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What if the ”87-0 era” never came to an end?

av Pontus Öberg

Ninjas in Pyjamas had the longest map streak win of all time up until March 2013 when they finally lost a game. Their 87-0 streak came to an end and the other teams realized they could beat NiP. But what if their streak would have continued? What if they were still undefeated? Would Counter-Strike: Global Offensive really have survived?

Up until SLTV StarSeries V Finals in March 2013, Ninjas in Pyjamas had a very impressive LAN-game record. They had, until this game, won 87 consecutive maps without losing a single one. When Virtus.Pro finally managed to take down NiP by the close score of 16:14, the ”87-0 era” was over and NiP was no longer the ”unbeatable” team everyone strived to take a map from. No team has been even close to reaching the same map win streak as NiP had from the launch of CS:GO up until 2013. This (by many) memorable day , the CS:GO world held their breath. I was not involved in the CS:GO scene from the start, but I really wish I had been. The Kings of CS:GO were finally defeated. They were not unbeatable after all. This is huge deal for the game.

Imagine if NiP would not have lost this game. Imagine if they still were on a winning streak. Imagine if they were still undefeated, not losing a single map. What would the CS:GO scene look like then? Instead of fighting over the 1st place in the Majors, one could only have hoped to reach the finals and therefore the 2nd place – since they would just get smashed in the finals by the undefeatable team. If you were to ask players in Fnatic or EnVyUs, I bet all of them would tell you that all that matters is winning the tournament, taking the silver medal is not a option. The question is; would CS:GO have survived if NiP kept their streak?

What keeps CS:GO alive (and actually makes it grow day by day) is the constant increase of players, viewers and prize money. The reason for a tournament organizer to increase their prize pool is to make the teams even more eager to win. If it did not matter how hard you fought, the best you could do was to be beaten in the finals by NiP? Would teams like Fnatic or the old VeryGames really survived if they lost every event to their rivals? What would keep them driven to continue? And if the viewers knew who would end up winning the event, would they really watch?

These are questions that will not be answered today. They will probably never be, since I seriously doubt that we will have another team going on a streak like NiP’s 87-0. If you would ask me, I would say that CS:GO would not have come this far if the Ninjas kept on winning. Even though it must have been tough for the players and the fans losing that day, they are probably realizing themselves that it was better for the community as a whole. What if Barcelona kept winning every soccer game they will ever play. Would soccer really survive? I think not.

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