I headed up the return of UKCSGO one year and two days ago. I had a call with the owner, Adam “blanks” Heath, at one o’clock in the morning whilst I was in a Moxy Hotel in Romania, providing Dust2.us coverage for the Antwerp Americas RMR. I pitched an idea where we would return to provide much-needed coverage to a scene that desperately needed it. During that call, no part of me ever believed that within less than a year I would be sat in the press room of a Major watching the players I’d interviewed in the LAN halls of Kettering be one win away from playing in a crowded arena.
But Into the Breach have made the impossible happen.
From an unstable team with an AWPer problem to a formidable opponent taking down FaZe and ENCE on LAN, Into the Breach have given me hope. In the UK we are told that “it’s the hope that kills you” and that may be true, but after years of having nobody to root for it just feels good to hope again. Into the Breach have not only shown that UK CS:GO can produce a strong team, but it has shown that UK CS has a fan-base. Crawling out of their deep slumber UK CS fans have come out in full-force to support their new top dogs. It was best described by Thomas “Thomas” Utting who said; “I think that the UK’s always lacked a team.” Now that team has arrived.
Their arrival was slow at first as it had been at the RMR. This time they didn’t take NAVI to double-overtime; they were instead cut down to size by Apeks. The high flying international squad proved too much for Into the Breach, despite a fake comeback in the second half. Into the Breach had their heads down, in Sebastian “volt” Malos’ words “the Apeks loss which was pretty sad for us because we went into that game expecting to win.” For many at home the loss confirmed their worst fears: Into the Breach would live up to expectations of those who had them going 0-3. The run was a tease, a fluke, they shouldn’t even be at the Major and they wouldn’t be there for very long. Or so people thought.
Gustavo “Juve” Alexandre, the youngest coach to ever compete in a Major, knew he had to get his boys back on track. Apeks was a tough game, a tough loss, but it was just one game and there was plenty more to come. FaZe was their next opponent, one of the greatest teams in the world, but if they played with the confidence they had showed at the RMR maybe they had a slight chance, a glimmer of hope, to avoid going 0-2. Maybe if they fought tooth and nail it would be a close affair that they might just edge in double or triple overtime.
As the game started, the UK scene did not know what they were about to witness. Neither did anyone else. The game starts pretty evenly, FaZe look a little flat, but don’t let it slip away from them… until they do. Into the Breach get one, two, three, four, five in a row! The casters can’t believe what they are seeing, my voice has already gone hoarse in the pressroom and I can hear the screaming from across the building. The first half ends at 10-5, everybody’s hearts are racing, but we know it’s not over. FaZe is not a team you can underestimate, they are not a team you can count out of any game.
Into the Breach on the T-side with a five round lead, am I dreaming?
Reality starts to kick in again as FaZe put up five rounds in a row and start to close the deficit, but then the Pole steps up to bat. Momentum is swinging against Into the Breach and Karol “rallen” Rodowicz wins a 1v2, they capitalise with two more rounds. 15-10. I walk over to the player area to watch, Into the Breach start losing. 15-12.
“I’m a bad omen.” I said to the press next to me.
I walk back to the press room. I look up at the TV. Joey “CRUC1AL” Steusel to win it… He’s not the problem.
I can’t even imagine what the Twitch chat looked like in that moment. The grief that SashAFP was giving FaZe fans must have been immense and it’s just the start.
The players walked out with exhausted excitement written across their faces, I’ve never seen players so eager to talk to UKCSGO before. They had plenty to say, but not the words to say it. After the interviews Cai “CYPHER” Watson begun to walk off and someone confirmed that ENCE was their matchup
“Damn” I remember him saying. Not much else.
The next day rolls around and the team arrives at the venue with smiles on their faces. As Kobe famously said “the job’s not done”, but for the longest time we haven’t even been employed. Into the Breach hadn’t gone 0-3. Surely that was enough. It might have been enough for me, but it wasn’t enough for the players. The smiles never faded. The British lads tore their way through ENCE in the 1-1 matchup and they never looked as if they would lose – not for a second. They scythed straight through the international squad and put the idea of playing in the Major playoffs within reach.
As I said in the beginning: it feels good to hope. Maybe Into the Breach win, maybe Into the Breach lose, but it doesn’t matter. Either way they’ve given me hope.
To me… that’s enough.