Most CS: GO players know Ukraine as the originator of the legendary Counter-Strike idiom “Syuka Blyat”…(or was that Russia?…oh doesn’t matter). Now that its capital Kiev will be hosting Starseries i-League Season 5, contestants will basically be playing the “Cache” map in real life (hey, you try getting around Kiev with some guy in a balaclava pointing an AK-47 at you!)!
16 teams are about to go head to head on May 28th for a 6-day tournament. The winner will take home a grand prize of $300,000 (about 7 840 000 hryvnias for our Ukrainian readers).
This year’s roster won’t include heavyweights like FaZe Clan, Astralis, or even Cloud9, so more room for the up-and-comers to shine. Fans should keep an eye out for hometown heroes, Natus Vincere and Hellraisers. Both Ukrainian teams really have a chance to win this time. Hellraisers are fresh off a particularly impressive performance back at Dreamhack Tours.
Renegades, whose innovative playing style impressed us in Sydney last month is sure to make the encounter in Kiev as interesting as ever. Mousesports, Team Liquid and the hilariously-named Ninjas in Pyjamas have been pegged as favourites during the contest.
Fans of Na’Vi must be eager for a rematch against Mousesports, after the latter beat them in a dramatic upset to win the top spot at last year’s Starseries. This time, the hometown advantage might give Na’Vi just enough of a boost it needs to win.
There won’t be any surprises in terms of the event’s format, however. Like in previous years, the tournament will include a best of three group stage, which in turn will contain five rounds of “best-of-three” match types. This three round format’s advantage is that it allows for a fairer display of skill by the various teams. Good teams which might get eliminated in the single-round format due to momentary focus would not have the opportunity to make up for this and be promoted due to their sheer skill rather than luck.
Given the absence of some of the scene’s biggest teams, a more evenly matched playing field, with some eager teams will certainly not disappoint. We’re in for some exciting times next week. Be prepared for stunning upsets, crushing victories, tears, and unintentionally hilarious scenes of victories geeks screaming with joy! Stay tuned.