Last weekend, eight of the world’s biggest CS:GO teams descended upon the Big Apple for ESL One: New York 2017. This was an event that fell at a truly unique point of the year, with Natus Vincere newly minted, Cloud9 rejuvenated and FaZe bolstered by some high-profile recruits. With $250,000 on offer, this event promised to deliver Counter Strike action of the very highest calibre. And it’s fair to say it made good on that promise, with countless clutch moments sending Twitch chat into ecstasy over the course of the event. So, without any further ado, here are our top 5 moments from this much-anticipated tournament.
5. S1mple’s jaw-dropping pistol ace
Up first, it's the tale of young Ukrainian “s1mple”, who has faced a number of challenges through his career, including a controversial ESL ban back in 2015. But all through this time, s1mple’s raw skill was never in doubt, and he demonstrates that resoundingly in this clip. Here, in typical S1mple style, the Na’vi player turns around a situation that at first looked completely lost. What’s more, he achieves this with nothing more than the Glock and a smoke from his team-mate.
4. JDM delivers on the big stage
Next up, we hop over the pond to North American's symbol of new found hope, Team Liquid, whose recent back-to-back grand final run has seen them receive a lot of positive press as of late. The player in the spotlight here, “jdm64”, is undeniably an icon in his own right, having developed a reputation for his casual nature. We can't knock him here, though, as his blisteringly fast shots demonstrated a newfound competitive prowess.
3. Godzera with the clutch 1v2
Liquid's newfound form wasn't made easy, and SK Gaming provided a stern challenge in their semifinal encounter. Although Liquid did eventually triumph over the Brazilian team, it was not easy by any stretch, as this clip demonstrates. And it’s undeniably a breathtaking display from SK’s Coldzera, who weaves through his opponents one by one, all while sitting just one bullet away from death.
2. Rain brings the pain
Their opposition proved to be even tougher in the grand-finals, in which they faced FaZe’s newly constructed lineup of legends. With a roster including two players who at their peak were the best in the world, Olofmeister & Guardian. Adding Niko into the mix could well have handed the keys to the kingdom to FaZe if they can cultivate that talent once again. Here we see the Norwegian, Rain, providing the fireworks with a USP.
1. NiKo demolishes Liquid
You may have noticed that a certain player is notable by his absence. A player recently freed from his shackles, now let loose amongst the talents of FaZe and poised to stake his claim to the legendary status many feel he deserves. That player’s name is Niko, and he was a major factor in FaZe’s demolition of Liquid to claim the ESL One: New York title. The clip below is just one demonstration of this player’s extraordinary skill. Standing out as MVP of FaZe’s star-studded roster isn’t easy, but somehow NiKo manages to do so. FaZe will take some stopping in future events.