After more than seven intensive days of Counter-Strike, we finally have our winners. Heretics have battled through thick and thin. They managed to beat most of their opponents without dropping a single map. Even in the Grand Final, as they faced the Spaniards of Movistar Riders, the Frenchmen defeated them without breaking a sweat. Because of this victory, they achieve the title and are now 7,000$ richer. It has been an incredible week of CS:GO, and now is a good time to asses some of the teams, and what to expect from them in the near future.
Team Heretics – 1st Place
2-0 vs Nordavind (Group B, Day 1)
2-0 vs Syman (Group B, Day 2)
2-0 vs NAVI Junior (Semifinal)
2-0 vs Movistar Riders (Final)
We must begin with the winners. Before the event even began, Heretics sat at #49 in the world. There had been many unsuccessful runs in past cups and leagues. To counter this, Heretics would pick up French talent that has already had experience playing at the top level. Just recently they’ve started to experiment on fresh, unproven talent. They used Jérémy “jeyN” Nguyen for a brief stint, and with him in the roster, they managed to qualify for the European Minor beating Heroic and OG in the process. With him out of the team, Heretics went for new talent in the form of Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom. What a worthy pick-up he has been. In his first proper tournament with the team, he finished as the highest-rated player of the event. The Most Valuable Player (MVP). Not to mention that their map pool is looking much better than the previous version of Heretics. They are now specialists in Dust 2 and Vertigo. One of their worst maps in the past, Mirage has improved drastically. And of course, Overpass and Nuke remain their best maps to punish weaker opposition.
With this victory in our tournament, Team Heretics are still no world beaters. But after their performance here the team is now on an upwards trajectory. If they can maintain this roster and a steady string of results, they are bound to break through the top 30 this year.
Movistar Riders – 2nd Place
2-0 vs NAVI Junior (Group A, Day 1)
2-1 vs Hard Legion (Group A, Day 2)
2-0 vs Syman (Semifinal)
0-2 vs Heretic (Final)
Movistar Riders have finished 2nd, but they should keep their heads up high with the recent progress they achieved. The addition of Lucas “steel” Lopes has been valuable. Not just as an IGL, but on an individual basis as well. There have been many moments in which his key positioning in certain areas, won Movistar some massive rounds. As much as his impact is worth mentioning, we shouldn’t forget the raging Spanish bull Alejandro “ALEX” Masanet Candela. He remains the best performer for Movistar and one of the best in the tournament for a few reasons. He was a top 3 player in terms of damage dealt at 87.5 per round, 0.81 kills per round and 61,8% success in opening duals. Not to mention he ended the tournament with the most amount of kills at 180.
As much as this team looked good dealing with their opponents, this 5-man roster will continue to maintain its current level. Unlike their French counterparts, the Spaniards have been part of this project for over a year now. Since their inception, they’ve just lingered around this top 30 and top 40 levels of Counter-Strike. It’s good to see consistency, but it’s doubtful whether this roster can achieve any significant heights.
Syman Gaming – 3rd/4th
2-0 vs Smash (Group B, Day 1)
0-2 vs Heretics (Group B, Day 2)
2-0 vs Nordavind (Group B, Decider)
0-2 vs Movistar Riders (Semifinal)
Before the event even began, Syman was the best-ranked team. Some of that ranking has been inflated due to a successful run in a Chinese event NEST Pro where they won against Tyloo in the final. That’s not to say this team was entirely poor. Just like Heretics, they were striving to get to the final and were definitely in the process of achieving that goal. Initially, they managed to defeat SMASH and had an incredibly close game against Heretics on map 2 of the bo3. Thanks to their strength they manage to scrape through with a win over Nordavind. But as it came to facing Movistar Riders the same day, Syman must’ve run out of steam.
This team has made a recent addition by adding Rustem “mou” Telepov to the starting line-up. Not to mention they have had a lengthy period of inactivity. With that said, their map pool leaves much to be desired. Even though they are looking strong on Inferno with a 100% win-rate, there are still looking poor on Vertigo and Nuke. When it comes down to the other four maps, they can be regarded as average level maps. This means that if they have to play proficient teams on them, they are very likely to lose them in the future.
