CS Asia Championships 2023 is about to get underway with four top 10 teams battling for glory in Shanghai, four years since the last S-tier event in the region.
Following the end of IEM Sydney as CS2's first tournament, we now get a better idea of the lineups to watch and consider as strong contenders for the title.
With only eight participating teams, the event is expected to be packed with action, but the question remains; who’s gonna reign supreme above the rest?
In our eyes, there's only two obvious answers:
Finn "karrigan" Anderson and his team kicked off the CS2 era with a trophy lift in Sydney, following stellar performances against the world’s best.
FaZe Clan stood their ground in the first half of 2023, after being on top of the mountain for months, following their ESL Pro League Season 17 title win and becoming the Intel Grand Slam Season 4 champions. However, despite their early success, it was long until they hit the skids after the BLAST.tv Paris Major, where we witnessed the downfall of a superstar team.
After Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström’s exit, the team had nothing to show for it. Except for a 3-4th placing at IEM Dallas, they ended in 9-12th place in three consecutive events. The shaky results raised some eyebrows regarding the future of the lineup, and with CS2 being around the corner, things were looking dim for FaZe Clan.
It’s no secret that the transition to the sequel took a toll on the players, who ended up stuck between a rock and a hard place according to Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken in a statement on X.
"Inconsistency is a huge problem for me at the moment and can be caused by a variety of things. Unfortunately for me, my motivation dropped a lot with CS2 always being in my mind."
After every long dark night, comes a bright day after, and FaZe Clan were the brightest on a bright day after clinching the IEM Sydney title; CS2’s first tournament.
Having defeated some of the best teams in the world, FaZe Clan are back in the conversation as title contenders despite the recent reports of Twistzz being on the verge of joining his previous organization; Team Liquid. Until that happens and as long as the superstar team is still together, they’re front-runners for the title.
MOUZ defied all odds, after lifting the ESL Pro League Season 18 trophy, the organization’s first title since 2021. Kamil "siuhy" Szkaradek pieced together the puzzle and managed to give a new face to the team as a tier-one contender.
The team stunned everyone after a heroic run through the Playoffs, where they defeated every single contender for the title. FaZe, G2 and ENCE couldn’t stop their rush, before mopping the floor against NAVI in the final with a perfect score.
MOUZ came into Sydney with the same face they left Malta, a force to reckon with, and on a mission to lift their second title this year. Unfortunately, Jimi "Jimpphat" Salo couldn’t make it due to visa issues, so with stand-in Bram "Nexius" Campana they fell in the semis against eventual champions FaZe Clan.
Jimi’s impact despite only being 17 years old is incredible, a master at clutching and handling late rounds. With an impressive 77% KAST and 0.57 DPR during his time with MOUZ so far, the young gun will be an important piece of the puzzle if MOUZ are to be crowned as champions.
Add to it Ádám "torzsi" Torzsás’s good form in these past events, it’s clear that MOUZ are more than capable of defying the odds and reigning supreme in Shanghai.
These are our picks to take home $250,000 in Shanghai. What do you think?