The CPL Winter 2005 event has come to a close and SK.swe has managed to win their second CPL in a row with this new lineup. Coming into this event, there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not they would be able to take this event. The CPL Summer 2005 tournament had a major lack of teams due to the fact that it was announced they were not going to be using Counter-Strike 1.6 in the tournament, but Counter-Strike:Source. After most of the top teams heard about this, combind with the fact that CPL was overlapping with the ESWC tournament in Paris, France, many of the top teams decided they would rather attend the ESWC event. After all of the teams were qualified for the ESWC World Championships, CPL announced that they would be having more prize money for a Counter-Strike 1.6 tournament.
Prior to this event, the new SK.swe team emerged consisting of ahl, fisker, vilden, spawn, and snajdan. This new all-star team decided to attend the CPL Summer tournament to test their skills. They had a rockey road to the championships though. Canadian team, Evil Geniuses, managed to defeat SK on Dust2 and send them to the lower bracket. SK came out of the losers bracket and defeated Evil Geniuses two times to win the championships. After the event though, many people thought that SK would not have a repeat at this Winters tournament. Since many of the top teams in the world were either attending WEG or ESWC, they were not really put up against “the best”.
SK has taken the CPL tournament again, but this time undefeated. Let’s take a quick look at their road to victory before getting into the match breakdown…
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[MATCH DATA UNAVAILABLE]
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|NINJAS IN PYJAMAS||10|
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Jun-Gon “RishNarchK” Jung (PoV Demo)
Jeong-Tak “BeBe” Oh (PoV Demo)
Beum-Ho “Mal” Choi (PoV Demo)
Young-Mo “enemy” Ahn (PoV Demo)
Min-Woo “cliper” Choi (PoV Demo)
Mattias “sNajdan” Andersen (PoV Demo)
Christer “fisker” Eriksson (PoV Demo)
Michael “ahl” Korduner (PoV Demo)
Abdisamad “SpawN” Mohamed (PoV Demo)
Christian “Vilden” Lidström (PoV Demo)
Lunatic started this match off great, although they lost the pistol round, they did a great job controlling SK’s money situation. In the first eco round for Lunatic they managed to get not one, but two of the first kills in the round, and that is huge. Following this, they managed to take down two more, and they had only lost two of their players in return, this put them in a three on one situation, but some great AK play by fisker ended that round very shortly after getting the bomb plant. In the following round, Lunatic got the first kill again, and managed to take out three SK players total.
On the defensive side this is huge. There are no money perks for the defense currently in Counter-Strike 1.6. When a team is on the offense and they manage to get a bomb plant, but lose the round, it is an automatic $800 extra dollars in their pocket. This is why losing pistol round is not that big of a deal for the offense, if they get a bomb plant. The defense, on the other hand, have no way of earning extra money after losing their pistol round. So when Lunatic was able to get seven out of ten kills in two rounds, it is huge. Not only did Lunatic get an extra $300 for each kill, SK was forced to buy guns the following rounds, when you would usually be saving money because you had guns from the two eco rounds.
Lunatic started this half off great. They lost the first three rounds, but with money control and winning the fourth round, SK was forced to save the forth round. Just when it looked like SK was going to start taking back some more rounds, Lunatic did their normal aggressive banana push and threw HE grenades over to the offensive tower, weakening SK. Once SK was naded, they attempted to push the banana, and this is where cliper came in. He was sitting behind the boxes towards the back of the banana and aced SK with three burst fires. He took out two with one, two with the next, and the last one took out the fifth SK player, giving cliper a great gun round ace.
It seemed as though Lunatic would have the next round in the bag. SK had no bomb plant due to clipers quick ace in the banana, so Lunatic knew they would have to save. The only problem with this next round when SK was saving, was that Lunatic let SK know that they were consistantly pushing the banana with three players every round. SK decided to use this eco round as a chance to test Lunatic’s A bombsite, and boy did it work. Once SK came in and rushed the spawn side of the bombsite, they were able to pick up two colts, get the bomb down, and hold off Lunatic on their rotation from B to get a momentum changing round in the half.
One of the biggest problems that I saw from SK throughout the match, that made it a lot closer than it should have been, was SK simply just trying to get their eco rounds over and done with. Time and time again I have discussed that an eco rounhnbd is not for you to just go and lose as fast as you can. These rounds are for you to try and criple the other teams economy as defense (as Lunatic did at the start of the half), but more importantly to try and get the bomb down as offense which gets your team more money in the following rounds. If you can get that extra money on an eco, you may not have to do it again so soon after your last one.
SK really should have hit the B bombsite more. They had a great series of flashes and smokes coming into this site. The smoke grenades being thrown early in the round made Lunatic have to wonder if it was a fake, or an actual rush. By delaying and then smoking the spawn side again right before the attack, this actually screened for them to come in. They also had a long series of flashes along with the smokes to help them get into the site cleanly. SK timed the flashes perfectly to make sure that the two players in bombsite B blind for the entire attack, even if they had not entered the site yet.
