Well, there we go…4 words I wasn’t sure I would be typing in 2016 and especially after the groups were announced for ELeague: OpTic Gaming wins ELeague (Season 2).
I guess after Leciester City winning the Premiership in 2016 nothing should come as a shock, however CS:Go is a different animal and OpTic had a tall task in front of them at ELeague. The Season 2 group stage, as analysts put it, was the most stacked a tournament has been in quite some time, all the heavy hitters were present and OpTic came out on top.
As you can see above, the only other team ranked outside the top 10 to win a tournament was Na’Vi and that was ESL One NY just as they added S1mple to the roster. Whereas this OpTic team has been competing together and has shown flashes of greatness but also moments of weakness like Dream Hack a week prior.
After toppling FaZe, OpTic were left as supreme underdogs facing Astralis, who some were saying have the potential to be the next Juggernaut of a team. OpTic started sluggish dropping the first 7 rounds of match 1 before getting some rounds back and losing a more respectable 16-9.
Map 2 was Cobblestone in which OpTic came out like men possessed and flat out destroyed Astralis 16-6 leading to a 3rd map on Overpass. OpTic ended up winning Overpass 16-11 with a few nervy moments to boot they won ELeague Season 2 and took home $400,000.
This win was not only a beautiful moment for North American CS but for OpTic Gaming as a franchise. When they acquired a Counter Strike team in early January of 2016 they did not go out like FaZe or even nV of a few years back and buy one of the tier 1 teams. OpTic went and bought a relatively unknown group of NA players and in one short year have just won ELeague.
Fans were quick to judge early on at H3cz (Hector Rodriguez; Owner/CEO of OpTIc) selection of this team and why they didn’t go to Europe and buy a contender and H3cz response was “trust the process” and now, not even a full year later they won one of the biggest tournaments of the year and on National Television.
As a fan of eSports as a whole and OpTic gaming, to be able to watch them win live on TV was incredible. It’s big for the scene, it’s big that an NA team won it live on TBS. The thing is, on Twitch we know the core audience is watching but lets take someone like my father, who I watched the finals with. There is no chance he would turn on twitch to watch counter-strike. However, if it’s on TV you may get his attention to at least be interested.
As much as us, as eSports fans love our niche on the internet/twitch. For the general public being able to watch on TV really can have an impact on your eSport as a whole.
Once again, Congratulations to OpTic Gaming your Eleague Season 2 Champions.