I want you to imagine playing CS:GO. What's the longest amount of time you think you could spend doing that and only that? Would you spend an hour playing a map or two?
What about three straight hours of non-stop CS on one single map? Do you think could handle that?
That'd be three hours of no bathroom breaks, no chance to rest your wrist or your eyes. Three hours. That's longer than the theatrical cut of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It's longer than Blade Runner 2049, three average episodes of Breaking Bad back-to-back and just under the length of the longest officially released song according to Guinness World Records.
Now I want you to imagine that for those three hours, you played just one, long map. You don't have to imagine for very long, because it happened, and two teams somehow survived to tell the tale.
On Jan. 30, 2016, DenDD and PixelFire competed at the PGL Regional Minor Championship Europe for a shot at qualifying for the Columbus Major. The two had already faced off before, in a best-of-one that PixelFire took 16-2, so perhaps they were feeling confident going into the series. Initially, their play on Mirage was sloppy, allowing DenDD to lead 11-4 at the half.
Neither DenDD nor PixelFire are the best CS:GO team in the world, but this series showed why neither should have been allowed to play the game. PixelFire looked asleep for most of the game, but suddenly woke up after the first half, taking the map to overtime after an hour of play.
Countless failed clutches, disastrous tactics and just poor aiming all around put the teams neck and neck again and again and again. One overtime became two. Two became three. Three became four. Once we hit five, the casters began to lose the very last of their sanity.
Three hours of play on a single map is insane for everyone involved. The players, who were fighting for a spot in the Major, were under pressure to perform. Pressure that surely only got worse as the hours passed. After that much time, the casters were struggling to say anything coherent about this messy, awful, drawn out game. The fans were exhausted, players were dead and the analysts didn't even know what to make of it.
Seventy-nine rounds later, PixelFire emerged victorious 41-38, but that was only the first map of a best-of-three. While both teams were broken, DenDD couldn't even keep themselves standing once Train started. Pixelfire burned through them, 16-2, and walked away with a spot in the Minor's bracket stage. It was anticlimactic, sure, but what else can you hope for from a game that slowly drove everyone participating in it insane. Ending on a whimper was just another cruel joke from the twisted minds that brought us the saga of PixelFire vs. DenDD in the first place.
So where are they now?
PixelFire qualified for the European Last Chance Qualifier and placed 9th-11th. The players left the organization in February, just two weeks after being signed.
DenDD has continued a level of general mediocrity in Nordic CS:GO tournaments and the players who participated in this particular game are now mostly scattered to various teams. Their biggest name, Simon "twist" Eliasson, now plays for GODSENT.
But you can bet these players remember the time they served on Mirage. In fact, they kind of have to, because all the English-language VODs have mysteriously disappeared. Perhaps there's some kind of grand conspiracy here. Or perhaps it's just that no one cares. The longest LAN map in pro CS:GO, and it isn't even interesting enough to warrant preserving.
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.