One factor that I noticed about Lunatic, that made this half end in only 8-7 in their favor, was that they do not really understand yet how to harness their skills. As many people know, Lunatic has far superior aim above most any team out there. Not on an individual basis, but more as an all around team basis. They started played their bombsites very far back after SK had won the eco round due to Lunatic having three players aggressive in the banana. That should not have stopped them from using their individual skill. When you play far back in the bombsites and you have that much skill, it is a bad idea. SK was able to go pretty much wherever they wanted and merely smoke and flash Lunatic without Lunatic even expecting it. You aim does not matter when you are completely incapable of seeing your opponent.
Once Lunatic is able to understand how much skill they have, strictly from aim, I think they will find their play style can change drastically and it just might get them a championship.
The pistol round was very close round. Lunatic did a delayed attack on the A bombsite and made the first frag entering the bombsite. After an exchange of kills, it came to a two on one in Lunatic’s favor. SK|Snajdan was in a two one one against enemy and bebe, who were setup in a crossfire. Snajdan was running out of time and rushed enemy to pick up the frag. When it was time to get the defuse though, bebe delayed snajdan just enough by weaving in and out next to the window room. Although Snajdan fragged bebe, he was a millisecond late to defuse the bomb. And as I said before, defensive eco rounds are much harder to win compared to the offense, and the fact that SK just rushes to end the round as fast as possible did not help their situation much.
When the first gun round came along, SK was stacked at the B bombsite, starting out with three over there. The other two SK players played very defensively in the A bombsite, because they knew they were going to have to delay for backup if that site was taken. Lunatic did a slow split towards A and had perfect smokes, and perfect flashbangs for the bombsite. They could have won the round even if SK had four players at bombsite A. The problem that Lunatic ran into was that they had all of the right nades, but did not act upon them. When you throw a flash or a smoke grenade, you have to act upon them, especially on offense. After Lunatic flooded that site with flashes and smokes, they took it very slowly, which gave SK enough time to start rotating over from bombsite B and take the round.
The twelfth round of this half, SpawN solidified that SK was not losing this match. Lunatic had won the previous two rounds before on the offense, and unless one of the defensive players had about $10,000 during the first of those two rounds, they would have all had to save after that third round loss. If SK was forced to ssave in the thirteenth round, Lunatic would have been winning 14-13 and would have lost their next round, it would be 15-14 in Lunatic’s favor guaranteeing a tie. But SpawN had other plans.
The way this round worked out was Lunatic sent two to the banana, even though they were not going to attack it. They were able to pick off one SK player pushing up, and caugh another one in the middle trying to flank. You would think this would make it a sure bet to hit the B bombsite, but it wasn’t. Since the middle flank was caught so fast, SpawN knew it was a fake. SpawN stayed inside of the library with an AWP to watch the bombsite. He fragged one crossing and then Lunatic smoked it. Right then SpawN aimed up above the bombsite boxes and fragged one more. When the rest of SK rotated over, he was able to take out one more while his teammates were fragged. He then ended up in a one on one with the bomb ticking. He did two fake defuses, fragged the last Lunatic player, and barely defused the bomb. It almost looked like the pistol round, but SpawN changed all of that and kept SK in the game.
A great tactic that SK was using during their defensive half was the usage of smoke grenades. This is a newer tactic that I have seen a lot of the top teams in the world doing. What it is, is smoking your bombsite entrances. See, the offense will smoke areas so that the defense cannot see when they are crossing or even pick up a frag. Now, defensive teams are starting to double smoke the entry points into their bombsites, or smoking areas they know the offense is trying to get to. This is a very smart move. I was watching and trying to understand why, but think about it, if an entire bombsite entrance is covered and you are on offense, trying to get into the site, you have to run through it while the defense can just aim without you being able to see where they are.
The main reason Lunatic lost this match was because that this map is not nearly as enclosed as most of the maps, such as de_nuke. I was watching them practice their tactics in the BYOC area right before the finals match and they were trying to duplicate their flashbang tactics that were so effective for them against JMC in the third place match. Not only did Lunatic only have about thirty minutes to practice this tactic on Inferno, it just did not work like that on this map. The bombsites are far too large, without choke points to pull it off. So rather than being able to run past the flashbang and frag the enemy, Lunatic would also get blinded, leaving it in a stalemate of who would be unblind first. Another key point as to why this did not work is that on nuke you can easily predict where your opponent will be defensively, whereas on Inferno, there are far too many boxes to flash around to pull this tactic off effectively.
By the end of the day SK came out on top once again as the CPL championships, and I have a feeling it will not be their last. What I am really waiting for is for Lunatic-Hai to work out all of their bugs and become the next international winner of a large tournament.