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The latest Counter Strike: Global Offensive news from RotoWire's eSports experts.

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TACO    SK Gaming
TACO once again came up short with a 46/60 KD in SK Gaming's 2-1 win over FaZe Clan in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

One day TACO will rise to the level of his teammates, and other teams will weep under the power of the Brazilians. Every series for what seems like months now, TACO always seems to come up a bit short. It's not as though he is directly making his team lose by any means, but with his teammates playing so well series in and series out, TACO always stands out. Still, SK keeps coming up with tournament wins, so it comes up as a wash. To his credit, TACO did end up on the AWP in Game 3 and ran the double AWP composition with FalleN extremely well. More of that and SK will soon be adding two more titles under its belt at ESL Cologne and the PGL Major in the coming weeks.
coldzera    SK Gaming
coldzera quietly put together a 62/53 KD in SK Gaming's tight series win against FaZe Clan in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

While coldzera ended up with the third highest number of kills in this series, you wouldn't have known that with how his play translated onto the map. While he was pretty consistent in the game, he seemed to shrink away early on the rounds, which left his team scrambling to stave off a hot FaZe Clan in the later stages of each game. This seemed like a continuance of some of his recent performances that haven't been up to his usual high level of play. Although it's quite telling of his overall level of play when a 62-kill series is an underperformance. That's just the reputation that coldzera has garnered. Should he return to his early 2016 form, SK will be truly unstoppable.
FalleN    SK Gaming
FalleN was his normal consistent self in SK Gaming's 2-1 win over FaZe Clan in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals, putting together a 59/60 KD.

RotoWire Analysis

FalleN, in addition to being quite handy on the AWP, is a perennial shotcaller as well. In a series as close as this one, you need someone at the helm that won't lose his cool when the going gets tough. That was especially true in this series that was filled with plenty of ups and downs. From the Game 1 loss to the Game 2 comeback to the Game 3 thriller, this series had it all. But SK never seemed to play frantic at any moment, which has to be attributed to the veteran presence of FalleN. With the team playing so well going into the slew of upcoming tournaments, SK is poised to make another run similar to their mid-2016 form.
felps    SK Gaming
felps never managed to get into a nice groove when SK took down FaZe Clan 2-1 in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals, finishing with a 61/68 KD.

RotoWire Analysis

felps uses his aggression constantly to try and give SK an advantage in any given round. While this sometimes it works out in his favor, sometimes he also finds himself stuck in less than stellar situations. That seemed to happen quite often early on in this series. While he tried his best to find frags for his teammates, it was never enough. As the series progressed though, he started to find his footing in moments. He never ended up being incredibly consistent, but he added in enough kills in the later rounds of both Games 2 and 3 to help give his team the win. If he can start picking his spots more consistently, SK will certainly continue to be a force to be reckoned with in tournaments to come.
fer    SK Gaming
fer dominated from start to finish in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals, posting a 84/61 KD in SK Gaming's 2-1 win over FaZe Clan.

RotoWire Analysis

Simply put, this was fer's time to shine. While coldzera and FalleN usually enjoy their time in the spotlight, fer sometimes shrinks into the background. That wasn't the case one bit in this series on Sunday. Up against FaZe Clan, it took everything SK had to come away with the win. Whereas his teammates faltered in certain moments, fer was always there to drive his team to the win. Even in Game 1 when his team lost, he was on top of his game. In the first half of Game 2, he went 21/4 to propel his team towards the finish line. fer certainly seems to be hitting his stride in the best possible way. With ESL Cologne coming up next week and the PGL Major the following week, this is the perfect time for him to come alive.
NiKo    FaZe Clan
NiKo led FaZe Clan from start to finish in this 1-2 series loss to SK Gaming in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals, finishing with a 76/69 KD.

RotoWire Analysis

NiKo continues to be one of the best acquisitions in the world of CS:GO for quite some time. He was almost always at the forefront of his team in this series and was just about the only reason they were even able to get as close to a win as they did. While some of his teammates faltered at different points in the series, he was always on point. Well, he did only have two kills in the first 10 rounds of Game 3, but that was more of a macro level issue with FaZe as a team. Once he came alive, his team came alive with him to almost pick up the win. With such a strong leader for this team, FaZe is certainly a team that will be here for quite some time.
karrigan    FaZe Clan
karrigan, despite strong shotcalls, only managed to come up with a 48/65 KD during FaZe Clan's loss to SK Gaming in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

Whereas FalleN is an in-game leader who can dominate the scoreboards, karrigan is a brilliant IGL who often leaves his team without consistent enough frags to win rounds. His shotcalling in this series was very strong, but he just couldn't get the kills needed to get over the hump. With both Games 2 and 3 going to overtime, the margin of error shrunk to minuscule levels. Had karrigan been able to find a couple more pixels for kills in those late rounds, his team likely could have won the series. He did come up with some nice clutches to keep his team even, but never over the hill. Still, the incredible series that he called has to be acknowledge. Despite his deficiencies, FaZe hung in there against probably the best team in the world. This is a rivalry that will be fun to watch for months to come.
rain    FaZe Clan
rain came up short with a 55/63 KD in FaZe Clan's 1-2 loss to SK Gaming in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

rain picked the worst time to have his performance dip. Whereas he had been playing very strong up until this point in the tournament, he came up short in this series against SK in the grand final. He started off well enough with a 27/20 KD in Game 1, but then disappeared for most of the rest of the game. He showed splashes of greatness in Game 2 with some disgusting angles on the A-bombsite of Inferno, but his contributions simply weren't consistent enough to get the win. NiKo couldn't carry the team by himself. Had rain been at the same high level of FaZe earlier performances during the weekend, the outcome likely would have been very different.
allu    FaZe Clan
allu used his AWP to put together a 60/59 KD in FaZe Clan's close loss against SK Gaming in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

allu stuck with his AWP for most of this series and almost sniped FaZe to a championship victory. Much like kioShiMa, allu was actually worse off in his team's win than he was in the losses. But once he got his footing in Games 2 and 3, he was a force to be reckoned with. The heads of SK Gaming weren't safe as his incredible skills on the AWP managed to flip Game 3 upside down after SK took a 13-2 lead into the half. He helped FaZe pick up a 13-2 of their own to force overtime. They eventually lost, but FaZe continues to show that they are here to stay.
kioShiMa    FaZe Clan
kioShiMa put together a 62/57 KD in FaZe Clan's narrow loss against SK Gaming in the grand final of the ECS Season 3 Finals.

RotoWire Analysis

While it had been the rain and NiKo show during the tournament up until this series, kio stepped up in a big way here to try and give his team a fighting chance at hoisting the trophy. The ironic part was that he came up short in the team's one win, but was on top of his game when his team lost. While he wasn't able to bring his team the victory, it certainly wasn't for lack of trying on his part. He dropped 31 kills in the Game 2 loss that went all the way into overtime. Even though FaZe didn't get the win, their performance against arguably the best team in the game shows that this team is right on the cusp of a breakthrough.
DEVIL    Team LDLC.com
DEVIL will join Team LDLC, the organization announced on Wednesday.

RotoWire Analysis

LDLC has managed to hang around in their recent tournaments, but haven't moved the needle as of late. Enter DEVIL. DEVIL will take over for mistou in a move that likely solidifies LDLC as an above-average unit.
jasonR    OpTic Gaming
After just joining the team a few weeks ago, the in-game leader has decided to step down from the active roster, as stated in OpTic's YouTube documentary, "Vision".

RotoWire Analysis

OpTic Gaming has once again made another roster change just weeks after jasonR took the in-game leader role; however, that same in-game leader has decided to step down. OpTic's YouTube documentary "Vision" reveals that jasonR felt that he wouldn't have the permanent fifth spot, and was also worried about the time taken away from his streaming presence due to traveling to multiple events. According to the video, OpTic coach James "hazed" Cobb learned about the in-game leader's decision to leave the team after successfully qualifying for the ECS S3 Finals. OpTic has now turned to hazed to fill in the fifth and final spot.
REZ    Ninjas in Pyjamas
REZ has joined Ninjas in Pyjamas as friberg's replacement according to an official post by the organization Monday.

RotoWire Analysis

With the recent departure of friberg, Ninjas in Pyjamas have signed REZ as the team's newest member. Having played on Epsilon eSports and earning numerous tournament victories, REZ is looking to make his mark on the team and help them improve from their recent slump. The young player may make an excellent fit to the roster and the organization will help him develop to his full capacity while he helps the team reach their previous levels of dominance once again.
friberg    Ninjas in Pyjamas
friberg has departed the active NiP roster according to a post from the organization Monday.

RotoWire Analysis

After having played with Ninjas in Pyjamas for four years friberg will be departing the team's roster. The change comes after several lackluster finishes in recent competitions as the team looks to make improvements from their recent steady decline. Both the team's official post as well as his Twitter indicate the departure comes on good terms. It is unclear whether friberg will continue playing professional CS and look for another team to play on. NiP will replace friberg with REZ as an attempt to improve their recent showings and start the new generation of NiP.
Snax    Virtus.pro
Snax posted a 46/40 in Virtus.pro's 0-2 loss to G2 Esports on Thursday in the ECS.

RotoWire Analysis

Even though his team wasn't able to pick up the win in this series, Snax was the only reason they were even close to victory at any point. He led his team in KD in both games, and was strong in terms of damage as well. Game 1 started off well enough, with Snax picking up six kills in the first four rounds. He managed to touch the AWP early on, which undoubtedly led to their being able to hang with G2 for most of the game. They managed to keep it close early but were easily handled in the second half of the 16-10 loss. It took him awhile in Game 2 to find a multi-kill, but his 3k in Round 10 gave his team their second win in the lopsided first half. While he sometimes does his damage on the AWP, his team's economy was in the gutter all game long, so he didn't get much of a chance to even touch the weapon. They still managed to bring the game all the way to a 30th round, but G2 prevailed to secure the sweep.
pashaBiceps    Virtus.pro
pashaBiceps went 38/40 in Virtus.pro's sweep at the hands of G2 on Thursday in the ECS.

RotoWire Analysis

pashaBiceps did his best to help his team get a win here, but they were unable to stop G2, who has been on a tear of late. Game 1 was a trademark mediocre performance from pasha, with his inconsistencies showing up late in the game. They started off nice with a 2-0 lead, but eventually succumbed to G2's might. While Game 2 started off really poor from VP, they went on an incredible run in the second half to make things interesting. He grabbed the AWP in that half and picked up some fairly consistent kills to keep the VP comeback train rolling right along. His nine kills in the half on the sniper rifle brought the game to a 30th round, but he was silent in the final few rounds that G2 won to take the game 16-14.
byali    Virtus.pro
byali finished Virtus.pro's 0-2 loss against G2 on Thursday in the ECS with a 41/39 KD.

RotoWire Analysis

byali's best game in this series actually came in the team's worse loss. They came out the gate pretty strong in the first game of the series, with byali starting off with two kills in the opening pistol round. He continued to put up some consistent frags for his team throughout the rest of the game, but they were powerless to overcome the strong G2 squad in the second half. In Game 2, he put up an even 20/20 KD in what ended up being a close loss. This was mostly due to his team's poor start, as they went into the half down 12-3. The second half was a whole different ballgame, though. VP bounced back in a major way and started to push towards a tie in the game. He picked up some nice entry frags throughout the half that saw VP actually come up with a 14-13 lead before faltering in the final few rounds of the 16-14 loss.
TaZ    Virtus.pro
TaZ posted a 27/41 KD in his team's sweep at the hands of G2 Esports in the ECS on Thursday.

RotoWire Analysis

TaZ was never able to get in much of a groove during his team's tough loss to G2 in this series. Not only was his shot calling subpar, as they started off well in Game 1 with a 2-0 lead early on, but his fragging left much to be desired in both games. His worst performance came in that opening game, where he went just 11/20 in the 16-10 loss. He only put up two kills in the first half of the loss, which certainly contributed to their 10-5 deficit at the half. He did manage a respectable nine kills in the second half, but most of them came in bunches, leaving the majority of his rounds fruitless. He was a bit better in the second game, but even then he came up short. After another poor first half, he opened the second half with a nice quad kill to start a big comeback for his team. That comeback ultimately fell short though, as they were unable to hold to the late 14-13 lead that ended up as a 16-14 loss.
NEO    Virtus.pro
NEO put together a 30/39 KD in VP's 0-2 loss to G2 on Thursday in the ECS.

RotoWire Analysis

In what continues to be a bit of a decline from the veteran player, NEO once again failed to show up when his team needed him in yet another loss. They started off well enough in Game 1, but even NEO only managed to put up six kills in the half. The second half was more of the same, as G2 pushed to a big 16-10 victory. Game 2 was even rougher for NEO. He didn't get a kill until Round 15 in the game, which was a big factor in his team's 12-3 deficit at the half. He was better in the second half, but even then it wasn't anything to write home about. His teammates did most of the heavy lifting to bring VP all the way to a 14-13 lead late in the game. He picked up two kills in the final round of the game, but couldn't win a 1-vs-1 and lost 16-14.
shox    G2 Esports
shox put up a 60/32 KD in G2's 2-0 sweep of VP on Thursday in the ECS.

RotoWire Analysis

shox was simply amazing in this series sweep against Virtus.pro on Thursday. He was doing it all from start to finish of each game. He started off with an incredible 31/14 KD performance in the first game. While things were a bit even early on, shox pushed G2 ahead with ruthless aggression in the later rounds of the first half and on into the second half. Of his 31 kills in the game, 17 were headshots, showing off his accuracy as well. He followed that up with a 19/18 showing in the second game. While his team faltered a bit in the second half, where VP mounted a bit of a comeback, he shut that right down in the end with four kills in the final three rounds to wrap up the 16-14 win.