Having no one else to talk to, I spent some time with everyone’s favorite beefed-up autocomplete machine and wrangled it into discussing a future esports event far beyond what any of us – or it, as it turns out – could properly imagine.

“ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.” -          a hastily added disclaimer on the bottom of the ChatGPT page

Often, the worst predictions in the world are based on extrapolating from the past. There is a reason why past results are not proof of future performance, and this was a big part of what made this experiment quite fun. ChatGPT’s free plan refers back to January 2022 as its latest dataset update, way before Counter-Strike 2 was released, and it was no surprise that my first query, “What is Counter-Strike 2?”, came back with a response that it knows of no such official game.

Hence my next question: What would a game called Counter-Strike 2 look like? ChatGPT was kind enough to give a back-of-the-box feature list, and I included a few of the more interesting snippets it generated along the way:

  • Enhanced Graphics and Visuals
  • New Maps and Environments
  • Improved Gameplay Mechanics
  • Expanded Arsenal
  • Updated Game Modes: […] Counter-Strike 2 could introduce new modes to add variety and depth to the gameplay experience. These could include objective-based modes, cooperative missions, or even a battle royale mode.
  • Improved Anti-Cheat Measures: […] Counter-Strike 2 would likely implement more robust anti-cheat measures and systems to detect and prevent cheating behavior.
  • Enhanced Esports Support: […] features like built-in tournament support, improved spectator tools, and enhanced integration with streaming platforms.
  • Cross-Platform Play

Wow, this thing predicted Danger Zone but not its disappearance. Most of these suggestions are basic (and a reference to cross-platform play is hilarious in the context of Counter-Strike), but it was the same sort of competent generic bullshit I’ve grown accustomed to from ChatGPT. Onwards and upwards, then. What would the biggest Counter-Strike 2 esports competition look like?, I asked, turning the discussion towards a hypothetical PGL Copenhagen CS2 Major in 2024. It basically gave me a bullshit marketing blurb with things like a “state-of-the-art venue” and “intense competition.” Next, I asked it to list all CS:GO majors, and it turns out its dataset capped out at the StarLadder Berlin Major – though I was impressed by how it included the winning teams unprompted and even made a note about LDLC and Luminosity and how they would later become EnVyUs and SK Gaming, respectively.

So, my next query was this:

Imagine the date is March 2024, and the first Counter-Strike 2 Major is taking place – what country would you choose as the venue and why? Give me your top five.

ChatGPT’s chart-topper was the United States, followed by Germany, with generic platitudes about their esports scenes and amenities. Sweden came in at number three thanks to its “strong legacy in Counter-Strike” and it being “the home to many top-tier teams and players.” This thing is stuck in 2015, and I love it. Interestingly, it then threw a curveball with South Korea, followed by a controversial choice: Brazil.

Sorry, Denmark, you didn’t quite register on the cybernetic radar.

Next, I asked ChatGPT about the Majors’ tournament format as of its latest update – much to its luck, no meaningful changes have been made since, so it got that one pretty much perfectly right. I then asked this:

How would you update this tournament format for Counter-Strike 2? What do you think the most important changes would be to it, and why? Give me your top five.

In response, it basically gave me a mix of The International and some of BLAST’s worst ideas:

  • Expanded Group Stage with Round Robin Format – I wholeheartedly agree with this one but it is never going to happen. Best-of-ones need to go, though.
  • Introduction of a Last Chance Qualifier – We already kind of have that with the RMR decider and the occasional interregional LCQ depending on how the seeding shakes out.

Then came the stupid ideas:

  • Booster System for Underdog Teams: To level the playing field and encourage competitive balance, an innovative booster system could be implemented. Underdog teams that perform well in the Challengers Stage or Group Stage could receive temporary boosts or advantages in subsequent matches, such as additional starting money or tactical advantages. This would create opportunities for upsets and keep the tournament unpredictable.
  • Dynamic Map Pool Selection: Instead of a fixed map pool, a dynamic map pool selection process could be introduced for each match. Teams would take turns banning and selecting maps from a larger pool of available maps, adding an element of strategy and adaptability to the drafting phase. This would also ensure that teams are proficient on a wider range of maps, leading to more diverse and exciting matchups.
  • Fan Integration and Interactive Features: To enhance viewer engagement and immersion, interactive features and fan integration could be incorporated into the broadcast. This could include real-time polls, viewer predictions, and interactive challenges that allow fans to participate in the action and influence the outcome of matches. Additionally, virtual fan zones and interactive viewing parties could be organized to create a sense of community and camaraderie among viewers. This would also allow television viewers to feel a genuine connection to esports.

Please, somebody take me off Mr. GPT’s wild ride.

