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Classic teams: 3D 2002-2003 (with steel)

By Duncan 'Thorin' Shields
Apr 2, 2012 03:34

ImageRelive the 3D lineup of steel, moto, Ksharp, Rambo and Bullseye which won CPL Winter 2002 and gave NA a reason to believe championships were still possible in the era of HeatoN and Potti.

'Classic teams' takes a famous and/or well loved lineup from CS history and, with the help of one its members, explains how it came to be formed, its successes, its failures and everything surrounding it and inbetween.

Few lineups in the earlier part of the 2000s captured the imaginations of North American and international fans the way the US 3D lineup of 2002 to 2003 did. Where US X3 had narrowly fallen short in their battle with the indominable Swedes of SE NiP the core which went on to become 3D succeeded in rectifying their mistake, defeating Europe's best to win the only major CPL event ever won by a North American CS team prior to 2006.

On top of their CPL title the team also made the podium at the biggest money CPL ever, with a third place finish. While their success came relatively early on in their time together, and failures towards the end of the lineup somewhat derailed their place as a top international team, the team's two CPL placings proved they were a legitimate elite team challenging for the titles of their era.

In this edition of 'Classic teams' CA Ognian "steel" Gueorguiev, the only non-American member of the lineup, discusses his team's CPL successes, their unique six man rotation and the team's eventual downswing.

(Team3D - kane, moto, Bullseye, Ksharp, Rambo and steel)

US Team3D 2002-2003 lineup:

CA Ognian "steel" Gueorguiev
US Dave "moto" Geffon
US Ronald "Rambo" Kim
US Kyle "Ksharp" Kim
US Sean "Bullseye" Morgan

US Dave "kane" Cannon and US Johnny "boms" Quach were also members of the lineup across the time-frame listed, and will be discussed, but the article focuses on the above five man lineup as the thread connecting this era of the team.

The formation of the lineup, early disappointments and expectations

Prior to the formation of this lineup Team3D had finished 17th-24th at CPL, which was a shock to many, and your GX team had surprisingly managed 7th place overall. In light of all of that how did this lineup of 3D come to be formed?

3D had just formed a new lineup after their disappointing CPL and after adding moto and kane, contacted me to join the new formation. Being somewhat familiar with moto and the rest of the team, he approached me to see what my interest was. GX and I had a lot of differences, and they were based in Los Angeles, whereas I was East Canadian, so the logistics were a problem from the start. 3D was reforming with a lot of players I was interested in playing with and the idea of a badass lineup was hard to refuse.
How much of your own recruitment was the combination of GX [pictured left] getting a top eight finish and 3D getting a 17th-24th? If 3D had somehow broken top 12 and GX had also finished top 12 do you think changes would still have been made on both sides? Were you already on 3D's radar prior to the event?

I think the difference in placings played a good part, but I wouldn't put it all on that, as I was getting familiar with the American CS community right before that CPL. The fact 3D was reforming obviously played a part but my chemistry with method in GX was a pretty good selling point I believe. I was definitely on a lot of radars before the day of the CPL, but most of that was because of the 3 week bootcamp that put basically all the big USA teams on LAN right before the CPL (including 3D).

As far as the hypothetical 12th place scenario, in regards to changes I can't speak for 3D's side of things, but GX was going to be shuffled after that CPL no matter what, due to lack of leadership and differences in philosophy. Let's just say it didn't always seem like we were on the same team with some of the people on the team :)

It's very rare that true six man lineups exist, where all of the players are equally used and valued, so were there ever any concerns that you might get overlooked since the other five would be playing WCG together? How did this particular rotation work?

The initial discussions are gone from my memory, as this was almost ten years ago. The result though, was a six man rotation for everything except WCG, due to my nationality. The main focus at that point was for the upcoming CPL Winter 2002, and I made it pretty clear I didn't want to be in for a ringer role, everyone was ok with a six man rotation. Of course it was frustrating to sit out the whole WCG and be forced to form another team for just one event, but it didn't make me insecure about my position on 3D.

