5. Sondre ‘REAL’ Svanevik (Norway)

5. Sondre ‘REAL’ Svanevik (Norway)

There were some real geniuses in Counter-Strike, speaking in terms of individual intuitive skills to the game, rather than understanding the cerebral and conceptual thinking. REAL was one of those geniuses, but he never reached the peak of this great title as most of the others did. When a f0rest or a NEO won them major titles and had a career long enough to try to use time and time again why they stood out above all others, REAL simply arches months at a time to lay out what he was really capable of.
f0rest came from Sweden and was surrounded throughout his career with a competitive pool of players that player might have helped him accomplish feats he achieved. Neo came from a particularly depressed CS, still finding the right team-mates and stuck with them for the amazingly find a system good enough to let him win sometimes, those times happen to be bigger tourneys CS in the world. For REAL his career was marked by bad luck and waning motivation.
In a titanium team9 REAL 15 year, ripping up the scene, but then the team was disbanded. A year later his team MYM seemed capable of contending for world titles, only progressively go down during the next 3-4 months major tournament. Finally, the prime of his career was floundering teams it incapable of great results, often without proper support to also participate in the events, so he finally retired completely.

REAL did play a part in his failures, he was not a player who will lead the way and to help develop the next generation of talent, as each scene needs. It is worth noting that this meant that REAL lasted until a player like Kalle came along, who might have been able to join him and help him to success. If I could change one thing, though, career REAL, would simply be to get him a starting place in a top team Swede, even third best will do in 2006 or 2007. in such circumstances, he could have shown his true game skill and game out, other teams Swedish high then you can see the value in making a bet on the young man.
WCG in the era of being a key tournaments, it is understandable why teams wanted to stay with all one nationality, but REAL is a player of the caliber which means it is worth trying an experimental six-man line- up, you can win majors out of WCG will more than make up for it. Nothing is more frustrating than the genius who does not get to really express yourself.

The fast food boom is one of the great ironies of modernity. Mankind’s capacity to continually improve the production and disruption of food has actually made mankind less capable. Now, haphazardly reheated, over greased meats can be prepared at our leisure, served with a side. Ice cream, cookies, french fries, apple pie. Calories, acids, fats: saturated, trans, and abdominal. A $200 billion per year industry.

Any item or piece of entertainment that is easy, inexpensive, or just momentarily satisfying can be difficult to ignore.

Recently, I wrote an article highlighting the frequent dependencies between Cloud9’s offline and online form, and while Cloud9 have looked clearly improved since the pickup of Timothy “Autimatic” Ta, I think the sentiment of the article rings true more broadly because online and offline results are so often out of sync with one another. A week before the start of MLG Columbus, the soon-to-be world champions, Luminosity, lost to Selfless in the quarterfinals of the online iBUYPOWER Spring Invitational.

At the start of the year, Virtus.Pro looked dreadful online, especially in ESL Pro League, but still managed to have solid showings on LAN at Counter Pit and Cevo-Gfinity before their more recent renaissance. Cloud9 were crushed by TSM in the elimination match of ECS Group A, before reversing the result three weeks later in the finals of the iBUYPOWER Summer Invitational.

Factors creating these misaligned results are frequently discussed. The added latency gives peekers an advantage over riflers and a more general advantage to AWPers. The decreased consequences of online matches and the comfort of home encourages more cavalier play. DDOSing or lackluster internet connection can intermittently hamper a player or team’s ability to perform, and cheating is harder to prevent. These are all known issues, and I’ve never heard an analyst or expert suggest that online play matches or closely mirrors offline play, so why are so many tournament organizers still using online matches to determine participation at LAN tournaments?

The “oversaturation” complaint has become so frequently cited lately and so infrequently combatted that it has almost dissolved into muffled buzzword. The oversaturation idea is simple enough that the frequency of online and offline leagues, cups, qualifiers, and tournaments is beyond what would be healthiest for the competitive scene.

The grueling current workload has over overtaxed pro players by forcing them to play too many matches and dulled the excitement of fans by too often pitting top teams in low-stakes games. But again, this frequently cited complaint seems to be at odds with the industry’s current embrace of leagues and extended qualification tournaments to determine spots at an offline final.

Currently, online leagues, such as ESL Pro league and ECS, currently conduct a full season of online play to determine participants at the LAN final with PEA in North America poised to follow suit in 2017, and other larger organizers, such DreamHack and ELEAGUE, have also recently utilized online qualifiers to determine participants in their next competition. While online cups are certainly preferable to nepotism-prone invites or worse fan votes, wouldn’t it be preferable to use offline qualifiers first and foremost?

At some level, online play has to be somewhat relevant in the professional scene beyond pugs or scrimmages. If the participants of each event are simply determined from the results of previous events, new teams will never have a chance to join the mix, but looking at the scene as it stands today, the impact of online games can still be greatly reduced. Multiregional online leagues might end in a small offline playoff that leads into the final international finals, and online qualifiers could be held as offline qualification tournaments.

