American League of Legends titan, TSM:CSGO has been infamous for their great online play and group stage play, but choking when the games started to truly matter and TSM needed to play the best they could, they would fall. The evidence is in their recent preformances: 5th-8th at ESL One Katowice, 3rd at StarSeries XII, a respectable 2nd at the Copenhagen Games and 3rd-4th at EPL Winter.
But finally the redemption for the lineup of Device, Dupreeh, Canjub, Xyp9x and Karrigan came. PGL CCS was a stacked tournament, with teams Fnatic Ninjas in Pyjamas, EnVUs attending.
Team SoloMid was pitted against Fnatic in the Semi-finals, Fnatic is widely regarded by experts as the best CS:GO team in the world. Team SoloMid beat them in a close 2-0 victory, playing on maps Dust II and Mirage. Next Team SoloMid advanced to the winner’s finals, playing against Ninjas in Pyjamas. The Ninjas are seen as the 3rd/4th best team and the world, and once again Team SoloMid pulled out another 2-0 victory.
Next the Grand Finals approached, with Fnatic beating Ninjas in Pyjamas in Loser’s Finals to play in a rematch versus Team SoloMid. In my opinion at the time, I believed Team SoloMid Might take a map in this best of 5, but not win it due to there previous results and chokes. And I was completely mistaken.
Team SoloMid Took the automatic first map because of coming from the upper bracket, and then won a beautiful Mirage Game where they came back from an 0-7 start on the Counter Terrorist Side. Although Team SoloMid had a sketchy couple of last rounds they ended the map 16-11.
The next map was Dust, which Team SoloMid lost to Fnatic in a semi-close 11-16 score. Although the round score was not that distant I believed this was as far as TSM would go. In my mind Overpass would go to Fnatic fairly easily and TSM would settle for another second place.
But then the map was played. Overpass was Fnatics map choice and they were beaten in a 16-11 victory by Team SoloMid. Team SoloMid came out with a 9-6 advantage on their T side with some fairly impressive plays, but the game was definitely not over. After Team SoloMid won their Counter-Terrorist side pistol round I actually began to have a glimmer of hope for them to not choke as per usual. Team SoloMid Strung 6 rounds together without losing to go from 9-6 all the way to 15-6….and then Fnatic won the next round. I thought it was over for TSM, they would choke again and the game would be brought to over time. Finally Team SoloMid won the map with a 16-11 score, playing their last round on an excellent low economy buy. That excellent eco won them the tournament, brought home $40,000 and finally ended their choking spree to win a LAN against top tier teams.
Like almost all Counter Strike analysts, I would not place them in the top three teams in the world, but I would place them as the fourth best. Thorin, an CS:GO and League of Legends journalist moved them up from 5th place to 4th place in his world rankings, and he talked about how TSM’s run in Romania was one of the most impressive of the year.
Now we have to wait and see if Team SoloMid can continue their great play from PGL CCS or if they will crumble and choke like other tournaments.