It was agreed upon as a team, unless someone volunteered to sit out a map. There were some players who were invaluable on some maps, say Ksharp awping on train for example. Obviously noone would sit out their best map. As far as I recall, it was loosely based on performance and sometimes just picking the short straw!

ImageWhat kind of expectation level did you have going into that lineup both personally and as a team? Were there any potential issues with fitting in, bearing in mind you were used to a team like LnD [pictured right] which was tight-knit and you got along with everyone? Did everyone have an idea of how good you should be?

I think from the start the whole team was very result-orientated, everyone was pretty competitive on that team and it showed throughout the results in their careers I believe. Thinking back to 2002 personally, I had really high expectations for myself and the team as I felt I was still rapidly growing in skill and experience, especially after CPL Summer 2002 and its bootcamp. As a 17 year old with lots of headshots in the bank, my level of confidence was only going up.

Definitely, it would be hard to recreate the team chemistry from LnD, but I'd gotten fairly familiar with the 3D line-up even before joining and I don't believe I had a very hard to get along with their characters at all, so I didn't foresee any problems there. Most of the team had placed top three at least once in their lives, so I think our common expectations were set really very high (we wanted to, and expected to win championships).

What was your reaction to the American five of your team's disasterous 7th place at WCG? With Sweden's weak representation and no teams from Norway or Finland they were considered one of the big favourites for the title, so was it demotivating at all to see that as the first international result for the team?

Certainly that result was extremely disappointing, but one thing to remember is that the team was very new at this point. On top of that, the WCG had a lot of kinks in its running of the CS tourney (map selection, underpowered computers, etc..). Not to use that as an excuse, but just to point out that it was hardly an absolute reference in my mind for a new team, in an unfamiliar tournament setting. My personal reaction was obviously one of disappointment, and whilst shocked, it didn't really demotivate me or anything. It was just a shitty performance, and I wasn't playing so it was definitely not on me :p

US CPL Winter 2002 (1st) - $30,000

How did the circumstances around the team affect your confidence or morale going into CPL Winter 2002? As well the WCG failure your team had lost in the semi-finals of CAL-invite to relative unknowns Rival and there were issues with sponsorship heading into the weeks prior to the event. Was there any specific which brought everything together to allow the team to succeed in spite of these issues?

I don't think any of those things were really affecting our confidence much. As I outlined earlier, the WCG was shitty but not a good reference. Losing CAL-i really isn't an indicator of much as honestly that league had its share of problems. Playing a league online (a problem in itself) East to West in North America was always difficult so we didn't put much weight on that, which doesn't mean we didn't play to win in online leagues.

The sponsor issues were disconcerting, but we had someone working on that issue for us (Torbull), so we could concentrate on the game. We bootcamped 2-3 weeks before the CPL on LAN in Dallas and we were feeling really warmed during that practice period. I do believe, however, those 2-3 weeks of meshing as a team and playing on lan together nonstop were essential to that CPL win no doubt.

US 3D 13:5 US aoX - inferno (single elimination)
US 3D 13:5 US GB - dust2 (upper round 1)
US 3D 13:7 US rs - train (upper round 2)
US 3D 13:5 US DoP - aztec (upper quarter-final)

The first four teams you played were all American and the most rounds one of them (rs) put up was seven, with the others all scoring five or less rounds. Was that run really as easy as the scores would suggest? Was the gap really that big between yourselves and other CAL-invite level teams? Was there a satisfaction in putting those teams in their place?

ImageFirst I want to point out that aoX was a team we could hardly beat, or even outshoot, online (in CAL-I and in scrims), yet they got demolished 12:1 or something to that effect, which says something about the state of online CS in North America at that time. The rest of the matches really were easy, without wanting to sound cocky. North American CS just wasn't mature back then, and the yet-to-come (2005ish) powerhouses hadn't emerged yet (the later Rival, coL etc.), so yes the gap was large at that moment. It felt good beating those teams handily on LAN, but on the other hand it reinforced the fact that our first real challenge would be from a foreign team, and we were eager to get to that.

US 3D 13:7 SE SK.swe - nuke (upper semi-final)

In the upper bracket semi-final 3D faced SK.swe on nuke and the game was, understandably, surrounded in a sea of historical interest for both teams, as the event was the one year anniversary of the X3 vs. NiP matches and 3D had three X3 players (Bullseye, Ksharp and Rambo) facing off against three of the NiP players (HeatoN, Potti and Medion). What's more it was the same map as had been played twice by those teams to close that tournament out.

Your team, with you sitting out due to the rotation, took the victory by a decent margin so what do you remember of the atmosphere of that game and how it played out?

Of course, the hype around this match was immense. And it was much closer than 13:7 would lead you to believe. The rounds all played down to 1v1s or close defuses. Nuke was also a map where the score hardly indicates how tight the game can be. I do remember that the floor of the CPL was really hyped up to see that game, especially on that map.

Having won that game you were guaranteed a top three finish, so did it signal to you that the title itself was within your reach? Was a change at all in the feeling within the team?

I think it solidified what we were feeling as a team, our confidence was strong and everyone was hitting their shots. At that point we felt if we kept doing what we'd practiced, we were probably going to win. Mine and the team's expectations were for a championship and winning the game vs. SK was just that extra bit of confidence to convince us it was well within reach. I think as far as the spectators were concerned, it also erased any doubt the sub-par WCG performance might have cast on us going into that CPL. Like I said earlier, we were really playing well before that CPL in the boot camp, now it was just a question of executing.

US 3D 13:6 SENODKFI GoL - inferno (upper final)

(GameonLine - mysse, Souledge, Hyb, VicoN and elemeNt)

The upper bracket final matched you with GameonLine on inferno. Being as that team had been assembled only weeks prior to the event and had one of the most diverse lineups ever seen, fielding two Swedes (Hyb and Souledge), a Finn (mysse), a Dane (VicoN) and a Norwegian (elemeNt), few knew what to expect of that team in light of stronger names like eoLithic, team9 and SK.swe representing Europe also.

How did your team actually know about GoL as a team and what were you expecting from that at that point in the tournament? Was inferno a good map for that matchup?

While their line-up was put together hastily, it was really an all-star team with tons of experience. They had just beaten three very strong teams to stay in the upper bracket (team9, W.E.W. and zEx) so we were really wary of them as a sort of wildcard superstar team. On the other hand, our inferno was really tight and our aim was hot so we felt confident going in. The game played out like we expected, with key shots being the deciding factor. It was a really good match though, with 10 massively-skilled players on a small, fast map.

Individually that game was one of the best of your career. Do you remember it with that level of significance?

I do remember playing well in that game, I coudldn't say really about its significance in retrospect though. I do believe it was just a question of being well warmed up and feeling confident, more than the map itself. I do remember though, a lot of North American players come congratulate me on my performance after the game, which was really cool of them, and made it a memorable moment of my career.

US 3D 13:10 SENODKFI GoL - dust2 (grand final)

The final of the tournament was to be played on dust2, which was the map GoL had just demolished SK.swe 13:3 on in the consolidation final, so if GoL beat you in the first match they'd have gotten to play three straight dust2s. What did you think of dust2 as a map to face them on? Did you expect to be facing GoL in that final?

You were in a unique situation, as one of the few players of a legitimate six man lineup in CS history, to watch a big final that your team-mates were playing in, but not participate. How did you handle that?

ImageWe weren't sure who to expect in the final, but we had a feeling GoL was hotter than SK from playing them. Everyone played a lot of dust2, since it was universally the finals map in 2002. Our team had it covered pretty well as we had several great AWPers (essential to have at least 1 or 2 on that map) and we'd practiced d2 during probably 50% of our practice time.

