sAw Misses Out On CS:GO Major By A Single Pixel
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is, ultimately, a game of geometry and wits, where the smallest of margins of human error and heightened emotions take this rather robotic game into a thrilling eternal title that provides action on every appearance. A decade after its release CS:GO is still breaking hearts, and leading up to the PGL Antwerp Major, geometry has prevented one team from their Cinderella story.
Leading into the $1 Million Championships in May, 22 places were on the line from around the world, and the first group of European qualifiers pitched sAw (ranked 31st in the world) against The Outsiders (formally Virtus.pro) in a winner-takes-all decider, that was settled by a mere pixel.
A Single Pixel Denies sAw A Ticket To PGL Antwerp
Consecutive wins versus Fnatic and Unique either side of losses against BIG and forZe left sAw needing to overcome Outsiders for an outside ticket to Antwerp, with the ex-Virtus.pro roster putting aside their off-field political positions aside to remain as the world's number nine ranked team.
However, bigger upsets have happened in CS:GO before, and having drawn each other in the best-of-three decider, Outsiders took the first map on Dust II before sAw replied with a rallying cry on Ancient.
With the final map poised at 15-14 in favour of sAw, the Portuguese underdogs had one foot on the terminal and would be working their way through Duty-Free if they could clinch one more round.
Left in a two-versus-one situation and only an AWP in hand, Renato "stadodo" Gonçalves managed to trade one life to equal the player count, where both remaining operators were holding snipers. With the bomb planted and time quickly running out, Outsiders' Dzhami "Jame" Ali rushed his opponent with a Hail Mary attempt.
Stadado, with the upset in the palm of his hand, blast his shot into Jame's leg, causing 86 damage to Jame, who then killed his foe and defused the bomb with less than half a second to spare. It was later revealed that stadado's leg shot only needed to be a pixel, just one pixel, higher to be a body shot, in which he would have killed Jame to win the tie and fly to Antwerp.
Outsiders went on to use sAw's heartbreak to take four of the next five rounds to become victorious and qualify for the Major.
Following the loss, sAw captain Christopher "MUTiRiS" Fernandes was left in tears during an on-broadcast interview, showing how heartbreaking the loss, considering the circumstance, was to take.
For Outsiders, they will now join the PGL Antwerp line-up in the Contenders stage, meaning they will have to cause some upsets of their own to pull off a Major run.