On the 21st of August 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released to the public. In its early existence, CS:GO was a big topic of contention. It wasn’t a polished product and there wasn’t any fanfare with the game’s release. Not to mention the fact, that it put the community in an odd conundrum. Should they switch to this latest, yet unpolished CS game, or shall they stick to 1.6 and Source? As time went on, the community, organizations and tournament organizers began making the shift to CS:GO.
One of the first premier level tournaments of CS:GO was ESWC 2012, the Electronic Sports World Cup. At the time, it offered a good prize purse of 22,000$. Even though there were other tournaments, this had an international flavor to it. ESWC hosted qualifiers for Brazil, the US, and 6 other European nations. This made the competition more intriguing as we could witness a broader spectrum of teams competing.
To Molotov or not to Molotov
Pre-ESWC 2012 the consensus amongst the teams was that no one could use molotovs in competitive play. CS:GO’s 2012 molotovs and incendiary grenades were very different from those we know today. When deployed, they’d take a much larger space of land, couldn’t be extinguished with smoke and slowed down anyone walking over one.
It was quite surprising to see that the French tournament organizer decided to allow the incendiary grenades in competitive play. As a backlash, the Danish players MSL and gla1ve rounded up pro players like Natu, steel, Dazed, and Fiflaren to speak out against molotovs.
The initiative was a nice idea, however, the changes weren’t implied in the upcoming ESWC 2012. However, after the event, notable changes did take place and just a couple days after the event, the molotovs, as we know them today, were introduced.
North-America with the solid start at ESWC 2019
Area51 was a North-American team with players like Hiko, Dazed and Seangares in the mix. Because they won the NA qualifiers they earned a spot in the event and received a paid trip to France.
In the opening game, Area51 played the Brazilians of ProGaming.TD. The outcome of that match was surprising, to say the least. Area51 completely decimated the Brazilian roster with cogu, steel and alike with a 16-0 scoreline. Moving forward, the North-Americans would tie against Mousesports, beat LowLandLions and lose to the undefeated on Lan NiP roster, 16-10. Because they came second in the group, they faced VeryGames in the semi’s and lost in a 2-1 fashion. Area51 did win the 3rd place decider and received a spot in the podium.
This tournament was the debut for North-American CS:GO in the international scene. All things considering, this was a good performance from of the squad. They only lost to the eventual grand-finalists and proved that NA must be reckoned with in the nearby future.
There was NiP and there was everyone else
At the time of ESWC 2012, Ninjas in Pyjamas were the best team in CS:GO. They’ve made an early shift from pervious iterations to Global Offensive and had a lot more hours, compared to everyone else. And unlike some other teams, their roster consisted of 1.6 and Source players, bringing firepower and experience into the mix. This was also the time, where the 87-0 lan streak was just ramping up. By this time in November, the team only lost 1 map and that was in an online qualifier called “Thor open”.
At ESWC 2012 the team had another great showing. It was a breeze in the group stage and the only teams which came close to contest NiP were the Brazilians and the North-Americans. In the grand finals, where the titans of NiP and VeryGames met, everyone was hoping for a thrilling game. But even that one somewhat one-sided. The Swedes secured a 2-0 victory and crowned themselves victors.
VeryGames take two
VeryGames, like many other teams, have made the transition from Source to CS:GO. However, unlike other Source teams, they’ve retained their strong roster and were a formidable team. But this was an era in which the VeryGames rosters’ achievements would be overshadowed by NiP. It is true, that the Frenchmen made the shift later to CS:GO when compared to their Swedish rivals. But as ESWC 2012 came ever so closer, many were hoping to see these two face-off in the grand finals.
VeryGames didn’t have a difficult time cruising through the groups. Their worst result was against a team of Danes called Anexis and even that was 15-15. When it came to the semi’s many were hoping a VG victory and for good reason. But the North-Americans really came into play and even won Dust2 19-16. But the grand final was a whole different story. NiP destroyed the Frenchmen 16-3 on Dust2. Even though the third map was somewhat close, it was still a NiP victory 16-14.
That does it for the preview for ESWC 2012. It’s the event which helped brew the rivalry between VeryGames and NiP. It also showed us that from time to time, Valve listens to the feedback and can make some valuable changes to the game. Even though ESWC no longer holds any pedigree for CS:GO, it played its role at the early days of the game’s existence.