There has been an increasing number of online viewers in Counter-Strike. Yet, apart from the two biggest leagues, Flashpoint and ESL PRO League, there are barely any ongoing cups. Feast your eyes on Cyber.Bet Cup. This is a $10,000 tournament that will run from April 6th to April 12th. The 8 team tournament features teams like SMASH, Heretics, Na’Vi Juniors and others in attendance. Get ready to witness some high-octane Counter-Strike, but before that, let’s take a look at the tournament structure and talk about the participating teams.
Cyber.Bet Cup Format
The group stage is split into two groups of four teams. This is a double-elimination format (GSL), meaning that teams can still reach playoffs, even after losing a game. All the matches in the starting will be bo3’s. The playoffs are single-elimination bo3’s with no second chances.
Cyber.Bet Cup Prizepool
This is a top-heavy tournament. The winner will receive the lion-share of the prizemoney $7,000. Whereas the loser gets $3,000. This is an incentive for the teams to reach those grand finals and win the virtual trophy.
The 3rd best French team. Not sure if that’s a title worth owning up, but you can still see this team crop up in the many online qualifiers or smaller cups. This year has been rather slow for them. Playing a total of 6 official bo3’s and winning 4 of them. Even though they had a good start in Flashpoint’s season 1 qualifiers, they lost two bo3’s to Skade and GamerLegion. Heretics did have a surprising run in the closed qualifier for the minor. Winning two incredible bo3’s against OG and Heroic. It is important to note, that the roster is coming into Cyber.bet Cup with a roster change. They now have Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom as their 5th. If the name didn’t give it away, this is Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom’s younger brother. This is his first chance at this level and it will be interesting to see if he has learned about his brother’s one taps.
It’s a team you might have heard about during the Starladder Major, but that was more than 6 months ago. Obviously, the team hasn’t been able to replicate the same amount of success since that period. They have undergone some roster changes for 2020 and now have the 2 new players in their ranks: Rasmus “kreaz” Johansson and Rustem “mou” Telepov. The latter is a neat acquisition. Mou has announced through social made that he is trying to make a comeback into professional counter-strike. It’s doubtful that with this team (or any for that matter) that he can achieve the same heights as in 2017. Time will tell, but it’s good to see a returning face.
SMASH entered 2020 with a new roster at the helm. A European project, consisting of various nationalities and different calibre names. There’s Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun, ex-member of Fnatic, but there’s also the Polish player Sebastian “NEEX” Trela who has played most of his career under Izakoo boars. The team has had many qualifiers including for Flashpoint and the minor. The latter is always a difficult field to judge a team on. It’s a gruelling test of stamina and endurance. So far, their biggest win was a victory over Complexity and losses include teams like Singularity, PRO100, Movistar Raiders and others. At least here they know their opponents in advance.
I’ve been keeping an eye on this Norwegian project. The most dissatisfying part of it is the inconsistency. There are moments when it looks like “this is it. Nordavind can breakthrough”. They climb the ladder just to roll snake-eyes to descent it yet again. This could be attributed to them playing a lot more online cs than the other teams. For example, they participated in the 33rd season of MDL with a very mixed bag of results. Eventually, they were just one bo3 away from securing a spot in the Global Challenge. Then again, they had to use Haris “H4RR3” Hadžić as a stand-in because Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel had a hand injury. It’s uncertain whether RUBINO will join the server or will they have to use a stand-in.
Arguably the weakest team in attendance. The Na’Vi organization established an academy team by the name of “Na’Vi Juniors”. Back in September, they trialed various talents of the CIS scene and eventually decided on the roster. However, the trial periods still haven’t ended. Players are being signed as substitutes and on trial positions. Meaning this roster is being built as we speak. In fact, on the 28th of March it was announced that Eugene “Aunkere” Karyat successfully completed his trial as team captain. Because of this, no wonder the team’s performances are all over the place. They can beat tougher teams like SMASH and Tricked but then lose to unknown mix teams.
A breath of fresh air – a proper team. Ever since the team’s establishment in late 2018 they’ve been sitting at about the top 30 – 50 consistently. It’s an achievement in its own right but even with the best Spanish players, they didn’t achieve any big wins. Now what they’ve done is to bring in Lucas “steel” Lopes as IGL. Supposedly a different IGL should revitalize this squad, but it’s the same 4 players since the roster’s inception. If anything, the trend seems to continue for this team. They are the average team in tournaments like this, capable of beating lesser squads but struggling to beat better opponents.
Hard Legion has been incredibly underwhelming. There’s really no point to look into their Major run anymore because it happened so long ago. Not to mention the drop-off has been going for some time now. It’s more a free-fall at this point. They have kept the 4 core players and added Dmytro “rAge” Bolotov as their 5th. As for results, they are simply not good enough. The last time they played against European opposition happened all the way in January. Recently they’ve been playing the CIS teams and the results are bleak. Gambit youngsters, Nemiga, Syman and even Hellraisers, all of this team successfully defeated Hard Legion in various bo3’s. The one good thing about this team is Igor “Forester” Bezotecheskii and his rifling capabilities. Wracking up the most impact for his team.
Looks like Mikhail “Dosia” Stoliarov assembled a crew for one more big heist. He was supposed to play in the Chinese team OneThree but due to the coronavirus situation, he has returned home. Apart from Dosia, there’s
Pavel “hutji” Lashkov from Vega Squadron in this team. And that’s about it. The other players have consistently played in various CIS mix teams but haven’t been part of any prominent or long-term projects. From the get-go, it seems like this team is destined to fail. In their first outing together they played in the qualifiers for LOOT.Bet Season 6. Here they lost to Bluejays 2-0, had a close 2-1 loss against Singularity and didn’t qualify for the main event. The expectations for this squad are rather low, especially since they are a recent roster and a last-minute replacement.