Pentagram – üles ja alla

Pentagram – siiski nagu nad end nimetavad, ma ei raatsiks kasutada seda pikka nime, sest Pentagram kõlab paremini. Kes meist ei tea seda võistkonda, kes tegelikult tõusis tuhast, mille järel nad lausa kui fööniksina lõid NiP’i legendaarset võistkonda WCG 2006 Monza finaalis lava peal ning jätkasid oma võitude rada kuni ESWC’ni .. pärast mida on nende võidud läinud allamäge. Milles on probleem? Kui nad vaid seda teaks siis läheks neil kõik paremini. Peamiseks faktoriks on siis see asjaolu, et miks nad üldse võitsid? Oli siis see nende omavaheline keemia, mis osutus nii heaks või midagi muud? Norrakas BSL võttis asja ette ning kirjutas oma arvamuse olukorrast, well .. kui minu käest küsite, siis suht tühja jutt .. aga ajaviiteks kõlbab küll.

When the five Polish players of PGS erupted into an ecstatic huddle of cheering and screaming following their win over the legendary NiP lineup in WCG 2006, it was a great day for the photographers in the front row. Their flag-draped victory celebration was captured into electronic sports history, and their joy and passion won over fans and critics throughout the world.

PGS was a different team. Sure, other players were happy for winning and sad when losing too, but you could never just feel that standing ringside as the events unfolded like you could with the Polish team. Part of PGS’ attraction was that they were an emotionally charged team, and you could see that in their play. Their relationships and experience together had been forged by years of disappointment before deliverance finally came. The fortitude and belief in their own potential for success prevailed over against the odds over time, and created something that best can be described as an e-sports anomaly.

PGS at the eSports Awards 2007
That’s why their dramatic victory in Monza was a perfect end to their old story. It was the end of one road but the start of a new one. Their tough fight to the top seemed to make them that much stronger and that tiny bit faster than everyone else. Earlier this summer, several top tier anonymous competitors admitted that they were, “gunning for the second place behind PGS.” The Poles tore up the competition again at ESWC, earning the most coveted title in the world of Counter-Strike. When they swept the e-sport awards in Leipzig in September, a few of the players were so proud that their emotions overtook them. As the flashes of the cameras went off, they openly cried on center stage.

This was one of many classic PGS moments. Moments only the team from Poland could give to a sport that fights to be recognized as one.

Their sense of togetherness was enough to win over any one team and even the harshest of critics. Let’s face it, we admire the skills of our favorite athletes but it is their personal attributes that, in the final analysis, make them close and dear to us. Most can never relate to the finer points of being competitors at the highest level due to the mere fact that we simply aren’t there to experience it. We are not good enough for that.

What we can relate to are the expressions of joy and personal triumph, exclamations of despair, and the sense of devastating defeat. In short, their personal stories establish a personal connection to our favorite teams. We relate to what kind of human capital they invest into competing. Even though PGS nearly won all the CS tournaments, their devoted emotional approach kept the competitions from becoming boring over the course of the last year.

PGS after winning ESWC 2007
At the same time, something happened to the team over the summer. It is not uncommon for athletes to comedown after achieving a big goal, and winning ESWC was clearly one of the biggest. The French tournament seemed to drain the Polish favorites of competitive energy and GameGune was the first sign that something was amiss. It was readily dismissed as a fluke following in the wake of the huge victory in Paris.

WCG soon followed, and it was a chance at the ultimate redemption, a great shot at a regaining the CS crown. But they never looked like a championship team in Seattle. The emotional edge was lost. The most visible example was Lukasz “LUq” Wnek sitting on his behind, resting on his chair instead of standing up to cheer his team on at every opportunity. Their final hour came against Roccat and it was a story of missed opportunities. PGS had plenty of chances to take the game, but their communication was not up to par. It was lacking throughout the match and even though they were on the ropes, the players seemed uninspired and resigned. The consequence was that PGS lost the crucial rounds when they had a numerical advantage, similar to fumbling the football after making a reception.

After watching their match closely, it felt to me as if their relationship had changed. It is no secret that everyone tried to lure Filip “Neo” Kubski away from his long time teammates. At the same time, the team was talking to Meet Your Makers to explore their possibilities with the Danish organization. In the end they resigned from PGS, and claimed they were fine with that. It had to create unrest because the five competitors had been accustomed to stability with an organization over a long time.

Kubski also remarked that he had sensed a change in his teammates’ behavior towards him. Despite declining every offer and staying true to PGS, he felt as if they were suspicious of him. It takes a long time to build trust in each other, but only minutes to tear it all down. As CS is very much a mental game; could this hurt the sense of togetherness that earned them so many accolades?

PGS shaking hands with eMg
It is difficult to answer that outright, but PGS recently added E for All in Los Angeles to a growing list of disappointing finishes. It seems that the lapse in communication, the mistrust, and perhaps the jealousy of some or all the members feel towards their star player is working against PGS. Only four months after their finest hour, the team will have to figure out whether they want to have a future together.

If anyone knows how to build success slowly and steadily from bad results it is PGS. They did it before, now all their fans wait to see them do it again.

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Paul, Tallinn
Suur tänu meeldiva koostöö eest, sain lapsele jõulukingi kiirelt ja lihtsalt kätte. Soovitan ka teistele

Marju, Saaremaa
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