The Minor Championship Series and the Main Qualifier for each Valve Major both work around the problems of online play, moving more competition between intermediate teams into offline arena, but this offline system is only utilized  by the two to three Valve Majors themselves, with no other tournaments adopting this system.

While the cost of these offline qualifiers may be too exuberant to put on for each tournament, the Minor Championship Series could be used more frequently to determine qualifications or an interlocking tournaments system could also be implemented. For example, instead of using their own online qualifier, ELEAGUE could have stipulated that placings at the recent Northern Arena-Toronto tournament would have some role in determining participation in the offline section of their league.

Those sort of connections would combat oversaturation on two fronts by heightening the relevancy of certain tournaments, and  by cutting down on superfluous online matches. However, these sorts of partnerships are unlikely to ever happen as they would necessitate some level or cooperation between individual or competing parties and deprive individual organizers of broadcasting a qualifier through their own channels.

Unfortunately, in esports and elsewhere, problems seem to usually be satisfied in terms of easy and short term results. Online games are relatively cheap to produce and provide fans with constantly available small-stakes spectacles. And we know a more complete home cooked meal is often forgone in favor of a hefty brown bag at the second window.

On Sunday, myself and Cam Brierley had the chance to attend the Gfinity Invitational, held at EGX2016. We were unable to go for the full duration of the event, however, the small amount time we had was fantastic. Gfinity, mousesports, and Team EnVyUs treated us to three, down to the wire, maps that ultimately ended with EnVyUs winning the whole tournament.

After EnVyUs’s 3-0 defeat over mouse, we had a chance to talk to AWPer and recently revived star player, Kenny “KennyS” Schrub. Here is our short interview:

Congratulations on your win Kenny, and it was a 3-0 defeat over mousesports. Were you surprised with how difficult the match was?

KennyS: No, absolutely not. We have been pretty shaky since the beginning of the tournament, like against Epsilon in our first game. mousesport has been good quiet recently. I was not expecting to win 3-0, to be honest. Like I said, we have been quite shaky recently, like when they came back on Cache. Basically, our T side has been really weak during this game. But in the end, a win is a win; we will have to work on our T side.

Your star players really showed up today. Apex was getting frags, you were hitting some really sick AWP shots and Happy, who’s not normally at the top of your team, in my opinion, was. Has there been a switch in roles where he has come back to in-game leading, or was it just luck of the draw?

KennyS: Overall, Happy didn’t change much, he is just back to in-game leading. We just switched Devil and NBK on T side. Basically, we are back to basics since we got back from vacation. We are getting better though scrims, so yeah.

Now, cast your mind back to Friday during the Epsilon match. Epsilon is a bit of an up-and-coming team in the Swedish region. They have some good players on there, like Disco Doplon and Draken and such. Did you come into that matchup feeling prepared? Did you think it went as easy as you wanted it to be?

KennyS: We were confident but It was hard to play against them because we have never played them before. They actually showed a lot of skills in their games. It felt like we were better in terms of tactics and mid round calls and stuff. Unfortunately, we lost a map against them, on Cobblestone. I think it was our fault and as I said, we were shaky against them. I was quite surprised because we knew they were really good and in terms of skills, they were really famous, even though we’ve never played them before. But we managed to win pretty easily in the end.

So basically, Connor and I noticed that your AWPing has been picking up. You were hitting some pretty great shots that game and in that series, you picked up some insane 2Ks and 3Ks. Have you been doing anything different in training recently or do you think this has come from Happy going back to in-game leader and you guys going back to basics? Or have you started being a better player?

KennyS: I think that over the past three months, I’ve been getting good, not enough, in my opinion, I will never be good enough. I have just been playing more because I am kinda a lazy guy (a small amount of laughter from us and himself). Sometimes, I prefer to do something else than play because when we train, it is always a long, long time. It’s a cycle, sometimes I won’t do much and then I’ll start playing a lot again. And when I’m playing a lot, I start to get more confidence.

Another thing you said in a different interview was that you were going to be top-five. Another team hoping to be top-five would be mousesports. Playing against them today, do you think they have the potential to do so with their new lineup, with Oskar and their new coach as well.

KennyS: Yes, of course, they have been very good recently, they have been showing good stuff. I think at this moment, we are better than them, but I think we have more experiences and more chances at getting top-five.

I would like to thank Gfinity for helping arrange this interview, as well as KennyS himself. For a man who only 30 minutes ago just won a tournament, he was extremely humble about his opponents. Thank you to both parties for your cooperation.

Were you shocked by KennyS saying he will never be good enough? Let me know in the comments below and make sure you are following us on Twitter for the latest interviews and CS:GO updates

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