Instead, it was time to move on to the real world, or something more close to it. I told ChatGPT the regional distribution of slots at the Copenhagen Major and asked it to factor in the passage of time as best it could, and then to create a list of likely participants. It was an interesting experiment:

European Teams:

  • Astralis
  • Natus Vincere (Na'Vi)
  • G2 Esports
  • Team Vitality
  • FaZe Clan
  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP)
  • BIG
  • Team Spirit
  • OG
  • Heroic
  • Gambit Esports
  • mousesports
  • Virtus.pro
  • ENCE
  • Endpoint

American Teams:

  • Evil Geniuses (EG)
  • FURIA Esports
  • Team Liquid
  • Cloud9
  • Team oNe
  • Asia-Pacific Teams:
  • Renegades
  • Tyloo

Isn’t it cute that it expected Astralis to qualify for their home Major? Or Evil Geniuses to remain at least marginally competent? Or two of the dominant Asian orgs to stick around into 2024? Also, how it hallucinated two separate Team Liquids into Europe and North America? Still, it got eleven orgs right! As for its top eight suggestion, this is what ChatGPT things the Copenhagen Major playoffs bracket would look like:

  • Astralis
  • Natus Vincere (Na'Vi)
  • Team Vitality
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • Team Liquid
  • mousesports
  • Virtus.pro

No idea which Team Liquid it was thinking of.

Now for the players. For simplicity’s sake, I asked the machine to list 20 standout players who it would still expect to be competitive in a 2024 Major. I was really curious whether it would throw any curveballs beyond just cribbing the top names at the time.

  • dev1ce
  • s1mple
  • ZywOo
  • ropz
  • NiKo
  • coldzera
  • EliGE
  • s1mple
  • FalleN
  • woxic
  • kennyS
  • dupreeh
  • broky
  • tabseN
  • Jame
  • AdreN
  • Spiidi
  • denis
  • poizon
  • BnTeT

OK, I did not expect spidii to make the cut. (RIP Sprout, by the way.) For a final bit of hallucination, I fed ChatGPT the real top eight of the Major, player rosters included, and asked for a prediction for how it all might play out. After repeating the prompts three times and receiving the same bracket, I then asked it to explain its choices along the way. It was grade-A word count-boosting generic bullshit, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Quarterfinal 1: Team Spirit vs FaZe Clan

Prediction: FaZe Clan wins

Rationale: FaZe Clan has a roster stacked with experienced players like rain, karrigan, and broky, along with the addition of ropz and frozen, who bring firepower and versatility. Team Spirit is a strong team, but FaZe Clan's experience and individual skill give them the edge in this matchup.

Quarterfinal 2: Team Vitality vs Cloud9

Prediction: Team Vitality wins

Rationale: Team Vitality boasts one of the best players in the world, ZywOo, who can single-handedly carry his team to victory. Supporting him are players like apEX and Spinx, who provide solid support and firepower. While Cloud9 has a talented lineup with players like Ax1Le and electronic, Team Vitality's consistency and teamwork make them the favorites in this matchup.

Quarterfinal 3: Eternal Fire vs Natus Vincere

Prediction: Natus Vincere wins

Rationale: Natus Vincere, led by the strategic prowess of Aleksib and the individual skill of players like b1t and jL, is a formidable opponent. Eternal Fire, featuring star players like XANTARES and woxic, has potential, but Natus Vincere's experience and team coordination give them the advantage in this matchup.

Quarterfinal 4: G2 Esports vs mousesports

Prediction: G2 Esports wins

Rationale: G2 Esports has a well-rounded roster with skilled players like huNter-, NiKo, and m0NESY, along with strong leadership from nexa. mousesports, on the other hand, has talented individuals like torzsi and Brollan but lacks the consistency and synergy of G2 Esports. G2 Esports' firepower and strategic depth make them the likely victors in this matchup.

Semifinal 1: FaZe Clan vs Team Vitality

Prediction: FaZe Clan wins

Rationale: FaZe Clan's blend of experience and firepower, combined with their strategic depth under karrigan's leadership, gives them an advantage over Team Vitality. While ZywOo can pose a threat to any team, FaZe Clan's well-rounded lineup and adaptability make them the favorites to advance to the Grand Final.

Semifinal 2: Natus Vincere vs G2 Esports

Prediction: Natus Vincere wins

Rationale: Natus Vincere's combination of strategic prowess, individual skill, and team coordination make them a formidable opponent for G2 Esports. While G2 Esports has talented players, Natus Vincere's consistency and experience give them the edge in this matchup.

Grand Final: FaZe Clan vs Natus Vincere

Prediction: Natus Vincere wins

Rationale: In a highly anticipated Grand Final matchup, Natus Vincere's strategic depth, individual skill, and teamwork give them the advantage over FaZe Clan. While FaZe Clan is a formidable opponent, Natus Vincere's consistency and ability to perform under pressure make them the likely champions of the first CS2 Major in Copenhagen.

Pack it up, people, we can all go home now. Oh, and one more thing: I changed a single sentence in the ChatGPT-generated answers. Can you find it?

The header image was generated by DeepAI with the prompt "ChatGPT predicts the outcome of the first Counter-Strike 2 Major in Copenhagen and it has no idea what it is talking about - in the visual style of the Counter-Strike video games"