CSGO Rewind 2021

Was 2021 the worst year for CSGO? It came out stronger, anyway.

Photo: yzgwy.net

What was Akuma drama all about? 

In mid-2021, the Akuma betting drama was all any CSGO player talked about. The ESIC claimed that the CEO of Project X (the team from which later Akuma was formed), Oleksandr Shyshko, had made accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus.Pro vs. Akuma match.

After the months-long controversy, the team was disbanded following a disappointing run at IEM Fall CIS. 

Hunden versus Heroic 

Coaching bug abuse was one of the defining events in 2020, and just when it was all water under the bridge, Heroic brought Hunden back on board. His return wasn’t well-received, but the community was mum about it until a new Pandora box opened. 

The whole fiasco began when Heroic alleged that Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen had leaked the team’s strat-book with a “key individual at a major competitor” before IEM Cologne. The investigation uncovered evidence that got Hunden a two-year suspension from any events organized by ESIC members.

However, this wasn’t all. The Danish coach backpedaled on his previous statement that team players weren’t complicit in coaching bug abuse. The former Heroic coach came forward with implicating evidence, which resulted in ESIC applying minor sanctions to Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen. 

New map Ancient and other edits in CSGO

One of the significant developments in CSGO happened in 2021. Valve finally reevaluated the map pool and added a new jungle-themed map to replace the Train.

The muddy location received a mixed reaction, but it quickly found its footing in the pro scene. Among many other mechanical tweaks, Valve made the grenades droppable. This was a significant change as it transformed team roles and generally how CS is played.

The 2021 tweaks combined conveyed a much-needed facelift for Valve’s shooter. 

NaVi predictably wins CSGO’s most significant major

Before the PGL Stockholm 2021 major event started, everyone had placed their money on NaVi. This was expected to be s1mple’s trophy, and the “GOAT” didn’t disappoint.

The team beat G2 Esports in a clean 2-0 sweep, becoming the first team in CS:GO history to win a Major championship without dropping a single map throughout the tournament. 

s1mple breaks MVP award record at BLAST World Final

PGL Stockholm major 2021 proved that we’re certainly living in the NaVi era. The unbeatable CIS team has thrashed whoever came in their way of winning, and they did the same at year’s last tournament Blast Premier World Final. The Boombl4 led roster looked comfortable against Gambit, beating them 2-1 at the final stage of 2021.

This would also be the stage where s1mple would make and break another record in CSGO. The Ukrainian AWP specialist bagged his eighth MVP medal of 2021, beating former record-holder dev1ce with seven MVPs. This puts s1mple right next to dev1ce with 19 total MVP medals.

The Ukrainian squad has officially become a force to be reckoned with, giving all teams a challenge for 2022.

The revival of CSGO

The cut-throat games at the prestigious PGL stage played a crucial role in bringing CSGO back to life. The viewership numbers at the final broke all previous records in CSGO.

The final of the PGL Major Stockholm between G2 Esports and NaVi garnered a peak viewership of 2.7M, according to echarts

The player base that declined dramatically in the middle of 2020 started to crank up slowly. The gain isn’t massive, but it happened for the first time after a consecutive 5-month long drop. At the end of 2021, CSGO is quite close to retaining its one million player base.

North American player floppy also returned home to CSGO. Reports of NA’s top CS pro Nitr0 returning are also ripe in 2021. With player base numbers increasing and record-breaking viewership, things are looking up for CSGO at the end of 2021. 

CSGO died and came back to life in 2021 as it does once every three years, according to bitter fans. But, this time, a few had expected it to claw its way back up to the top. Next year would likely bring glad tidings for CSGO pro players and fans as Valve’s shooter has survived the biggest hit in history in the year 2021.

If CSGO can survive this, it can survive anything 2022 has in store.