It was a disappointment to have to sit out the map, but it was chosen by short straw as obviously noone would volunteer to sit out the championship map :) To be perfectly honest, it's extremely stressful to watch a championship game sitting out, even moreso than playing in it. When you are in the moment, it's hard to get distracted by the stress as you are focused on your game. When you are behind the team watching it unfold, the stress really takes over and on top of that you feel powerless when the going is rough.

Shortly after 3D won the event it was announced that you can secured an excellent, for the time, sponsorship with Nvidia and CompUSA, giving you salaries and travel expenses. How crucial was actually winning the tournament to securing that deal? Had you placed second or third do you think it is still as likely you'd have gotten it? How would you describe the experience of standing atop the podium at that CPL?

ImageWe were actually in contact with Nvidia and compusa at the CPL, and I believe (can't say for sure) that the win is what made them want to sign us to contracts. So I think it was absolutely crucial. I can't really say what would have happened if we'd placed second or third, but I do know that the win was a major factor. It was a joy to stand on the stage as champs, and it really set all doubts aside (for a little while at least ;) as to 3D's underperfomance.

Getting a championship is one of those things that feels like an immense relief, as the pressure that builds up in the course of two days at one of those events gets to such a critical level toward the end. Even moreso if you get sent to the loser's bracket and have to fight your way through on the brink of elimination. Definitely, those events are extremely memorable for the intensity, both on a personal and team level. Sharing that makes or breaks bonds in a team environment for sure.

How would you respond to the potential criticism that 3D won that CPL during a poor period for European CS, with all of the roster changes across the board going into the event? When one looks at the lineups of the European teams attending all made hasty changes shortly beforehand, eoLithic aside, and most proved to have stronger lineups in their previous incarnation or next.

Was there any element of being in the right place at the right time? Was 3D a legitimate top three contender for all the events during your peak?

I think winning those events is always about being in the right place at the right time with the right line-up, for all teams concerned. I do believe our close games at CPL Summer 2003 disprove the theory that Winter 2002 was a fluke. During that era, we were contenders for sure. It sure felt that way, and I don't think the other teams took us lightly until we slowly became irrelevant a year or two later.


FR Clikarena (7th-8th) - $0

US 3D 8:13 DK lvl - cbble (group)
US 3D 5:13 SENOFI GoL - dust2 (group)
US 3D 13:10 DE mTw - train (group)
US 3D 13:8 ES exotic - inferno (group)
US 3D 13:7 KR KTF - nuke (single elimination)
US 3D 9:13 SE SK.swe - dust2 (upper round 1)
US 3D 8:13 ES eu4ia - train (lower round 1)

The next event for your team saw you headed across the Atlantic for the newly created Clikarena in Toulouse, France. The event is infamous for its problems and your team were unceremoniously dumped out in 7th-8th after a loss to the Spanish eu4ia, who were complete nobodies internationally at the time. What do you remember of the event?

ImageThat event was unfortunately total garbage, the admins spent their time smoking cigarettes inside and looking generally unaware of what was happening. We had spent the whole first day sitting around waiting to play, and when we did get to play (on the second day only) we played cold (there was no computers to warm up on) against teams who'd been playing the day before. We didn't play that badly, and had a close game, losing to SK. I honestly have zero recollection concerning the eu4ia match. I do remember Toulouse (where the event was held) was a nice place to walk around (we had a lot of walking around to do since the tournament was hardly being run at all).

Following Clikarena your team chose not to attend the North American qualifiers for the first ESWC event, which had $35,000 for first place, and instead attend KillerLAN in America, which had $5,000 for first. Did you really just attend KillerLAN since it was a seeming lock that you'd win the $5,000? Had you been scared off European events by the Clikarena experience?

