2. Yegor ‘markeloff’ Markelov (Ukraine)
markeloff is the best player in the history of the great game of competitive Counter-Strike. I used to think that no one will ever touch POTTI in this regard, since Sweden won seemingly every time by just being unbeatable in 1VX situations and always kills the distribution of key at the right moment in a round. Even big game POTTI sales record compared to markeloff though. In 2010 he apparently brought an elite tier performance in each semi-final and final single large. AWPing his thanks to the team around him, he made it more deadly and efficient player in the world.
Playing against markeloff train meant a guaranteed range shooting for Ukraine as CT, which is essential dynamic that put his team in the category of close to unbeatable in the map. On dust2 he’ll pick you apart in the T side and then switch over to the deadlock as CT sites. This is almost half the pool map he got on you already, and they map the teams want to play against his team, since they are their strongest. Na`Vi 2010 was the best year ever CS, for my money, and markeloff was the star of stars in their team.
Only two of the factors holding it back markeloff had had some big wins last year and a half of his career to 1.6 and then the issue of longevity. Na`Vi won enough majors in their first one and a half years of his resume is already one of the best of all time, but his team after winning just stopped. It is no coincidence the best players of all time continued to win and win throughout their career.
Finally, the biggest knock markeloff is simply life. Give him three more years of high-level CS 1.6 competition, with a scene ready, and I think that he either would have been neck and neck with or surpassed players like f0rest and Neo, this is how great he it was at the height of his two and a bit years.
About 5 years ago i wrote a 1.6 team achievement article
Recently found it when googling for old photos – Thought it might be a good read for some of the oldschoolers
Be good if we had a source + CSGO article made
History of CS1.6
Having been involved with the Counter-Strike scene for a while, I’ve known, played with, and watched just about everyone who has been anyone. Of course not everyone has been around as long, and a lot of the names have either retired or faded from the public consciousness. So in light of that, I’d like to take you down the memory lane of Australian Counter-Strike from 2002 to 2009 where in my opinion were the strong periods in Counter-Strike.
This article is slightly outdated as not being published before but still a great read for those interested in the Australian 1.6 community.
Winners of CPL Pacific (kalgo, grim_chicken, BiggD [aka. Dimitri], outbreak, RasE)
Tournaments didn’t exist in the format we have them today, and national events were even more uncommon. Most of them were based around BYOC LAN parties, like MPU or QGL. Prizes were minimal at best; many offered bragging rights for the winners. But there was fierce competition. SGL, for example, had two divisions of 16 teams battling for nothing but pride. And Pantheon fought the hardest of them all.
Pantheon was the first truly dominant team, unstoppable in state competitions and a tour de force online. But like all Counter-Strike teams, kalgo and co. had a powerful opposing force in Victorian goliath 12m. In the end, Pantheon travelled interstate to take the CPL Pacific event, the first major tournament down under, as well as establishing the Pantheon website which became the central hub for the Counter-Strike community and electronic sports in Australia.
Winners of WCG.AU 2002 (kalgo, VenoM, Corefighter, seanske, 7.62)
Dominant online but a little weak on LAN, iCHOR squeaked into the WCG.au 2002 finals through a last chance qualifier. It ended up being a blessing for the Sydney team who went on to defeat function zer0 13-7 in the finals “on the boat”.
But the victory was soured by the loss of Corefighter who was unable to play in the finals. His replacement, Haz, coped admirably, and a favourable draw with only one internationally known team bode well for the rest of the tournament. That luck was reciprocated in good results: Australia dominated the South African (a team featuring Deathsbane, who would later join Australia’s elite in function zer0) and Bulgarian representatives before securing qualification to the top 16 via a draw with Mousesports.
But the well of luck ran dry past the group stages. iCHOR put in a sub-par performance against Belgium and dropped to the lower bracket. A horrifying run of bad form threatened to derail the next match against Portgual, but a spirited comeback from the Sydneysiders secured the win in overtime. Heart wouldn’t do it against their next opponents, Team 3D, and the Australians were sent packing.
Shortly after their return the team died, although not before their campaign was filmed and broadcast for a documentary on ABC television. While there’s no footage online from that, you can view a piece covering the national finals over on YouTube
Winners of WCG.au 2004 (Sastrooper, Diablo, Wizzamabob, Mole, HBB)
When you play with double the ping of your enemies, you’re guaranteed to be underestimated. It’s the fortune and curse of any team residing in Western Australia; online practice is infinitely harder, but you fly under the radar at LAN. And to this day, no team has flown under the radar harder than 23 did at Redfern.
It’s also not too much to venture that no tournament has been dominated so hard by a single player. From the group stages to the grand final, Diablo completely and utterly dominated. He won just about every clutch and hit just about every shot with his AWP. On top of that, Diablo displayed the value of movement in Counter-Strike, something that had been neglected.
I was playing for naughty Kommandos at the tournament, and we came up against 23 in the semi-final. On the last round of the second semi-finals map (de_inferno), 23 were up 15-14. Dark Force called a B strat and we took the site losing only one player. 4v3, final round holding B on inferno – you’d think we had it in the bag.
