SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals Takeaways

With the end of the StarSeries Season 2 Finals, disappointing results and impressive runs have taught us a lot about the state of professional CS:GO going into the second half of 2016.

When Shox Isn’t Playing Well, G2 Isn’t Winning

Richard “Shox” Papillon had one of his best large LAN events events in about four months, featuring a 1.25 HLTV rating and an ADR of 85.3 at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals. However, in the final versus Ninjas in Pyjamas, Shox wasn’t on the top of the leaderboards, even for his team.

With a 0.88 rating, Adil “Scream” Benrlitom had a higher rating, of 1.16, than Shox. Furthermore, in every game at this event that Shox won, he had a positive rating, and was, at the lowest, third best on G2 in these victories. If G2 wants to continue ending tournament runs with impressive results like at this LAN, G2 can’t afford to have Shox underperform, or else they’ll continue losing to teams like NiP.

Cloud9’s LAN Results Continue to be impressive, yet not Quite as Good as their North American Online Results.

With the acquisition of Timothy “Autimatic” Ta on Aug. 17, Cloud9 started off ESL’s Pro League, or more commonly known as EPL, with a stunning 14-0 record, beating teams like Team Liquid, Immortals, Renegades and OpTic Gaming. However, after two LANS with this current iteration, it is obvious that Cloud9’s online success is not comparable to that of their LAN results.

Despite getting second versus Immortals at Northern Arena, which, in my opinion, was a disappointment considering their performance in online matches leading up to the tournament, at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals, Cloud9 placed top-four, against a much higher level of competition compared to that of Northern Arena. This result was, from my point of view, a phenomenal run, considering C9’s tendency to perform much lower than expected at LAN events.

In wins at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham were the two players that C9’s success hinged on. In their semifinal loss against NiP, both Stewie2K and Skadoodle ended the 0-2 defeat with .71 and .69 ratings on HLTV.org, respectively. Similarly to Shox, when C9 won at this event, Stewie2k ended with a 1+ rating and Skadoodle did as well, except in their 2-1 victory over FlipSid3, when Skadoodle ended the first two maps of the series with a 1- rating. While it is great to see this version of C9 transfer their online play to LAN against better teams, Stewie and Skadoodle need to continue to play well if they want to play like they did in their success at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals.

China as a Region Continues to Develop and Beat Some of the Best Teams in the World.

Tyloo and VG.CyberZen ended their SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals runs in the semifinals, losing to Astralis and Team EnVyUs, respectively. However, both teams pulled off upsets over top international teams. With Tyloo beating Na’Vi and VG.CyberZen beating Virtus.Pro, China continues to produce teams that, through a mix of different playstyles and difficulty scouting, have been able to take maps off of some of the highest ranked teams in the world.

However, the coach of Tyloo, QiFang “Karsa” Su, said in an interview with HLTV.org that “…the fact that we got an upset, just like we did in other tournaments, doesn’t mean we achieved a lot or we are too strong.” Karsa means that defining Chinese teams’ wins as upsets doesn’t mean much to them. Quotes like these shows the outstanding mindset teams from upcoming regions have and how hungry they are for consistent opportunities and victories in major tournaments like this one.


With the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals coming to a close, we have learned a lot about the state of professional CS:GO at the moment. Highly ranked teams, such as Virtus.Pro and Godsent, left early, while G2 and NiP went far in the tournament, ending up in the finals. C9 was able to take a suprub EPL record and transform it into refreshing LAN results, as well as the region of China continuing to show that they are growing. All of this gives fans of competive CS:GO a lot to look forward to as 2016 begins to come to a close.

What were your key takeaways from the SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom