It is easy to overlook the growth of the European scene by pointing to NiP/SK domination in the past as a sign of the strength of the scene. Indeed those were teams who towered above practically all their opponents but the drop off between the undisputed best and those who would be contenders was sharper than many will give it credit. At times the right mix of players could come together and with some big performances or a smile from fortune challenges were valiently made. The truth though is that for a number of years which European teams had a shot at winning a CPL could honestly be counted on two or three fingers at most. In this new era things have evened out considerably. The top teams all possess a similar level of pure talent, teamplay and tactical understanding. The best players are no longer those with the most tournament experience, a threshold of kinds has been broken where talent and dedication are gaining ground fast. The situation is more akin to the inner workings of professional sports teams, there are the young hot talents whose raw power push the teams forwards but then around them there needs to be the right mix of unselfish teamplayers and seasoned veterans who can step in with their contributions when it counts. To examine the kind of hierarchy that currently exists let’s break the top teams into tiers of performance level.
Published on ESEA on the 20th of August 2007.