NAVI Junior – 3rd/4th
0-2 vs Movistar Riders (Group A, Day 1)
2-0 vs Mustang Crew (Group A, Day 2)
2-1 vs Hard Legion (Group A, Decider)
0-2 vs Heretics (Semifinal)
Of all the participating teams, NAVI Junior managed to go against all the odds to achieve their playoff finish. Losing to Movistar Riders was an expected outcome considering the inexperience of NAVI Junior and vulnerabilities that come with it. But if NAVI Junior has taught us anything, it’s that whenever there is a CIS vs CIS match-up, it is hard to predict the outcome. When they played against Mustang Crew, NAVI were the bookie favourite. But even on the first map, they were on the brink of a loss, but thanks to an incredible clutch they managed to scrape through. When they played Hard Legion in the bo3 it wasn’t their tactics that would win them rounds. It would be the individuals having a remarkable moment of individual brilliance. String those together, and you can win against teams like Hard Legion and even have a close game against the eventual victors, Team Heretics.
Nordavind – 5th/6th
0-2 vs Heretics (Group B, Day 1)
2-0 vs Smash (Group B, Day 2)
0-2 vs Syman (Group B, Decider)
If there was the most unlucky run in the tournament, it would have to go to Nordavind. For starters, they ended in the more challenging group of the two. In their opening group stage game, they had to face Heretics. An opponent they almost beat last time in their previous outing. Here, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Nordavind got demolition on the first map and thanks to Heretics having a difficult time to close out games, managed to have a competitive run on Inferno. Beating SMASH wasn’t a problem, and the game against Syman was also an incredibly close endeavour. It’s still important to note that this roster is not on its full strength, as they had to play the games with a stand-in.
Hard Legion – 5th/6th
2-0 vs Mustang Crew (Group A, Day 1)
1-2 vs Movistar Riders (Group A, Day 2)
1-2 vs NAVI Junior (Group A, Decider)
The Russian squad had problems before coming into this tournament. Recently they’ve been playing through various CIS events, and they would win against the lower teams but struggle against the lower opposition. What happened at Cyber.Bet Cup can only be described as a series of unfortunate events. They were able to beat Mustang Crew, but couldn’t get the win over Movistar. Their next challenge was to beat NAVI Junior. That was their ticket straight to the playoffs but they failed on numerous occasions. They would have multiple advantageous opening duals or post-plant situations and couldn’t capitalize on them. You just can’t not mention that this is the team b1t managed to ace clutch with just a Deagle. A dissatisfying end, but not as bad as the other team on the list.
SMASH – 7th/8th
0-2 vs Syman (Group B, Day 1)
0-2 vs Nordavind (Group B, Day 2)
It’s never a good showing for a team when they finish dead-last in the tournament. It doesn’t make it any better that after their exit, they also announced a player’s departure. Although, it’s worth mentioning that in their two bo3’s, SMASH had to play the first game with Aleksandar “jayzaR” Žarković and the second bo3 with Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi. When a roster is evaporating in front of our eyes, it’s hard to show us a good game. But like the Hard Legion squad, this team is also on a free-fall to disaster. We wonder what talent they could go for next, and if it could bring newly found success with it.
Mustang Crew – 7th/8th
0-2 vs Hard Legion (Group A, Day 1)
0-2 vs NAVI Junior (Group A, Day 2)
Chances are this is the last we’ve seen of the Mustang Crew for a while. This roster is nowhere near the level needed to compete in this level of Counter-Strike. The fact they’ve lost to Hard Legion and NAVI Junior is no surprise. Mustang Crew needs to rethink their whole strategy moving forwards, as they left much to be desired with their showing.
That marks the end of the first edition of Cyber.Bet Cup! Congratulations to the Heretics and thank you everyone who tuned in to the broadcasts. We hope you enjoyed this thrilling week of Counter-Strike and had a great time supporting your favourite team!