2018 was a big year for CS:GO. From the newly formatted Major Championships to the classic and legendary ESL One: Cologne, these events provided fans and viewers the world over with world-class competition from teams and players.
Out of dozens of events played out in 2018, which one was the best and why?
2018 Event of the Year: ELEAGUE Major: Boston
CS:GO’s first Major championship of the year has the honors of being the 2018 Event of the Year. While it was one of the first events of 2018, the tournament results created many storylines in its wake that set the stage for the scene as the year progressed, the two main takeaways being:
1 North America’s first-ever Major winner
Team Liquid was the first to make a semi-final, at MLG Columbus 2016 and a grand final, at ESL One Cologne 2016 of a major, but were never able to overcome international competition. Cloud9, who were down 0-2 in the New Legends Stage at one point, overcame the likes of Astralis, G2 Esports, and SK Gaming (now playing as MiBR) to reach the Grand Finals.
Now, one team stood between the North Americans and history: FaZe Clan, the European superstars and the heavy favorites to take the entire tournament. On paper, the matchup favored FaZe: the head-to-head map record was 6-0 and each player outclassed their respective counterpart on Cloud9.
A supposed clean 2-0 sweep turned out to be a back-and-forth affair - which meant more action for the fans and viewers watching. After trading map picks, the series went down to the wire on Inferno. Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip clutched the final round of regulation and forced the championship to overtime. The championship was forced into double overtime, as the first OT ended in a tie.
In double overtime, this was the moment that saw North America pick up its first CS:GO Major Championship. This was the shot heard around the world.
2 Astralis’ dominant 2018
The Danish squad finished the year with ten titles, including a Major Championship. The ELEAGUE Major: Boston, however, was not one of those ten titles.
Astralis was coming off a rough patch heading into Boston, as Nikolai ‘device’ Reedtz had been recovering from medical issues that prevented him from playing the Danes’ last two events of 2017. The team’s performance was weak, and losses to mousesports, FNATIC, and Cloud9 saw the Danes lose their Legend status and their chance at the trophy.
Despite the poor performance, Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander ensured fans that no roster moves would occur in the post-Major roster shuffle. However, the entire CS:GO scene was turned upside down when North announced the signing of Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjærbye. This turned the heads of everyone on Astralis, who signed Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif from North.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history. With Magisk and a fresh wave of motivation on board, Astralis dominated the rest of 2018, with titles in Marseille, Dallas, London, Chicago, Istanbul, and Lisbon. The Danes picked up ten trophies and US$2,450,000 in first-place prize money alone. Along with their titles, Astralis were the first CS:GO team in history to pick up the coveted Intel Grand Slam and another US$1,000,000 with a win at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals in Odense.
What was your favorite event of the year? Comment below!
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