The top CS:GO teams in South Africa battled it out for the top spot in the Mega8 Autumn Cup this past weekend, after a brutal online qualifying stage.
The tournament also boasted fine production with a line-up of some of South Africa’s top CS:GO talent. There were almost no delay and the tournament ran like a hot knife through hot butter.
The competition was fierce and while a lot of the matches were incredibly close, there were no real upsets and the results is a good indication of where teams are currently standing in the scene.
The results were as follows:
1. Bravado Gaming.
2. Energy Esports.
3. Damage Control.
4. Flipsid3 South Africa.
5.6. White Rabbit Gaming.
7-8. Veneration Rejects.
What we learned from the Tournament:
1. Bravado needed time.
There was a big question mark over Bravado’s head after the Mettlestate showmatch where they were ousted by an Energy Esports line-up that seemed to be uncontainable. While Bravado didn’t resort to excuses, having a new line-up played a big role in a team that relies more on structures than their rivals, whose explosive nature and immaculate aim steamrolled them to victory.
However, with subsequent boot camps and a bit more time, Bravado looks more comfortable and you can clearly see the improvement in interplay between old and new teammates with all the role adjustments settling nicely.
Bravado disposed of all their opponents without dropping a single map and had an aggregate of 64 rounds to 31 against their closest rivals, Energy.
If they continue this trend, I personally don’t really see anyone coming close to them throughout this season.
Such as the Fnatic dream team of 2016 – Bravado’s success inevitably made them somewhat of a love-them-but-hate-them team, with many people in the community starting to bash and condescend Bravado’s results. This is usually the case when a team of any sport or esport dominates the scene for a considerable amount of time and is somewhat expected.
2. Energy needs leadership.
Expecting backlash, it was clear this weekend from both in-game and out-of-game incidents that Energy is in dire need of mature leadership. Having some of the best talent in South Africa should be enough, but it has been proven time and time again that the lack of leadership nullifies any combination of skill or talent.
The matches against Bravado showed that Energy ran out of ideas in a case where they couldn’t break through and in such cases, an aim “plow” won’t get you anywhere. Energy needs to visit the drawing board and critically look at how they plan to approach the game, if they are to match Bravado’s level of teamwork in upcoming tournaments.
While this was just one online tournament and cannot be used as a reliable yard-stick, some “characteristics” cannot be mistaken and could prove to stunt growth going forward.
3. There’s nothing new about DC, and that could be good.
While Energy is focussing on their rivalry with Bravado, Damage Control is improving quietly in the shadows, patiently chiselling away their mistakes into a more complete outfit.
The team is also constantly benefitted by team-shuffles that sees stronger line-ups watered down, which proverbially resets the clock for most organisations.
If you look at the statistics closely, it’s quite telling that Damage Control only has 2 players in the top20 rated players of the tournament. Their team-based methodology produces rounds that are won with patience, experience and smothering rather than the flashy individual skill found in other top teams. Individual performances are inconsistent and cannot always be produced, where an ingrained teamwork structure ensures a guaranteed level of performance on any day of the week.
It’s for this reason that Damage Control has floated at the number 3 spot for quite some time and probably will for some time going forward.
If Damage Control is to challenge upward, it will require significant personal investment by all the players and a good amount of hours, otherwise I don’t see them posing a big threat to Energy or Bravado in the near future.
4. Flipsid3 is going in the right direction
After a myriad of lacklustre results in all forms of competition over the past few months, it seems that Flipsid3 finally found their rhythm and is starting to produce results expected of their line-up. The team has undergone an abnormal amount of roster changes after the past few months and finally settled down with the acquisition of Ashton “Golz” Muller from Bravado.
Their 16-11 loss to Energy was a good example thereof and the team seems to be handling pressure situations much better than previously – also disposing of lesser opponents in the way they should, when they took out VnR Rejects at 16 rounds to 6.
Flipsid3 has an upcoming boot camp which should go a long way in helping them grow. I look forward to seeing them in action after spending some time together in the trenches.
5. Aperture is slowly going nowhere and I have no idea why
Boasting some of the most experienced players in South Africa, Aperture seems to be punching far below their weight class, and still getting knocked out.
Konvict, Kustom and Zeo are household names and they are joined by the very talented Spartan. This should be a team to reckon with. Unfortunately, they are not producing the results we expected and due to not really having any view into the team, I honestly have no idea what the issue is overe there.
The team looked overwhelmed against Damage Control and completely flustered against Energy, where they only managed 4 rounds in one of half of Train.
The solution eludes me, but from the games I watched, it seems like a very pickup-like style and a clear lack of communication could be some of the culprits.
The tournament was lots of fun to watch and props must be given to the organisers of the event, who amidst a few ruleset differences and seeding mistakes, handled every detail and player request with professionalism. All decisions went the way it should have and the tournament turned out to be a smacker.
In the end, the level of CS:GO was still a bit lacking in some aspects and some teams who aim to be a competitive entry into tournaments still need to do a lot of work to iron out basic mistakes. The other side of the spectrum saw teams such as Energy, Bravado and DC going upward and producing more cutting edge gameplay – ensuring their 3 seats on the throne.
Whether or not the other teams will make a concerted effort to dethrone them remains to be seen.
Thanks to the powers that be, the entire tournament was connected to HLTV.org which provides us with a full set of statistics which we can enjoy, the tournament link can be found here:
For those of you who are lazy or if your name is Travis Coppin, I’ve snipped a few interesting stats which you can see here below: