One of the biggest Counter-Strike leagues of the year has just kicked off. It's called the ESL Pro League and is running across Europe and North America, with 12 teams in each region.
It's immediately interesting for locals thanks to the presence of Renegades, whose CS:GO team consists of five Australians. But there's a more immediate, and funnier, reason to pay attention.
The latest match between Danish outfit Astralis and the Ukranian stalwarts Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) looked like being a complete blowout. It was being played on Overpass, which can be a bit of a nightmare offensively. The counter-terrorists — that's the defending team — have plenty of excellent defensive positions on both sites, and it can take a lot of co-ordination to break teams down.
Na'Vi wasn't having much luck breaking Astralis down. It was 8-1 in the first half, and things were going so badly that even the bomb was conspiring against the Ukranians.
There's plenty of similarly hilarious instances of people being saved from headshots and stray bullets by throwing away rifles at the last moment. Thing is, you don't see an awful lot of them crop up in professional play.
But perhaps the best part of all of this was the result. Astralis went on to wipe the first half 13-2. The end score? Na'Vi won 16-14.