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In gaming, as in life, there are perfect moments when everything goes right. When the stars align and the impossible is made possible through sheer luck. They come few and far between, but they happen.
But there’s something even rarer. We’re talking about those perfect, almost impossible disasters, when the cookie doesn’t just crumble, it disintegrates into trillions of sub-atomic particles before being sucked into a black hole and ceases to exist in this reality.
And CS:GO veteran Aleksi “allu” Jalli has seen two of them with his own eyes.
allu has the dubious distinction of playing in the two shortest rounds of professional CS:GO in the history of the game. He won one and lost the other. That’s a weird, stars-aligning moment on its own, but the weirdest thing about it is that both rounds were on the exact same map, and went down the exact same way. The only difference is that one round was nine seconds long, and the other lasted eight.
That can’t be a coincidence.
Let’s start with the first round, the longer one. Ninjas in Pyjamas played ENCE eSports at Copenhagen Games 2014. Seventeen rounds into Dust II, NiP were up 13-3 and ENCE needed a miracle to bring it back. ENCE went for an eco round with five pistols to try to reset the situation. The problem wasn’t that they were outgunned, it was that their plan was poorly thought out.
ENCE, on CT-side, ran straight up Mid, right through the double doors that lead to and from CT spawn. Unfortunately for them. Xzist, f0rest and friberg were standing at the other end, looking down through the alley known as Suicide, with rifles trained on the doors. They shredded through ENCE for a nine-second slaughter. At the time, it was the fastest round in CS:GO history, but records exist to be broken.
Two years later, during an ESL Pro League match, FaZe Clan faced off against mousesports on Dust II. The situation was a little less dire this time, with mouz up just five rounds at 9-4. But FaZe’s economy was busted, and they opted to go for a full eco in the 14th round. If a well-crafted CT eco round is like a scalpel, this rush tactic was a foam club.
All five members of FaZe, including allu, ran up Mid, through the double doors and right into a hail of bullets coming from chrisJ, oskar and Spiidi. The T-sided mouz was ready, with the bulk of the squad in perfect position to ambush the stream of CTs coming through the doors.
Think about each second of these plays. In the first second, the CT-side always lumbers out of spawn in a stack. By second three, they’re all at Mid Doors, and they’re moving fast. By second six, the first two players are dead, and the third is literally on death’s door. Two seconds later, they’re all dead.
According to researchers in Japan and Germany, it takes 82,944 computer processors to simulate just one second of brain activity. Similarly, the average human reaction time is 0.25 seconds for visual reactions, and just 0.17 seconds for audio reactions.
NiP started firing shots two seconds into the round, and bodies didn’t start dropping until six seconds in. mouz fired the first shot four seconds in, and the first member of FaZe didn’t die until a second later. Both teams had the time to react. They could hear the shots, they could see someone walk out the door and drop dead. They could have stopped.
They kept moving.
It would take us over six million processors to simulate the brain activity of both FaZe and ENCE in those moments. It’s impossible to know exactly what was going through their heads and if they actually could have stopped the disaster while it was happening. It’s impossible to know if allu could have recognized that this had all happened before.
What we do know is that both FaZe and ENCE had the time to react to the sound of the bullets. Both teams had time to react after they saw the first body drop. No one knows why both teams chose to run it down Mid. Science says they could have turned around and attempted to salvage the situation. But they didn’t. They kept on charging forward, right down Mid.
If an unstoppable force ever met an immovable object, whatever would happen would happen fast. ENCE and FaZe thought they were unstoppable forces, but it turns out that in CS:GO, nothing is unstoppable for very long.
You know, because of the bullets.