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HUNDEN returns to coach for Heroic

In a move that everyone saw coming, but no one can find common ground on, HUNDEN returns to his old Head Coach role as his ESIC ban expires on May 1. The announcement of his return was teased with several billboards in Copenhagen during the week. HUNDEN will be free to return to action in most tournaments, except for Valve Majors, from which he is banned for five events.

Elisa, Relog Media, and FunSpark join forces for a new $2.7 million circuit

The three tournament organizers and GRID esports have come together with the goal of “paving a way towards a new tier 1 event for the global esports fans”. The new tournament tour for 2021-2022 will consist of online and LAN stages, where teams collect points to qualify for the grand event, Elisa Champion of Champions.

fer is back

The ever-aggressive, Major-winning Brazilian makes his return with Imperial. Though the 29-year-old will only join on a stand-in basis, replacing Guilherme “piriaz1n” Barbosa as the team investigates a VAC-ban account potentially owned by him. We’ll admit, it’s not quite the comeback we were hoping for fergod, but stand-in or not, having him back in action sparks some excitement in us.

Fnatic add keita, finalize roster

Photo: DreamHack

Let’s hope this is the last time for a while we mention a roster move from Fnatic in this recap. After rebuilding the roster over the past months, they have now added the final piece to the roster. Jamie “keita” Hall completes the British invasion in the previously fully Swedish roster. 

Movistar go Spanish, cut Smooya

Photo: ESL

Movistar Riders returned to its roots with a fully Spanish roster. The telecom-backed team added three Spanish players, moving smooya to the bench in the process. The British AWPer will have to take a forced break from competition for the next couple of months, as his removal was too close to the ESEA roster locks to find him a new home.

Turkish superteam unveiled

Photo: Eternal Fire

The rumours were true after all. Eternal Fire, e newly created organization, unveiled the “Turkish Superteam”. The players are co-owners of the team and are still looking for ways to fund their activities.

Another week in Counter-Strike. Na’Vi triumphs, the road to the Major is on, and as always, Twitter drama.

Na’Vi conquers DreamHack Masters

Last Sunday, Na’Vi went all the way to take home their first-ever DreamHack Masters trophy. Along the way, they beat both Heroic and Gambit – sweeping the latter 3-0 in the Grand Final.

Naturally, s1mple ended up with the MVP, but both Perfecto and electronic had crucial impact, and the new permanent fifth, B1T, showed great promise.

Can Na’Vi reclaim their title as Kings of CIS from Gambit?

Source: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for OMEN by HP

Road to Stockholm – RMR kicks off

The EU and CIS RMRs have started – and we’ve already had our first upset. The French mix DBL PONEY managed to erase their countrymen in Vitality from the upper bracket following a quick 2-0 series.

The last opening matches finish today with both device’s NIP and North HYENAS playing their first games. Survival in the lower bracket starts tomorrow.

The American and Oceanian RMR starts next week.

Source: Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Player break drama (again)

ESL and BLAST announced changes to their schedules, placing the first day of ESL Pro League 14 on the day after the player break ends. Players were not happy about this, but oddly enough, the dates of the player break were set by Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA).

So, where does the actual problem lie?

aizy spills (some) of the beans

In an interview with Thorin, aizy discusses teams, players, and potential moves of his career. The discussion includes a shock move for device, North management being North management, and his thoughts on various teammates.

Na’Vi lost to … *checks notes* … Entropiq, and NIP had internet issues. Or was it Flashpoint? Here’s everything you need to know from this week of Counter-Strike.

Flashpoint vs. NIP vs. Anonymo

In the biggest sh*t show of the week, Flashpoint nullified the NIP vs. Anonymo match result, setting up a replay of the deciding map, Mirage.

The rematch came off an official complaint from NIP stating that they had had connectivity issues during the first game, which Flashpoint would later confirm.

NIP emerged victorious from the rematch, but at what cost? The larger community agreed that the rematch shouldn’t happen and blamed NIP. Especially device was on the receiving end of the backlash after pictures of him calling Flashpoint admins for “morons” came out.

In hindsight, the game should never have been played out in the first place, making the rematch scenario impossible. But in the end, the rematch might be the lesser evil, providing the highest level of competitive integrity.

Despite which side you’re on, one thing is sure: threats and hate directed at players and people of the community are NOT okay. We are all better than that.

“This is how Na’Vi will remind you – of what they really are”

In typical Na’Vi fashion, the DreamHack Masters champions have lost their opening game of the CIS RMR event … to Nickelback’s team, Entropiq. As always, s1mple tried his best, but Entropiq closed the game in only two maps, putting the CIS giants in the 0-1 pool.

Keep up with all the RMR events on HLTV.org.

Source: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for OMEN by HP

Valve opens up for Major bids, and stream snipers are punished in a week of Counter-Strike that had a big, fat “RMR” on it. Here’s everything that went down.

RMR rundown

Vitality, Complexity, BIG, Heroic and Astralis are out of Flashpoint 3, and mousesports continue their domination of the upper bracket. NA teams stick to the script as Liquid and Furia are in the upper bracket final of cs_summit 8. In the CIS region, Akuma (ranked #43) has taken down both Na’Vi and Virtus.pro and stand before Gambit in the upper bracket final.

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Valve opens up for Major bids, and stream snipers are punished in a week of Counter-Strike that had a big, fat “RMR” on it. Here’s everything that went down.

Valve announces future Major plans

Valve announced plans of holding two Majors in both 2022 and 2023 and has opened for applications from organizations looking to host the Majors or RMR events. The return of two annual Majors in Counter-Strike is a much welcome sight!

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Valve opens up for Major bids, and stream snipers are punished in a week of Counter-Strike that had a big, fat “RMR” on it. Here’s everything that went down.

