In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s first full weekend of professional matches in 2020, it wasn’t Team Liquid versus FaZe Clan at BLAST Premier that stole the show. Instead, OG’s contest against ENCE just down the road in London gave fans something to smile about as Aleksib owned his former team from top to bottom in a 2-0 series victory.
Aleksib didn’t just look for kills against ENCE, he looked for style points.
The player was OG’s savior in the final map’s last two rounds and secured OG the win at ICE. Aleksib pulled off a Marcelo “coldzera” David-like jumping kill on Jani “Aerial” Jussila on Overpass. OG’s part-time in-game leader followed it up by landing another jumping shot on Sami “xseveN” Laasanen before securing the kill with his knife.
In a post-match interview with HLTV, Aleksib, spoke frankly about what it meant to face the team that unceremoniously cut him after last year’s StarLadder Berlin Major.
“I think it would be naive for me to say that I didn’t prepare for this match more than the others. It’s something that is a bit personal, and I think every player in the scene who has been in the same shoes would handle the match the same way,” Aleksib said.
It’s an impressive way to handle the pressure, especially coming from a player as young as Aleksib. While some questioned OG’s decision to sign three in-game leaders to its roster when announced in December, the youngest of the three has taken the reins of OG’s T-side.
His stats, especially on today’s second map against ENCE, are stunning. With a KAST of 91.3%, Aleksib wasn’t just involved, he was almost impossible to kill cleanly. Involvement on that level is unheard of, especially from an in-game leader.
A closer look reveals that Aleksib’s performance today was one of the best statistical performances so far this year over a single map:
To make things even more satisfying, Miikka “suNny“ Kemppi didn’t have his best day against OG. The player ENCE cut Aleksib for went 23-47 over the series’ two maps with a 60.4 ADR. In his defense, the rest of his team didn’t do much better. To everyone’s surprise, veteran AWPer Aleksi “allu” Jalli was the only ENCE member that had a positive K/D after two maps.
In all, it was a solid first day of tier-one Counter-Strike. Smaller tournaments like the ICE Challenge are actually benefitting from CSGO’s tournament wars, with teams like ENCE and mousesports competing. Teams still need something to do in the downtime between competing leagues, and that means better Counter-Strike for esports fans.