Well, not really. With a sensitivity of 5 and an AWP, Diablo charged into snake, no-scoped two players and retook the entire site by himself. Imagine someone playing that well for the entire tournament.
Besides featuring illegible players, that WCG would also be remembered for “doing a Kurandus”. Before then, most people had fallen from the rafters at one point or another in a match. But probably not on LAN. Or in a grand final. Where your teammate is defusing and desperately needs your cover. And there are plane tickets to San Francisco riding on that round. But that’s how life is sometimes; Diablo has since faded out of the spotlight, but doing a Kurandus has lived on.
Unlike the national finals, the Western Australian’s representation overseas was totally forgettable. Already undermined through the forced replacement of Diablo, 23 announced that they were using the trip as a holiday and practiced accordingly. But then the omens kept getting darker: 23’s group was cut short to three teams where only one would qualify, and they drew MIBR on de_aztec for what would be the deciding match. Unfortunately, they drew MIBR first, along with de_aztec and the pleasure of starting as Terrorists.
After losing 13-0 to the Brazilians, 23 then lost to Kuwait which was milked as the most embarrassing result of all time. But the West Australians had already made their point: after all, it was a holiday, and no matter how much people complained – they still won the right to go there in the first place. Put it this way: if Australia couldn’t beat Diablo, what chance would you have running out the double doors on Aztec against cogu? Probably none.
Winners of: CPL.AU 2002, ESWC.AU 2003, WCG.AU 2003, ESWC.au 2005, ACON.au 2005, ASUS.pES 2005, ESWC.au 2006 (various lineups)
The most dominant team in Australia, function zer0 have been overseas more times than people can dream about. Even when the team wasn’t overly successful they still earned a podium finish: f-zer0 played in every major grand final from 2002 to 2006.
Overseas, however, was a different proposition. They started off brightly, beating 3D on de_cbble in the CPL thanks to the use of a smoke over a wall which covered the entrance to the B bombsite without any risk to the players. The Queenslanders then made some good inroads at ESWC, beating 2004 winners The Titans in group stages and drawing with 4K, but that was the extent of their achievements. From that point on f-zer0 continued with a mix of poor performances and even worse luck, drawing teams like SK-Gaming or Complexity and often getting outplayed.
Despite all that, f-zer0 was the best team Australia has put forward to date. They set a standard for the rest of the teams in Australia and they introduced a solid period of stability that saw roster changes only when absolutely necessary. But above all, f-zer0 were consistent. Only time will tell, but for now, function zer0 is, without a doubt, the best team Australia has ever had.
Winners of: AINC Gamerthon 2007, WCG.au 2007, ACNC 2007
AINC Gamerthon 2007 – Boomser , Apoc , Pupajon , Soren , Rize
WCG.au 2007 – Apoc , Pupajon , Soren , Rize , Messi
ACNC 2007 – Apoc , Pupajon , Soren , Rize , Diggity
When SQL took out the first Anything Interactive National Cup, nobody expected them to dominate as hard as they did. Since 2002 to 2006, 2004 was the only year where three states took home the top prize (23, You Got Served and XR). But f-zer0 resumed their reign on the country the year after. And Stensgaming had recently been formed only a few months prior with some of the strongest players around, including Spitty from Singapore and Turkish representative Rumil Talarom. But at AINC, SQL destroyed them – and everyone else.
The group stages were a precursor to how SQL would play in Melbourne. Despite the upsets and intense matches happening around them, SQL breezed through the tournament bracket. After winning their first match 16-11, SQL kept winning their games by larger and larger margins until they dominated XCN in the grand finals 16-4. It was the footprint that SQL left on the event: nobody was going to beat them on the first day, the second, or any time soon. And for a while, no-one did.
The World Cyber Games event later that year was a case in point, although one wouldn’t have noticed from watching the qualifiers. It took a last chance competition for SQL to actually attend the finals following their loss to Monks at the second Sydney qualifier. But once they got to Luna Park, it was time to win. It was like the team had installed a secret button; Press Here To Win. And they used it time and time again.
Their final victory came at The Bunker, in dire circumstances: the prize pool had been limited to keyboards and mice for the winners, so it became a struggle for SQL to be motivated for the event. It showed, for a time, with Immunity and SQL trading maps in the finals. But the third map looked as if it was a certain win for the Victorians. They went 9-0 up in a flash, completely shutting down SQL at all the chokepoints on de_inferno, and there seemed no hope of a comeback.
Until SQL flicked the switch. And like a lightbulb, the team simply lit up – and everyone watching Immunity felt the momentum completely drain away from the back-end of The Bunker. Out of nowhere, SQL began taking rounds, and it was as if the first eight rounds had never happened.
Sadly, their magical powers down under didn’t translate to any rabbits out of the hat at Seattle. Their first and only trip overseas, WCG 2007 offered up the usual rubbish luck that Australians have come to expect: emulate and NoA, the two teams who would later battle it out in the grand final, and highly-rated underdog k23 from Kazakhstan were all thrown in SQL’s group. Nevertheless, SQL managed to finish 4th in the group; still a long way from qualifying, but a respectable finish all the same.