I honestly don't remember the specifics around that but if I remember correctly, the intention was to use KillerLAN in conjunction with a bootcamp in the area to try to get an experience boost prior to the upcoming CPL, which had $60,000 for first place. Clikarena definitely left a nasty aftertaste and ESWC didn't yet have the renown it would later achieve, so that might have played a part.

US KillerLAN (2nd) - $1,500

US 3D 13:5 US XK - dust2 (group)
US 3D 13:6 US BiO - cbble (group)
US 3D 13:4 US hatclan - inferno (group)
US 3D 13:9 US hatclan - nuke (upper quarter-final)
US 3D 13:4 US Forsaken - train (upper semi-final)
US 3D 4:13 US TEC - inferno (upper final)
US 3D 13:6 US GX - nuke (consolidation final)
US 3D 12:16 (OT) US TEC - dust2 (grand final)


At KillerLAN everything was going fine until you met TEC in the upper bracket final on inferno and lost 4:13. Then when you reached the grand final from the lower they beat you in overtime on dust2. What do you remember about those games and what went wrong?

I remember our team wasn't meshing incredibly well at that event and one of our members (kane), who would later be removed for personal as well as CS reasons, was having a really hard time getting it done. This led to a pretty nasty team atmosphere, all things considered. TEC did play very well also and were really hitting their shots.

Following your losses to TEC many pointed to the absence of Ksharp in the lineup as a primary factor. Was that such an important issue?

Definitely, especially since we'd been gearing ourselves up to have a strong six man rotation. When you have a player perform poorly and there's only five of you, it really makes you feel powerless and can be frustrating. He was sorely missed at KillerLAN for sure.

A big element of TEC's win over you was that of it being a "revenge match" since Jaden and da bears had been the players cut from 3D to make way for you, moto and kane. What do you think of them flopping at CPL Summer about as hard as someone with a high seed like theirs could? Did you take any satisfaction in in light of your KillerLAN loss? Had there been any trash talking after KillerLAN?

ImageFirst I want to make it clear those guys always talked trash, but in a playful manner. It was just their way of doing things and it was never the kind of trash that could degenerate into something worse, at least with that group of people it was always a kind of friendly thing that came to be expected. I imagine for them it might have felt like a sort of absolution from what happened before I joined 3D, but that's just me throwing that out there and I really don't know how they felt.

It's unfortunate they couldn't keep that momentum going at the CPL as I felt those players often got the wrong end of the stick in many situations. They were jolly guys and really good players in all honesty so I didn't take pleasure from them bombing out. These were the guys we lanned with and against during bootcamps for weeks on end so it felt kind of disappointing to see them drop out early.

kane was removed following KillerLAN and the team went to a pure five man lineup. What were the reasons behind that switch and the decision to stick with five for the CPL?

Without going into specifics, kane had some personal things to fix which weren't getting fixed and also pulled a stunt that put our sponsors and trustworthiness in jeopardy. This combined with the fact he didn't want to admit his transgression until we removed him (his playing level had also been dropping for a while) all lead to having him removed. I think it was a necessary measure at that point to go to a five man line-up, the six-man rotation had its merits but we didn't have time just then to introduce a new player and start meshing with them before the CPL, so we decided to stick with our core players and work from there.

US CPL Summer 2003 (3rd) - $28,000

Did the problems at Clikarena and KillerLAN affect your expectations going into CPL Summer 2003? With the top placings stacked with more prize money than had ever been seen before a lot of teams were primed to peak for that event. Did you feel like legitimate favourites to win it, being as you were the reigning champions? Had roster changes in Europe affected your international rankings of your own range at all?

For sure those two results were disappointing but we felt we'd ironed out those problems for this CPL and we were pretty confident going in. Our core line-up was working well together and we felt if we brought the same intensity from the previous CPL with our new strategies, we'd be very well prepared. We did actually feel like the championship was within reach. In that period of CS, it really felt like everything was a preparation for the big money events where it was all on the line, and I think it was like this for a lot of teams.

