From the 10th to the 12th of September, Dubai will see another clash of Counter-Strike legends after the two Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenges in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Intel Extreme Masters not only brought TaZ, Neo and Kuben to Dubai but also some newer faces that we now know as legends. However, their first experience in Dubai differed quite a lot, with Swedish youngsters Fnatic, MeetYourMakers and SK Gaming taking the stage by storm while the Ukrainian newcomers still had to find their form.
Edward and Zeus return with not so fond memories
2009 was the year that Natus Vincere was formed, with them quickly rising to become the top-notch team that we now know and still remember from their dominant years at Intel Extreme Masters. However, despite Edward and Zeus picking up two World Championship titles, in Dubai these two were still part of Virtus.pro and ended up having a pretty tough time.
After fighting hard in a group with SK Gaming, Virtriolic (TaZ, Neo and their mates), k23, mousesports and Dubaian team IMPULSE, they dropped out together with reigning champion mousesports. It was the time for the Swedish teams to shine in 2009, and so we continue with two young guys who every CS:GO fan in the world should have heard of.
GeT_RiGhT and f0rest on the rise
Before taking on the top CS:GO teams in the world, Fnatic already knew how to win titles in CS 1.6. With a team consisting of cArn, dsn, GUX as well as nowaday Ninja in Pyjamas stars GeT_RiGhT and f0rest, they came to Dubai to cause some trouble. Together with SK Gaming and MeetYourMakers, the Swedes were set to dominate the tournament and take the top three positions by storm.
Fighting for the title against SK Gaming and MeetYourMakers was a huge task. MYM especially, who had signed zet, pita and their team less than a month before Dubai 2009, were playing a tournament to remember. zet and TaZ gave a masterclass on how to smack talk your opponents that made their teams’ clash in the semifinals great to watch, but they still didn’t manage to steal the spotlight from Fnatic as they worked on building up their legendary status.
In this phase, Fnatic were considered one of the best teams in the world and earned a lot of the respect that made them one of the biggest organizations in esports. The Dubai title was only one of many won in this constellation, but f0rest and GeT_RiGhT have already showed that they play to win no matter if it’s back in 2009 or the upcoming 2015 ESL ESEA Pro League Invitational.
Coming back to Dubai with mixed memories
Three of our eight teams already have some experience of Dubai, but it’s not only the players who remember going to the United Arab Emirates to spread the word of esports. Some of ESL’s veteran staff members played their parts in front of the cameras at those 2008 and 2009 Intel Extreme Masters stops, and now look forward to ESL ESEA Pro League Dubai Invitational in the leadup to the second season .