Mousesports win Starladder I-league Season 4
The Starladder I League Season 4 was the first big International CS GO Lan event post the Eleague Boston Major. The tournament was attended by sixteen teams including the best teams in the world.
Starladder I League used an experimental tournament format. After viewing the criticism for the Boston Major format, Starladder used this opportunity to check for the best format. They used the BO3 Swiss format which saw Best of Three Group stage matches throughout.
Fall of the favorites
The favorites coming into the tournament were SK Gaming & Faze Clan. The two CS GO powerhouses had been alternating through most of the trophies towards the end of 2017. But SK Gaming fell flat at the Major, with Felps on their roster instead of Boltz. Faze Clan were unable to overcome their opponents, Cloud9 in the finals of the Major.
Faze & SK Gaming were able to qualify till the playoffs at Starladder. However SK Gaming lost 1-2 to Liquid in the quarterfinals. TACO had a very poor performance at the quarterfinals with a KDA of -20, which definitely pulled down SK’s overall performance. They lost the Best of three series including a very close double Overtime loss on Inferno.
Faze went on through to the semifinals, but lost to Na’Vi in the semifinals. The Faze roster looked undone by the duo of Flamie and Simple who were in fabulous form. In what was a definitely surprising turnaround in Na’Vi’s fortunes, Under the guidance of Zeus, Na’Vi have been able to make a comeback and are definitely a strong contender right now.
Mousesports have been knocking at the doors of trophies for quite some time. In their last two LAN events, Mousesports have been undone by Faze Clan. They lost in the finals of ECS Season 4 and were knocked out of the Major Quarterfinals by Faze Clan.
The Mousesports roster has grown from strength to strength with every week. While they were very strong with Oskar on the team, their recent additions have made the team a potential top tier roster. Ropz was picked up by Mousesports from FPL due to his consistent and high level performances
Mousesports have developed on their map pool consistently over the past few months. Coupled with their raw firepower, the Mousesports roster has looked extremely strong. The consistency of Oskar coupled with the high skill ceiling of the other members on the team propel Mousesports to the top level of CS GO.
Natus Vincere, on the other hand, were the real surprise this tournament. The CIS team had an easy start to the tournament with easy victories over Gambit and Hellraisers. The team then faced off against Faze and SK Gaming, both of which were losses for the team. These results were along expected lines. However, they did have a decent standing in these matches. They actually secured more rounds than what was expected of them.
After two successive losses, Na’Vi would face Heroic, in a relatively easy match. Coming into the playoffs, Na’Vi were able to defeat Astralis and Faze Clan, two teams ranked higher than them. The Na’Vi team has been able to perform around Simple and Flamie in a very synergized manner. Their performance has been helped with members of the team winning the individual battles constantly. The addition of Electronic to the team definitely has added the much needed firepower to the CIS team.
S1mple – The MVP
Simple has always been one of the best players in the Counter Strike scene. Despite having attitude problems in early stages of his career, he was picked up by Na’Vi. They have cultivated him into being a team player and always putting the team’s interests above his own.
However, recently he has looked back into his old self. The NaVi roster has been working around him. With Flamie on the AWP and Simple on the rifle, Natus Vincere has been looking really strong.
Simple won the MVP award at Starladder, his third MVP award in his career. He was the MVP at ESL One New York 2016 and Dreamhack Winter 2017. Traditionally the MVP award is given to the player with the highest rating in the tournament. More often than not, this is someone from the winning team. So when Simple was awarded the MVP award, despite NaVi losing in the finals it was a great moment.
It feels good, but for me, it’s better to win the tournament than the MVP medal. I’m not happy about it, I’m fine with getting it, but next time I’d like to win the tournament instead of the MVP.
Simple posted 90 frags over the course of three maps, which is simply an amazing number for any player. Despite his heroic performance, Na’Vi fell short of Mousesports in the finals. Simple’s performance can only be judged by the impact that the player has had over the course of the tournament. His clutch rounds and multiple kills have ensured that NaVi were able to punch above their weight.
Ropz – the upcoming talent
The tournament winners Mousesports have been emerging as a strong team in the Counter STrike scene. A lot of this development has been enabled by the addition of Ropz to their roster. Ropz is an Estonian 18 year old player who was picked up from FPL by Mousesports. He has impressed several professionals with his performance on LAN. Along with other names such as Styko, Oskar and ChrisJ, Ropz has been able to make a great impact on the team’s results.
The event had an experimental format with the BO3 Swiss system. While the advantages of the format are aplenty, it also has its downsides. The tournament was held for almost six days. The players will move onto IEM Katowice immediately post Starladder.
Such long tournaments, while extremely fun to watch need to be scheduled properly in order to minimise burnout. The next tournament, IEM Katowice 2018 will not see either of the finalists attending the event. IEM Katowice implements a double elimination format and will go live on February 27th at 12:00 CET.