The first qualification round for this year’s “The World Championship” in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is over. Here a review by team captain Michael “chline” Bieri:

The latest edition of “The World Championship” has been announce at the start of this year. Hoping not having to face off Portugal, France or Sweden as opponents in round one of the qualifier, I started to put some thought into a potential lineup for this year. After multiple conversations with various players, a first draft of the lineup could be communicated very soon.

Matches Announced on Short Notice

Several months have passed since and TWC/E-Frag had failed communication additional info regarding the qualification – summer was basically at the doorstep. In the meantime, the qualifications for Asia as wells as North- and South-America had already started. Yet, regarding the EU qualifier, all we knew was the approximate period of the qualification during August/September. All of a sudden everything went very quick: Within days’ notice we were informed when the matches will take place and which teams will have to play qualifier matches – and which are seeded for the group stage directly.

Once we realized, that we were among the seeded teams for this year, we got confident. Only two among the non-seeded teams were to be considered as strong, potentially superior opponents – Bulgaria and the Ukraine. And once again, luck was not on our side when it game to the matchmaking – we were to face the strong Bulgarian team in our first round of the qualifier.

Our Ideal Lineup

I have had a good idea regarding the ideal lineup since several weeks, consisting of the best and most active Swiss players – who also have had experience with playing with each other in the past. A few team internal discussions later, and once we had the confirmation that Mathieu aka. «Maniac» would return from his summer vacations in time to play the match, we were ready to go up against the favorable Bulgarians.

No German Stream

As soon as we knew when and against whom we would be playing our match, we established a contact between AndiGameTV and E-Frag in order to arrange a German broadcast of the game. Unfortunately, this year’s communication and flow of information with E-Frag has proven to be tiring after they must have gone through various organizational changes in the past year. Eventually it became clear only on the day of the match, that there will not a German stream of the matches as E-Frag could not arrange the technical infrastructure on their end in time. Nonetheless, the team was eager to finally go up against Bulgaria!

The Match

Except for Overpass, instead of which we would have preferred to play on Dust2 or Cobblestone, the map-voting went well. Approximately one hour before the match, E-Frag had informed us about a possible delay of the Match due to technical issues with the streams – which were resolved only minutes before the match was supposed to start, such that it was possible to continue according to schedule, 7pm on the server.

Map 1: Cache

Despite having had to struggle with some Anti-Eco’s on the CT side on cache, we were able to win several good rounds. However, on the T side we failed to mentally get into the match, resulting in losing the first map 6:16 to Bulgaria.

Map 2: Mirage

After a short break we found ourselves on Mirage. Maniac passed on the role as in-game leader to xshort1, in order to being able to increase his focus on the match – nonetheless he supported xshort1 with valuable insights and his vast experience between the rounds. Slowly but surely we found our game, and successfully exposed weaknesses in the team of Bulgaria: they are strong but we could certainly keep up. Delivering great individual scenes and nerve-racking rounds, we forced an overtime. A few rounds later we could finally decide the map 19:15 in our favor – a first step towards victory, for which we needed to close the deal on Overpass.

Map 3: Overpass

After another short break, we discovered that four Bulgarian players were missing from the server. – we had a feeling who would be joining any moment. Only moments later we knew for certain – four players of the Team “Mortal Kombat” (ex. Orbit) joined. With the explanation “They have CEVO Match” and “2 months ago pNshr rejected the contract from Orbit (now MK).“, the Bulgarians were allowed to play to play with four players from the same team, despite this being against the tournament regulation. Not intending to make a drama about this, we accepted our new challenge with a short, but determined “ok, lets play”.

The Bulgarians started off by taking the knife round. And except for a few close rounds, our team didn’t stand a chance. This new Bulgarian lineup was playing on a whole different level, such that the final map was lost after only 19 rounds, 16:3.

Conclusion

Despite having lost the match, a little taste of success remained, as for the first time since 2013, we were able to take a map off a well-known team. My personal hopes for the next World Championship are an improved communication and flow of information with the organizers of E-Frag, as well as a stricter enforcement of the tournament regulations.

I want to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to my team mates (Maniac, Merca, carlsoN, spIder, short1, supluca, scrunch), to the SESF, and to the supporters in the scene for their trust. Let’s hope for an easier task during the next nations’ cup.

Should you have any questions, please send them to csgo [at] sesf.ch – i will gladly take the time to answer.

  • VOD of the Match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwNrmo5VwhI
  • HLTV Match Link: http://www.hltv.org/match/2303875-switzerland-bulgaria-world-championships-2016-european-qualifier/

Cheers,
Michael „chline“ Bieri