The super stacked teams that were coming from Scandinavia particularly were somewhat intimidating but we always felt when we were hot, it was a level playing field. In regards to your last question about ranking ourselves, we didn't (at least I personally didn't) look at things in that manner. CS is really a game where it's hard to rank people on an ultimate scale, you're either hot when it counts or you aren't. And among the best 8 teams, especially at that CPL, whoever felt hot was going to get it.

US 3D 13:4 US RDW - train (upper round 2)
US 3D 19:17 (2xOT) UK 4kings - mill (upper quarter-final)

Your first real challenge of that CPL was facing 4kings in the upper bracket quarter-final. Back then UK teams weren't expected to legitimatelly compete with the elite teams but, thanks to the additions of xenon and DarK, they managed to push you into double overtime before you won. There was a famous moment in the first overtime where they had you all but out of the door until Bullseye won a very famous 1v3 with just a deagle. What do you remember of that match?

I remember playing particularly below my normal level that match and I'm sure that didn't help. I also remember how much Bullseye saved our faces with that deagle win. They played really well and probably deserved the win more than we did. Luckily bullseye was there to steal it. I also remember we got out-sniped on that map which we weren't expecting from that team at all.

US 3D 13:10 DE a-Losers - nuke (upper semi-final)

ImageIn the upper semis you met an a-Losers lineup which wasn't well known name-wise, but sported Johnny_R from mouz and future mouz members neo and Blizzard. The final score was 13:10 but with eight first half terrorist rounds for your team. What did you make of them?

I remember them being a pretty skilled team, but their teamplay seemed lacking. It may have had something to do with the fact Johnny_R seemed incapable of being separated from his AWP. I remember on more than one occasion he would let his team die off and go hide to keep the AWP at all cost, which we found curious. That most likely didn't help as much as he would have liked. There were some tight rounds nonetheless but we didn't feel threatened in that match.

US 3D 10:13 SE SK.swe - inferno (upper final)

Your 10:13 upper bracket final loss to SK.swe on inferno seemed like a nail-biter for both teams. Was it that close in retrospect?

Both at the same time I would say. The match was really close, but they seemed to be playing with just a little more tightness to their execution than us. We pulled out some key rounds, and so did they, but overall in retrospect had we been playing just a bit tighter as far as execution, it would have been an overtime game, so they had us beat on that.

US 3D 13:16 (OT) SE team9 - dust2 (consolidation final)

Dropping down to the consolidation final pitted you against a team9 who were coming off Clikarena and ESWC titles that year. The game ended up as an overtime loss for you on dust2. How much did you feel that a spot in the finals rematching SK was within your grasp, in light of how things played out?

I can't say much in regards to the specific feeling but we should have had that match and it really really could have gone either way on more than one occasion. It was a really painful defeat as we had the victory on a plate and it came down to a couple of glock/usp headshots. They played great and so did we but I really felt cheated out of the final on that one. Especially since the final round was myself and rambo fumbling a 2v1 on a pistol round. A minuscule miscommunication and a well placed glock shot on the part of the team9 player gave them the round they needed. It was brutal psychologically, I remember it very clearly!

Any team who reaches the upper bracket final and then has to settle for third place overall will view that as the worst way for their campaign to play out from that point. With that said how do you reflect upon your placing third now? $28,000 is a nice chunk of change but do you see that moment as a "what could have been" for 3D in light of how your legacies would play out?

ImageYeah for sure it was a turning point as 3D really never got to that level again during my stay on the team. For sure $28,000 was ok but when you come so close to being in the championship match, it loses a lot of meaning. For us, at that point, it was a disappointment not to be in the final game. A big one at that. North American CS changed after that and the new teams that were formed made 3D impertinent performance-wise for the next few years. All legacies have to end and 3D had a decent one in terms of scope for a North American squad, I think. We were no Lakers, like SK might have been considered after that CPL, but we had a good run ;)

Imageboms came in as the sixth man for WCG that year and eventually would become a full-time member, returning the team to a six man rotation. Was it always a certainty he would be in for the long haul? Were you looking at other players at the time?