AGO stripped of their title due to stream sniping

In non-RMR match-related news, the Polish team AGO was stripped of their title after winning the Grand Final of the ESL Polish Championship.

The decision from ESL Poland came after a post-match video revealed the official stream running on a computer close to the team. The sentence was reduced to not include a ban due to cooperation from AGO, though AGO plan to take legal action against the decision.

Do you smell that? That’s the delightful scent of LANs returning! Here’s everything you need to know from the past week of Counter-Strike.

Gambit continue their reign

The world’s #1 delivered top-class Counter-Strike in the IEM Summer 2021 playoffs. The CIS squad didn’t drop a single map from their quarter-final against EG to the winning moment of the BO5 grand final against OG.

Ax1Le was the stand-out player, pulling off multi-kills and clutches round after round.

Return of the LAN

Earlier this week, BLAST announced the return to LAN for their Premier Fall Final series. The event will take place in the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, which also hosted the first-ever BLAST Pro Series.

We can’t wait to get back to LAN!

More BLAST? Now!?

That’s right. Right now, the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2021 is well underway. EG and FaZe were the first teams to drop out following defeats in their initial two matches.

The upper-bracket final offers a CIS showdown between Gambit and Na’Vi, while BIG, NIP, Complexity, and G2 will have to fight their way through the lower bracket.

NBK transitions to VALORANT

On Tuesday, legendary French player Nathan “NBK” Schmitt announced that he will be transitioning to Riot’s shooter VALORANT going forward. The two-time Major winner was benched from his team OG back in February. Since then, he competed with the French mix team of DBL Poney, with whom he finished 8th in the Flashpoint RMR event.

kjaerbye retires from CS:GO

After an unsuccessful stint on FaZe’s roster last year, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjaerbye has now made the decision to retire from playing competitive CS:GO. The 23-year old was named the MVP of the 2017 ELEAGUE Major, which he won with Astralis. Kjaerbye’s plans for the future remain a mystery.

zonic might be leaving Astralis

Danish coach Danny “zonic” Sorensen might be on his way out of Astralis. The most successful coach in Counter-Strike’s history sees his contract ending in a couple of months, and is reportedly weighing up his options. zonic might still extend his contract with the team, but rumor has it that Astralis is considering Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen as a replacement.

Na’Vi win Starladder CIS RMR

Natus Vincere managed to outlast Gambit in the Starladder CIS RMR final. In a close back-and-forth, they managed to reverse sweep their opponents and have all but qualified for the upcoming Major. Na’Vi and Gambit are involved in a fierce rivalry, not only to decide which team is the best in their region but the best in the world.

Fnatic bench JW, to go international

Fnatic announced the removal of Jesper “JW” Wecksell from their starting lineup. The team announced a new direction for the roster in the process: signing non-Swedish players.

Valve announces $1 million skin contest

Skins are a big money business in CS:GO. So big, that Valve announced a workshop contest with a $1 million prize pool for the upcoming ‘Dreams & Nightmares” collection.

Complexity replace rush with es3tag

After a disappointing run of tournaments, Complexity has replaced rush with es3tag. This move means that the last NA player on the team in now gone. The team also announced peacemaker as its new coach.

Astralis extend gla1ve contract, sign Lucky

Astralis has secured the service of its in-game leader gla1ve for the next three years. With dupreeh, xyp9x and magisk only having a couple of months left on their contract, Astralis will most likely build a new roster arround gla1ve. With the addition of young AWPer Lucky, the first step towards Astralis 2.0 has been taken.

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Fnatic go the British route

With the addition of ALEX and mezii, Fnatic has added some British spice to their previously Swedish roster. The move marked the end of a tumultuous summer for Fnatic, as they had to rebuild their entire roster. ALEX and mezii will make their debut at the ESL Pro League.

Ptr retires from CS:GO

Bad news Bear AWPer ptr announced his retirement only weeks before one of the biggest events of the year for the team, EPL. Ptr will pursue a career in poker going forward.

Nordavind drop roster

Norwegian organization Nordavind transfer-listed their entire lineup. The team did stress that they will stay involved in CS:GO going forward, leading to several unsigned lineups being linked to them.

Stanislaw takes a break

Evil Geniuses’ captain Stanislaw will be taking a temporary break from competing. The Canadian says that the extended periods in Europe have taken their toll on his mental and physical health. Coach daps will replace him.

Rpk retires from pro play

Photo: ESL

Let’s all take a bow for the career rpk has had. The French legend hangs up his mouse and keyboard for the second time, now for good. After spending the past few months on Vittality’s bench, he is now stepping away from gaming, focussing on a new car business. GLHF Cedric!

O Plano sign with 00Nation

Photo: 00Nation

Will we see a Brazillian team return to the absolute pinnacle of Counter-Strike? Hard to say, but one of the candidates to do so has finally secured backing from an organization. O Plano inked deals with a newly created organization called… 00Nation? Not too sure about the name, but I’ll be happily proven wrong.

The HUNDEN case re-opens

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The HUNDEN case. Where to start. Over the past week, we’ve seen so many new developments, it’s hard to keep track. If you’re lost as to what exactly is going on, read our overview here.

Gla1ve to miss Blast Fall

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We’ll end this recap with some positive news. Gla1ve will be missing the first stage of BLAST Fall as he is set to become a father. Xyp9x will be his replacement. The only real question we have: when will Astralis sign Rossander junior as their new sixth player?

Simon Brage is a Danish author for jaxon.gg, covering all things Counter-Strike with an emphasis on Counter-Strike tournaments and the CS esports scene. A tech enthusiast with a creative streak, Simon pursues computer science with an emphasis on machine learning when he's not busy playing or watching Counter-Strike.