ESL India Premiership was the longest ever tournament series held in the history of this country. Teams from all over the subcontinent participated in large numbers. This only goes to show that more and more teams are stepping forward and trying to make their mark in Counter-Strike. While Risky Gaming’s victory might suggest that the Indian teams are somewhat lacking when it comes to international matches, we definitely have come a long way and improved by leaps and bounds.
Here are some interesting statistics:
Out of the total 21 maps played in the Master’s Cup, Dust2 was played 8 times, followed by Cobblestone which was played 7 times. Train was played thrice, mirage twice and cache as well as overpass only once. Maps like Nuke and Inferno did not make it into the picked map pool.
Most of the matches we saw on train were extremely interesting, consisting of mind-boggling comebacks or extremely close scores. Risky Gaming vs Destructive 5 on train was pushed into overtime twice. Invisible Wings and D2D battled for momentum on a match that ended with a score of 16-14. The most interesting thing however, was that both the matches featured a CT getting multiple kills from top of the popdog train in B bombsite with an eco weapon; making them both, the single most match-changing moments throughout the tournament. If we had an award for “most intense moments”, these two would definitely top the board.
Invisible Wings displayed strong performances, especially by Simar “psy” Sethi, who on multiple occasions carried his team hard. With the AWP being his weapon of choice, we saw him gain great mid control on dust2 every time he played. Another spectacular thing to see was the expressions on the faces of his opponents every time he shot down a player trying to cross towards B site on Dust2 with a spammed headshot; and this wasn’t a one time incident, he did so 4 times!
Risky Gaming, the champions dropped only one map in the entire tournament – against D2D. Apparently, D2D captain HellrangeR and his boys had done their homework well by studying Risky’s previous matches and getting the upper hand in the match with that info. Antidote’s AWPing combined with HellrangeR and Kav1sh’s crossfires fueled their victory. As a practice which is less common in India, studying the moves of your opponents by analyzing their previous matches gave them the edge to pull of that near-impossible comeback against such a strong foreign teams. This only goes to show that with the drive to do better and proper practice, all the teams in the country can become stronger.
Brutality losing out early in the tournament was a let down for most of us, given the busy times for them. Team Elements, inspite of being the underdogs won our hearts, if not the match, for their incredible spirit. Out of nowhere, we had a David ready to go head-to-head in an arena full of Goliaths; now that’s something you don’t see in often. We congratulate their incredible spirit!
AstaR playing for D5 was a massive boost to their power. He managed to get a lot of frags and showed off his immense firepower, proving to the world that he is the country’s top aimer, regardless of whichever team he plays for.
In a nutshell, we saw top players reach higher levels of performance and many undiscovered gems to come and take a spot in the limelight. This half-year long series has sparked a revolution in the Indian eSports scenario! We will be back again next year, to once again fuel these fires of passion!