The DreamHack Zowie Austin Open of 2016 has come and gone. With three days of intense Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action, there was a myriad of astounding moments that occurred throughout the tournament. But one man and one flaming cocktail stood out.
Up 15-10 after winning an epic one versus one battle, Jaryd "summit1g" Lazar was just a bomb defuse away from winning the game, showing the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive world that he and Splyce Gaming were for real. As summit1g took a moment to celebrate, he looked to give his teammates some well-deserved high-fives. Coming back to his screen, he looked down and saw his player model face down, burning in the incendiary grenade he had just thrown.
"I knew as soon as I heard the audio cue of me taking damage from fire that I was dead," summit1g said. "I had just thrown an incendiary previous to killing the guy and I was in the middle of the two lanes where you move up. I took my eyes off the screen to go up and defuse the bomb. All I was doing was holding 'w' to go down the lane and I just completely forgot that I had previously thrown the incendiary. Unfortunately, it had spread all the way to the left side of the lane and I ran over it and died."
All this in front of an over-capacity crowd at the Austin Convention Center and over 100,000 Twitch viewers.
After what some would call the biggest mistake in CS:GO tournament history, Splyce would still have four rounds to take the map. Splyce, having just completed a buyout round, had to change to pistols at 15-12, and lost the round. It would then go into an eco-round at 15-13. With just a couple of pistols and a tec-9 against an AK-47 lineup, Splyce fought hard, but eventually lost the round. Both teams would go all in with rifles, except Arya "arya" Heckmat, who would use a shotgun.
The round wasn't close, as Counter Logic Gaming dominated and sent the game to overtime. CLG would win the first map 19-16 in this best of three series. Splyce would drop the next map 10-16, and be eliminated from the tournament.
Summit1g, in obvious distress, would blame himself solely for the loss, "I am not looking to make any excuses. I didn't play very well and it was my fault we lost the match."
One of the problems for summit1g is that he is one of the most popular Twitch streamers in the world with over 1.3 million followers and 8,000 subscribers. Everything he does is amplified and scrutinized.
"I was going to take crap over the internet -- through reddit, through all these news places," he said. "I knew it was going to be bad for the next couple of months. I was going to be hearing about it. I've already been getting sh-t about it like crazy."
People always ask me what the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to me was. Well now I can answer it.
— summit1g (@summit1g) May 7, 2016
Would summit1g become the Bill Buckner or the Kaelin Clay of the CS:GO world? Not according to his Splyce teammates and other professional CS:GO players and coaches.
If you listened to his coach and teammate, arya, it's clear the loss didn't stand on the shoulders of one player. "Summit didn't lose this match for us. He was great to play with -- both in game and out of game," he said. "You can tell he wants nothing more than to win, which showed in game with the non-stop selfless plays that put us in round-winning positions. If competitive Counter-Strike is something he wants to put time into, I guarantee he can and will succeed."
James O'Connor, former Team Liquid coach and observer of the fateful match, echoed the same sentiment, "If he's a true pro -- which I believe him to be -- he'll understand that everyone makes mistakes, but the top players have short memories. He'll be great at whatever he dedicates himself to fully."
We can all agree that summit1g played poorly in terms of his statistics, as his overall 32-65 K/D (kill/death ratio) was no doubt poor, but is that metric the only view in evaluating player performance? No. In fact, summit1g is much more than his numbers.
Good teammates are hard to find. If you look at the landscape of professional team sports today, you consistently see roster shuffles and moves. Summit1g takes on a humble approach, doing exactly what is asked of him by the in-game captain. He will sacrifice himself, taking on a death with no hesitation in order to juke or fake rush a bomb site.
Despite the fact that summit1g was thrust into the event, his fearlessness in playing in one of the biggest tournaments of the year with little training time, is a showcase of his warrior mentality. He took on the tournament and the crowds and never backed down.
Summit1g lamented, "I haven't played high level competitive Counter-Strike in a very long time. I haven't played on LAN in a long time, and on top of that, I have never played in front of a crowd like that. My brain was going a million miles a minute."
It's clear he knows the game. And while he may be a little older compared to players in the scene, the maturity he showed in dealing with epic loss should not be discounted.