New teams paving the way to success.
The Intel Extreme Masters event in Beijing included a lot of surprises from smaller teams in North America. Some of the bigger names in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) faced exponential challenges against Chaos Esports Club and Triumph. Playoff matches brought in a wide variety of viewers who came to see a new generation of competitive CS:GO. Ever since Joshua “steel” Nissan left the team, Chaos EC was hit with the task of rebuilding their brand and confidence as an org. Triumph, on the other hand, had recently finished in seventh at IEM New York and were looking to make a comeback. Both up and coming teams dominated the event and took IEM Beijing into the palm of their hands. Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses now have a lot to think about before their next A-Tier events.
Chaos EC managed to win back to back ESEA events but continued to struggle at DreamHack, IEM, and Flashpoint Season 1. All top-notch tournaments designed for the best teams around the globe. They won multiple Mythic invites before entering the group stage at IEM New York on October 6. Even though Chaos EC had a rough time and finished nearly dead last, they had a stroke of luck against 100 Thieves after beating them in both sets. Before IEM New York, Chaos EC placed fifth in the ESL Pro League and earned a total of twenty thousand dollars in the process. All of this led to their stellar performance at IEM Beijing where they beat Triumph in the grand finals.
A 2-1 finish in the group stage allowed Chaos EC to join the playoffs against Evil Geniuses. They beat the New England Whalers in the opening match with a perfect 2-0 finish. The most important takeaway from map one was the confidence between Erick “Xeppaa” Bach and Nathan “leaf” Orf. Both players picked up round winning kills including a 2v3 clutch from Xeppaa. The newest arrival known as Edgar “MarKE” Maldonado put up great numbers and was a consistent player based on KD and ADR. The ex-eUnited player has been a great addition to Chaos EC, and it’s starting to show at bigger events. Anthony “vanity” Malaspina tightened the finances of the NE Whalers by winning a 1v2 clutch while defending the bomb, a great play from the IGL.
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Next up was Team Liquid in the winner's match which led to a spot in the playoffs. Both matches were extremely upsetting for Chaos EC after losing by fourteen rounds on dust2. Clutch god vanity struggled the most on nuke where he went 4-19 at the end of the match. Jonathan “Jonji” Carey and MarKE didn’t do any better on dust2 where they went 1-16 and 11-16. Not exactly the results they expected after tossing around the NE Whalers in their previous set. After a loss like that, their only option was to shake it off and move onto the decider match against Rugratz.
Xeppaa led his team to win in overtime after top fragging with thirty-five kills, making him the MVP. Chaos EC lost their first map but made up for it in the final match. Rugratz still managed to put up a good fight; it just wasn’t their time to play against EG in the playoffs with a shot at the title. The semifinals against EG included a total of two ACEs for Chaos EC in map two and three. MarKE was able to break the 11-11 tie after winning a 1v2 clutch in a post-plant situation; the trick was baiting. His teammate vanity hid in the same spot as MarKE but was the only player to give away their position, allowing MarKE to peak out at the last second and kill the remaining opponents with a basic spray transfer.
Triumph also had an eventful journey before entering the playoffs at IEM Beijing. They won a majority of their events including a first-place finish in the ESEA Season 33 Premier Division finals. Just like Chaos EC, they won two matches in the group stage beating Team oNe in the decider match. Not only did they beat them in the final group set, but they also dominated Team oNe in their opening match. Even though Erik “penny” Penny was considered the MVP, Paytyn “junior” Johnson made a lot of round winning plays. He got a 1v4 clutch in the first map with an AWP and did it in style against Team oNe. In the second map, he added a second clutch to his highlight reel, but this time it was with an AK-47. Despite losing to EG in the winner’s match, Triumph earned a spot in the playoffs after beating Team oNe in the decider stage.
Team Liquid was the last team standing in the way of Triumph’s slot in the grand finals. The set went into a heart-racing overtime which ended in a 16-14 win for Triumph. The team’s AWPer junior continued to produce major frags including a 1v2 clutch. The final map on nuke was super close, but Triumph came out on top by two rounds. Team Liquid's downfall was their inability to push as a group, allowing junior to pick them off one by one. Even though Triumph lost to Chaos EC in the finals, they still went up eleven spots in their world ranking. Both teams brought light to North American CS:GO by proving smaller orgs can take over the scene in an instant.
Images via Chaos Esports Club | Triumph