Play It Back: Skadoodle Can't Die
Some plays are memorable because of when they occured - s1mple casually falling into the site, for example, is memorable partially because he noscoped two players in a 1v2, but also because it was in a major, at a crucial moment. HObbit holding down the fort from pool, mowing down three Immortals retakers from the same angle - a nice clip, but so much more impactful because of the timing.
Today’s clip doesn’t boast that. It’s 8-6 to TyLoo in an elimination game at ESL One: Cologne. It’s Cobblestone. Sun is shining, blood is pouring. Both teams are 0-2 in the Swiss system - and would go out if they lost - with C9 on the terrorist side - which as many of you will know, is traditionally the favoured side on Cobblestone. TyLoo are having a pretty good half, and C9 have scraped together six rounds.
Once again, C9’s offense has been somewhat destroyed. As n0thing goes down, Cloud9 are left with two players and 107 health. 100 of that health, is on our hero, the American sniper, the clutch master Tyler ‘Skadoodle’ Latham. Along with him is full time PUBG streamer Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiak, who at this point probably hated Counter-Strike. We know this, because he always seems to have hated the game. In about 30 seconds, that might change.
22 seconds left on the clock. C9 have no opening. No problem, says Skadoodle, as he peeks straight into CaptainMo’s scope and wipes him straight out. Mo, at the van position barely has time to scream ‘He’s cheating!’ before the two remaining tank-toppers march from their long position towards wood.
DD, like most of us men, seems incapable of taking a hint. If there was a textbook for how to play these situations, DD would widepeek and tear it apart. Which, incidentally, is exactly what he tries to do to the two remaining Cloud9 members. In fairness, there was a flash, but blindness can’t stop our hero. He spots out DD swinging from the same spot, and as the flash pops in his eyeline, he somehow flicks to DD and plants an AWP bullet into his stomach. DD, in response, does just 22 damage.
Skadoodle is not done just yet. With the doorway smoked, his instant reaction is to peek to the left of the tree towards the ramp, where his teammate n0thing was killed. At this point, it’s still a 2v3, but he knows it’s unlikely that there’s a third man on the site. shroud goes to plant, whilst Skadoodle checks ramp.
He hears BnTet come through the smoke onto ramp, and walks round the corner scoped, making it look easy. He pops BnTet and it’s 2v2. At this point Semmler is close to popping, as he yelps ‘He’s looking to make it happen again!’. Often I’d say, well, Semmler, what exactly is he making to look happen? But Skadoodle answers that question with aplomb.
TyLoo don’t trade the kill, try as they might - and soon they’d realise it was impossible. HZ is on the ramp with BnTet, unbeknownst to Skadoodle - at least, until HZ tries to kill him - but it’s futile.
“Ska you’re INVINCIBLE!” echoes through the server.
It’s not just a figure of speech. Skadoodle is in god mode. He repeeks, scoped in at close range, and deletes HZ for daring to shoot him. He’s invincible, he’s immortal. It’s the only explanation. He’s peeked four players and killed them all in a 2v5. That 107 health is now 40, but health is immaterial to the sniper. He doesn’t care about his own health - he doesn’t die. He can’t die. Skadoodle, our hero, must have plot armour.
Or so we thought.
Skadoodle’s juggernaut armour appeared to have a chink, as SOMEBODY finally takes him down from the van, where this is all started. shroud, the sidekick, has the pressure of finishing the story. As Skadoodle plowed through the defense with his trusty AWP and 1000 health, shroud snuck in the backlines with the bomb and got it down, with mere seconds to spare.
SOMEBODY is distracted - he too must be in disbelief. Maybe he’s looking at Skadoodle, expecting him to rise from the ashes and smite him. Maybe he’s amazed at himself for mortalising the immortal. Or maybe he’s just checking a different angle. I opt to imagine it’s the first.
Either way, shroud pops his head over the broken wall, and finishes the fairytale story.
TyLoo - broken, demoralised and defeated - got just one more round on that game, and went home. Cloud9 - as one might expect a team with an invincible AWPer should - recovered from an 0-2 deficit to make the final, where they played the Brazilian side SK Gaming.
SK found a way to kill the immortal Skadoodle; which I can only assume means they become Immortals themselves.
Wait a second...