Our intention was to get back to a six man rotation, we felt it gave a good balance to the line-up. It was pretty sure boms would stay on if he kept playing like he did, which was the case. We did try some other people out but noone was as convincing as Johnny. The US player pool (of available to recruit players) wasn't as interesting as it would be a year or two later, I'd say. Many good players were locked into teams they didn't want to or couldn't separate from.

We'd also had our fair share of differences (I guess being on top for a certain time makes a lot of people dislike you for various reasons) which eliminated several skilled but essentially incompatible players.

US CPL Winter 2003 (13th-16th) - $1,000

US 3D 13:9 BR g3x - train (upper round 2)
US 3D 10:13 US united5 - mill (upper round 3)
US 3D 13:3 US D!E - nuke (lower round 4)
US 3D 3:13 BR MiBR - inferno (lower round 5)


The last event for the five players this article centers around was CPL Winter 2003. What's interesting is that you came into in a reversed scenario from the previous year: this time the American five had taken a silver medal at WCG and, based on your previous CPL results, expectations were fairly high for you to be one of the best teams there.

Instead upset a loss to u5 on mill in the upper bracket and then a decimination at the hands of MiBR on inferno in the lower bracket ended your tournament much earlier than expected. What happened?

The team had sort of a crisis of leadership, specifically moto being unable to let boms lead the team despite the team as a whole deciding this was the new situation. On top of that, our teamplay was really weak and the energy just wasn't there. It was a disappointing CPL but I can't say it was really surprising. Despite the good WCG performance, the team wasn't meshing so good and the leadership situation wasn't settled at all.


Since CXG was such a disaster many people may forget that with it being only a couple of weeks after CPL Winter 2003 many of the elite teams had planned their practice and trips around competing at both, so for teams who underperformed at CPL the event was seen as a chance at redemption.

Looking back now if the tournament had actually taken place was the gap between CPL and it enough to have ironed out some issues? Did you feel a little robbed of the opportunity to redeem yourselves?

I didn't feel like that honestly, in the sense that CPL wasn't a major underperformance (those would come later in decent numbers) in my opinion, we played good, had close games and lost good matches. What I did feel robbed of was a really good tournament that had a major stack of awesome teams playing. There was a really competitive vibe in the LAN area during that "event", I think several teams, 3D included, had brought their A game. That tournament was a disaster on a scale that to my knowledge, and luckily, was never repeated.

The end


In May of 2004 Bullseye announced he would be leaving 3D due to retirement. Two weeks later he was announced as coL's new star acquisition and much was made about the fact he would be the highest paid player in the world, replete with a 401k insurance plan. What was your take on that turn of events? Had that lineup run its course by then?

Bullseye's personal motivations around CS were fleeting at that point, and he was one of the oldest members on the team so I could understand his retirement. As far as I could tell, the whole charade around coL and being the highest paid player was just that, some form of PR stunt to attract attention.

Yes I think that line-up had definitely gone past its expiration date and some change was needed. Like I said Bullseye wasn't very motivated any longer and I could understand his decision to leave.

Describe the strengths of that 3D lineup.

ImageThe real strength of that 3D line-up is none of our players were stuck to a very specific play style. All our players could be first inside the bombsite for the first kill, and all were skilled riflers no doubt. We were good at keeping momentum once we had it, but were notoriously bad at pistol rounds for a while, which offset that first advantage. Our best maps were without a doubt the original maps and we were somewhat weak on the newer ones, like mill, cbble, etc. Inferno not withstanding, we were decent on that one most of the time. I think the biggest strength of that line-up was in the skill potential when everyone was hitting their shots.

The final words belong to you.

Thanks for bringing back some memorable moments, good and bad, and see you in another 7 years :)


(Photographs courtesy of GotFrag, MFAvp,, Ognian Gueorguiev and their other respective owners)



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