In late 2017, SK Gaming looked set to establish a new dynasty as the world’s best CS:GO team. With the addition of Ricardo “boltz” Prass, they seemed to have found the missing piece that would enable them to dominate the scene in a similar manner to their double Major-winning run in 2016. After contesting January’s ELEAGUE Boston Major with a stand-in due to roster rules, the return of boltz hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Brazilian powerhouses. SK go into IEM Katowice 2018 off the back of disappointing playoff losses to Team Liquid at both cs_summit 2 and StarSeries i-League Season 4. Some chinks have begun to show in the once impenetrable SK armour. They have lost twice in overtime on Cobblestone and displayed clear defensive frailties on Inferno’s B site that Liquid were able to exploit. The team have begun making mistakes under pressure, which is quite unlike SK. Does that mean only failure awaits them in Katowice? Far from it. The mental strength to come back in any situation is the hallmark of SK Gaming under legendary in-game leader Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo. Let's not forget that they are home to the undisputed best player in the world, Marcelo “coldzera” David. Failure is a rarity in coldzera’s world. Coldzera along with Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, form the deadliest duo in world Counter-Strike. If the team can shore up their CT side and bring those two into the game, they can topple any opponent. They might very well have to face their hoodoo team in Liquid in Group A. It also includes some dangerous teams like Major champions Cloud 9, Astralis and Gambit. SK possess a lineup that will almost always make the playoffs at tournaments. That’s a given. Will they make it past the semi-finals this time and make it to their first final of 2018? I don’t think so, but one can never count out the resilience of SK.
CS:GO Team Primer: SK Gaming
No longer unbeatable, but still a force.
Published on February 25th, 2018
Photo courtesy of Starladder.