Damage Control (DC) are the gatekeepers to the top tier of South African Counter-Strike. While they were a highly decorated, multiple LAN winning team in previous versions of the game, a second tournament win has been elusive in CS:GO. Their last and only title in CS:GO was by beating Bravado at the IS Invitational in 2013 – SA CS:GO’s first official LAN competition with prizes. That could very well change this coming weekend with their closest competition in Energy, Bravado, Big 5 and Goliath either playing in ESL Africa or sitting out the competition. Could this VS Gaming Masters CS:GO tournament at rAge 2017 be the best chance DC has yet had to win a second title in CS:GO?
Damage Control: Experience. Skill. Stability. Consistency. Old.
DC are often thought of as the elder statesmen of South African CS:GO. DC are five vastly experienced players with numerous championship titles under their belt in Counter-Strike 1.6. They are, by most standards, on the older side for professional players. Which puts them in some rather unique company as far as professional CS:GO teams go in the current day.
The lineup they are often compared to on the international stage is Virtus.pro. This is based on parallels one can find between the average age of some of the players (early thirties in a few instances) being on the older side as well as on the long term stability of the lineup. The Polish veterans’ current roster have been together unchanged since January 2014, although the team has its roots in the legendary Golden Five going back to 2006 in CS 1.6. DC have been together for a similar length of time in CS:GO, but their core lineup of Apocalypse, Explicit and Incin go back 17 years to their school days and the beta days of CS. Like latter day VP, DC have been somewhat less formidable an opponent of late in comparison to their usual level of play. Unlike Major winners VP, since their halcyon days in CS 1.6 DC have yet to pick up a championship on LAN post the 2012 introduction of CS:GO.
The mention earlier of DC as gatekeepers to the top tier of South African Counter-Strike stems from their incredible consistency at finishing in the top three of tournaments in the last few years. If you want to compete with the top two teams in SA – usually Bravado and one of Energy or Carbon – you need to get past DC first. Their unerring and relentless run of top three finishes go back to Telkom DGC 2015, which is an incredible record. Where we finally saw that offline third place streak broken was at July’s Orena ESWC South African Qualifiers LAN (fifth-sixth) and subsequent online performances in ESL Africa Season One (fourth), Season Two (fifth) and ESEA Open Season 25 (fifth).