This weekend saw the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) season one finals live on TBS. After fighting their way through numerous eSport‘s teams it was down to Team Fnatic and Virtus.pro in a best of three for $400,000. This was an interesting match due to the wildly different play styles of both teams, and it made for some truly interesting moments.
Fnatic is known for a chaotic, almost “figure it out as we go” strategy while the members of team Virtus.pro are far more calculated and prefer the slower more methodical game. This was not only a clash of pure skill but one of how the very game itself should be played. The game mode was of course Bomb Scenario, with each match being a best of 30 before both teams rotated sides of the map.
Match 1 – Map: Cobblestone
Fnatic came out of the gates strong during the pistol and early rounds, shutting down almost every advance that team Vitrus.pro was making. Utilizing their chaotic playstyle, Fnatic focused on splitting up and disrupting the enemy team’s defense with team member flusha leading the charge. By round 10 Fnatic was up 7 to 2 against Vitrus.pro, despite having the smaller economy to purchase in-game weapons and gear.
Round 11 was particularly embarrassing for Vitrus.pro as two of their players, Snax and TaZ, were instantly gunned down within the first 30 seconds of the match. This was followed by flusha taking on both Neo and byali near the B bombsite with a jumping UMP shot that should have, in theory, gotten flusha killed. However, this loss seemed to wake the sleeping giant that is Vitrus.pro, as they proceeded to win every round following this loss.
Much of this was thanks to Snax’s great use of the AWP sniper rifle and the coordinated teamwork that helped them slow the matches down. Once Fnatic’s tactics of divide and conquer were removed, they were quickly dismantled in every match. This highlighted the strength of Vitrus.pro, as they didn’t let the massive gap in score between them and Fnatic get to them mentally. Vitrus.pro remained calm and proceeded to close the gap in both score and economy by the end of the first half, leaving the score at 9 to 6 in favor of Fnatic.
At the beginning of the second half and with the teams switching sides, Vitrus.pro didn’t let history repeat itself and won many of the early rounds. While on defense Fnatic didn’t seem to be as coordinated since Vitrus.pro could dictate the pace of the various battles. By round 19, Fnatic had yet to win a single match since round 11, allowing Vitrus.pro to close the gap and even out the scores between them.
The rest of the rounds went like this as Fnatic just couldn’t finish off Vitrus.pro, with many of their players losing various 1v1 skirmishes. By round 26 it was clear that this game was going to go to Vitrus.pro, which was a huge moral killer for team Fnatic, especially since they are the ones who picked the Cobblestone map. Match 1 ends with a score of 10 -15 and a victory for Vitrus.pro.
Match 2 – Map: Mirage
The next game started out with Vitrus.pro on the attack and Fnatic on the defense, which seemed to largely go the same way as the first match on Cobblestone. Once more Fnatic used their chaotic style to disrupt and throw Vitrus.pro off their game, taking some early rounds away from the Russian team. However, it’s clear that Vitrus.pro did learn from some of their mistakes as Fnatic was not able to run away with the early rounds as easily. Yet, thanks to Fnatic player dennis he was able to wipe out 5 members of Vitrus.pro by himself in round 3, showing that this team was not going down without a fight.
Round 7 was an interesting match as Vistrus.pro seemed to get into the heads of Fnatic, by pulling a bait and switch for where they would plant the bomb. While the majority of Vitrus.pro were battling it out at the A bomb site, they had actually snuck one of their team members to the B bomb site, where they planted it. This not only was a great way to throw Fnatic off their game but ensured a victory due to many of their players still fighting it out at the A bomb site. This was the turning point for the match as Vitrus.pro just ran away with the rest of the rounds until the sides switched.
Now with Vitrus.pro on defense and Fnatic on the attack, the playing field seemed to even out a bit more in favor of Fnatic. With the help of players like flusha and Krimz, Fnatic was able to nearly tie the score at 8 -10 against Vitrus.pro. Going into round 19 Fnatic was going strong until Vitrus.pro started to play slightly more aggressive and once more began to dismantle the tactics of their opponents. From here on out Vitrus.pro completely dominated the game, offering Fnatic little room to breath as every match seemed to go in Vitrus.pro’s favor.
This carried on to the final round where Fnatic player JW had actually managed to plant the bomb but was quickly surrounded by the remaining players of Vitrus.pro and eliminated. With the bomb defused, Vitrus.pro became the winners of ELeague’s Season 1 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition.
Even though both teams had wildly different styles for how to play CS:GO, it was Fnatic’s failure to adapt that seemed to have cost them the game. There is no doubt that both teams have equally skilled players, but Vitrus.pro’s ability to constantly change their tactics made them more unpredictable. It was easy to see this on Mirage after Fnatic successfully planted the explosive at the B bomb site several times in a row, but instead of changing it up they repeated the same strategy. This, of course, didn’t work and they were picked apart by Vitrus.pro’s defense.
However, the mental game also played a large factor as Vitrus.pro seemed to get in the heads of Fnatic during the middle of every match. Fnatic was clearly flustered at times by the tactics of Vitrus.pro and it showed as they seemed to almost lose every single mid to late game match against them. The real turning point was when Vitrus.pro completely duped Fnatic into thinking they were going to plant the bomb at the A site, only to have it set at the B. It seemed from that match on Fnatic just couldn’t win against Vitrus.pro, despite how much they tried.
This was a fantastic set of matches regardless, as both teams did a great job showcasing their respective styles and approaches to CS:GO. Hopefully, Fnatic will have better luck next time and congratulations to team Vitrus.pro on their victory.