We take a look at some of the greatest players of 1.6, and why they don’t deserve to be forgotten...
Ola ‘elemeNt’ Moum
One of the most blessed careers in CS belongs to Norwegian player, elemeNt. An influential and controversial player, he gained a reputation for elevating teams to the top of CS, only to leave them and join the opposition.
After early successes with GoL, and brief stints on other teams, elemeNt really made his mark with SK. In 2003, SK were on a phenomenal winning spree, bagging first place at a number of majors, including CPL.
For six months that year, elemeNt won on all but one map. This insane dominance was disrupted by the end of the year, when he left SK and joined XeqtR on NoA.
He can also lay claim to being one of just two foreign players to have ever joined mibr, albeit for just one month (the other player being bsl).
All in all, elemeNt’s Counter-Strike CV remains one of the most impressive to date.
Tommy ‘Potti’ Ingemarsson
The years 2000 to 2003 were owned by Potti. Not only did he have the skill and raw talent for the game, but also the determination to win.
The name Potti began to spread across the continents after e9 (a predecessor to NiP) won the first international CS tournament in NA, without a single loss against the region’s finest.
As the years went on, Potti continued to rack up titles, including the first-ever Counter Strike World Championship. Throughout his career he attended 15 CPL events, winning nine, in the finals 12 times, and never finishing below fourth place in any.
But what nurtures a longstanding legacy isn’t just being good at the game.
He demonstrated a level of consistency which most players struggle to achieve, while also influencing techniques and creating new ways to play the game (i.e. tapping for precision rather than the fully-auto approach – something which today is considered textbook).
Potti was the benchmark for success, and took his teams, including NiP and SK to victory whenever possible. He also helped hone HeatoN’s skills, teaching him a lot about CS along the way.
In 2004 Potti won the Best Counter-Strike Player of the Year, over both HeatoN and elemeNt.
But eventually it was motivational issues which ended his illustrious career.
Sondre ‘REAL’ Svanevik
REAL was a young protégé – and another superb Norwegian Counter-Strike player. At just 15 years old, he helped the unknown team9 to win CPL UK, before moving to Catch-Gamer.
In 2006, Catch-Gamer beat then-world champions SK during the WEG Masters. His ability to pull off incredible stunts and wow audiences was practically unrivalled at the time, and his sheer ability to decide matches was incredible.
Later in the year, REAL moved on to a successful stint at MYM; from there however, his career simply petered out.
Had he joined Fnatic in 2008, who knows what might have happened. Playing alongside the likes of f0rest and dsn could have fuelled his career for longer, however, as his comrades retired or became inactive, his motivation and drive just seemed to grind to a halt.
Martin ‘trace’ Heldt (Denmark)
Given trace’s ability in CS, it’s almost awkward to believe that after his career ended, he wasn’t able to put a single major title down on his resume, though this wasn’t through a lack of skill or talent.
One of the greatest injustices of trace’s career was that he became a master of the game at the wrong time, i.e. during the era of Na’Vi.
Na’Vi were at their highest peak as a team, and unfortunately for trace, while on mTw, the luck of the draw always pitted these two against each other.
This rivalry was so one-sided that out of the 16 maps played against one another, mTw won only three, while against markeloff.
Some tournaments did roll in towards the end for trace under the Fnatic banner, but this was during a different era, and trace’s style of play wasn’t what it used to be.
He was a dominant force in 1.6, however his overall playstyle didn’t transition well into GO, being quite a passive player. That, along with motivational issues saw his career peter out.
Jørgen ‘XeqtR’ Johannessen
XeqtR was one of those players whose influence and skill could dominate an entire map. There’s no denying his fundamental role in the early successes of NiP and SK.
Over his career he built up an impressive record, winning major titles across three continents, including the first-ever ESW, six CPL titles (finishing in the top four in four other CPL events) and achieving second place at Clikarena.
He established himself not only as a skilled player, but also an astute tactician who regularly enabled his team to stack numbers and win games.
One of the many highlights of his career was his deadly in-game alliance with the brilliant elemeNt while on eoL and NoA; XeqtR’s formidable leadership helped make this combo a truly unstoppable force.
XeqtR still remains one of the best CS players Norway ever produced.