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Thank you, "Platinum Five"

Napisał lecho, 12/12/2011 16:20

By winning their third World Cyber Games gold, the "Golden Five" players have overshadowed everything ever done in the world of electronic sports.

Some time ago I started to make preparations for an article summing up Counter-Strike tournaments from the 2001-2011 period in search for the ultimate answer: which one of all great teams throughout the years was the one, the best. This Sunday's morning made my work lost its sense. By winning an unprecedented third World Cyber Games gold medal the best team of all time proclaimed them by themselves, throwing all the pretendees off the throne with ease of pasha eating his steakes. Quoting Polish sports classic, they've closed their rivals' dreams not only of the WCG championship, but also becomming the season's best team.

The route for this third gold was easy like it has never been, with a perfect bracket composed of - let's say it straight - weaker rivals. But firstly, the winners are not the ones to judge. Secondly, the lads have worked out for their weaker bracket by not losing any single map until the final. Finally, all eventual doubts were shut with a beautiful performance against SK Gaming. They've legitimized their third gold in the best way possible.


First title: Monza 2006. Pentagram came out of nowhere and left all the competitors - including the mighty NiP - behind

Source: own source


When back in September I was analyzing all at that time Frag eXecutors' team clashes with the Swedes I've underlined that except for the statistical advantage of SK Gaming, the Poles have never lost a game to them when the stake was highest. In the current season both fives met themselves three times (Copenhagen Games, e-Stars Seoul, WCG 2011) to decide, who will take the championship home - and everytime it were our players who came out on top.

Even the Swedish "talisman" Marcus "Delpan" Larsson didn't change the thing. In the final he was significantly overshadowed by his vis-a-vis, Jaroslaw "pasha" Jarzabkowski. It was a special game for him. Despite the HLTV.org public (as usual) voting Neo for the MVP of the match, no one can doubt the role Jarek played in the ESC Gaming's victorious campaign. He himself couldn't pick up a better moment to stood in front and once and for all claim his status as a true "Golden Five" member. Anyone who would still try to pretend that the name only belongs to lineup with LUq should burn in hell. Or rather burn with his own shame.


When PGS was becoming the "Golden Five", pasha was having his Magdeburg LAN debut with Team Wilda and surely he couldn't imagine that five years later he will win the WCG

Source: own source


The Poles' third gold medal is something totally unprecedented. No one in twelve years of WCG history has ever made anything similar, not talking about the timeline of it. Five long years had passed since the first phenomenal Monza victory. It's an era in computer sports. I've sneaked a peak of what the other WCG 2006 medalists are doing now. Hero (FIFA) has retired a year ago, Alan (NFS) does real motorsport for three years, ILoveOov (SC) has become a progaming coach. Only Sky is still on his Warcraft III battlefield, although - differently than in CS - the creme of the crop has left for StarCraft 2 long time ago.

And "The Golden Five" keeps going! World Cyber Games 2011 is their sixth "grand slam". No other single team have ever come close to this achievement, even if we will sum together up all of legendary SK.swe major victories the counter will stop at the number 4. Also add the forementioned time extent. Since 2006 when the lads appeared on the main stage for the first time as Team Pentagram, year 2010 was the only one in which they failed to win a major championship tournament: Electronic Sports World Cup, World Cyber Games or Intel Extreme Masters!


Title number two: after defeating SK, fnatic and H2k the name "Team Pentagram" was the first to be put on the Intel Extreme Masters trophy

Source: ESL


This leads to inevitable, for us Poles very cheerful conclusion. Maybe the run of 47. matches won in a row by SK.swe is beyond the reach of anyone, maybe no other team will ever match the sheer force of 2008's mTw, won't be as efficient in winning everything around as 2009's fnatic and won't repeat Na'Vi's last years hat-trick. But even less probable - giving the current CS 1.6 condition, practically impossible - is that anyone, at any time, will come close to "Golden Five's" achievement of six world championship titles. Not only in CS though; it applies for every other game.

The last player to be as successful in major tournaments for such a long time is the legendary dueller, Fatal1ty. In the space of five years he had won four (sorry, fat, you play it for stat: I can't threat every CPL stop as a "world championship") world championship titles in four different games: Quake III (WCG 2000), Aliens vs. Predator (CPL World Champ., 2001), Doom 3 (QuakeCon, 2004) and finally Painkiller (CPL World Tour, 2005).


Probably the most emotional triumph: a spontaneous moment of joy after winning ESWC 2007 in front of unfavorable crowd

Source: own source


"The Golden Five" are Fatal1ties of their own game. I'll tell you more - summing up the number and weight of their achievements they've won even more than him. From there you can make one more step. Counting out all Asian proleagues with their specific, there were no other team or player in the whole electronic sports history, whose achievements put together on a scale would outweight what "Golden", or maybe now "Platinum Five", had done.

I have only one problem with their WCG 2011 victory. It is, I would say, one of pure sporting matter. We're all glad about the lads great form and their (best ever!) kick-off start in a new team, ESC Gaming. But I - don't hit me please - regret a little bit, that Neo et al had signed the contracts. And it has nothing to do with Frag eXecutors, although we all would wish these medals were won in our colours.


By winning ESWC 2008 for Meet Your Makers "The Golden Five" has become the first Counter-Strike team to complete the "triple crown" (won ESWC, IEM and WCG)

Source: own source


In every sport you just have to know when to say: stop. Players such as HeatoN or SpawN had missed their moment and minored their figher's fame by constantly being beaten up by later generations of CS 1.6 players. The lads are now standing in front of an even more difficult task: here comes CS: Global Offensive, which will, let's say that out loud, probably replace good old "pixels" in all major tournaments in the time of a year. Together with it a new wave of young, hungry players will arrive, some of them migrating from other platforms. The competition will be harder than ever.

I've always assumed that even in these conditions the experience, know-how and pure talent of "Platinum Five" will be an advantage which will make them able to continue their reign. But now I'm not very sure if I want them to have a go. The more "sporting" part of me says that there won't be any better moment for them to call it quit. The fan's love is very fluent. One or two worse tournaments and the buoyant mood will be replaced with pure criticism. But now they are in both proper age and proper moment to say a beautiful and dignified "goodbye" to competetive rivalry. As dignified as Fatal1ty did by playing this memorable duel with Johan "toxic" Quick in the WSVG 2006 final.


Many have thought that their days are over and predicted their burnout but the team were back into the game in fantastic style by winning the World Cyber Games 2009 gold in the memorable, dramatic final against fnatic. They've made it to the Cyberolympics Hall of Fame and joined Frag eXecutors to make another kick-start to their careers

Source: WCG.com


But we all know that everyone could and should do what they like to, especially if it brings profits. Here the major difference between sports and esports comes. A successful sportsman has his future well secured when he retires and you cannot say the same about an esports player. The question is, is it an argument "for" or "against"? Even if Neo et al will decide to go on, I'll still be keeping my fingers crossed for them (despite our not-always-so-crystal relationship). But nonetheless I think that many fans would shed a tear hearing a team's speak after winning the WCG 2011 under a Polish flag: - "Thank you for this magnifficent time and your support. We're quitting as the best, as the legends, when we are at our best. We have nothing more to achieve. All our careers we were chasing whealtier rivals having problems with Polish internet, organizations, trip funding. But we've won more than anyone else and no one will ever take that away from us - now let the others chase us."


ESC Gaming, or maybe simply Golden or Platinum Five - WCG 2011 winners. Thank you!

Source: own source


But whatever they will decide, to continue their careers or not, we all should thank them for all these beautiful sporting moments and all they've done for Polish esport.


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