Vitality are facing criticism for their performance against FURIA in the ESEA Global Challenge semifinals today.
The French team was easily eliminated 2-0 by the Brazilians after not taking the match seriously. Even in the group stage, both of Vitality’s captains, Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt and Alex McMeekin, gave interviews saying that they’d have fun at the ESEA Global Challenge and just reset for the upcoming major tournament, IEM Chicago, which starts on July 18.
The ESEA Global Challenge features the best MDL teams from this season, so the only real adversary that Vitality faced was FURIA, who’s playing with coach Nicholas “guerri” Nogueira in place of Rinaldo “ableJ” Moda, who had visa issues. The tournament has a $75,000 prize pool and the winners earn $25,000, a small amount compared to some major tournaments.
Anyone who watched the Vitality vs. FURIA matchup noticed that the French side weren’t giving it their best effort. One of the obvious examples is that Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, a player with lesser AWP kills, was using the sniper rifle over one of the world’s best AWPers, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. ZywOo was also picking the PP-Bizon, a submachine gun that almost doesn’t inflict damage against armored opponents, in some rounds.
This doesn’t translate to match-fixing or throwing, however, as part of the CS:GO community is suggesting on Reddit or social media. Vitality played the ESEA Global Challenge like this from the beginning, trying to have fun without using all of their best strategies. It worked well against worse opponents, such as Party Astronauts and Team Spirit.
It’s unknown if ESEA or even Valve will punish Vitality in some way since it may be considered unsportsmanlike. Vitality are the second-best team in the world at the moment and will return next week at IEM Chicago, a $250,000 tournament where they’ll play against teams like Team Liquid, ENCE, G2, and MIBR.