Like a number of esports, Counter-Strike events have to find a balance between making sure teams are in the optimal conditions to perform, while also making the fans feel like they’re not cut out of the in-arena action.
Many tournament organizers have moved away from using the full, soundproof booths of the past and opting for open set-ups with noise-canceling headphones. However, despite some best precautions, Astralis ran into some issues at DreamHack Masters Malmo where they could hear the in-arena commentary during matches.
Speaking to Danish broadcaster TV2 in the wake of their Malmo exit, gla1ve claimed that the overall situation was a “mess” in Astralis’ Teamspeak and became “confusing” when the team could hear the casters both while talking between themselves and even cutting off all conversations.
Of course, wanting to call-out tactics, positions, and other key information has been a major part of the Danes' success, but it was seemingly difficult to pull off in front of the Swedish crowd.
The in-game leader also added the situation was “a different form of unrest and stress” compared to when they play ESL tournaments as “the sound is completely shut out” and the Danes can only hear each other, and not anything else.
While he may have been positive about ESL events, the team did run into problems at ESL One New York with the crowd calling out positions for Team Liquid during their barnburner of a match-up – as Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen labeled it as a “disgrace.”
However, gla1ve also noted that the disruption at Malmo wasn't an excuse for their disappointing result, adding that “it’s the same conditions for the other teams,” so it doesn’t help any cause for change when eventual winners Fnatic can perform in the same environment.
In the past, DreamHack events have used a number of soundproof booths – following in the path of some CS:GO tournaments organizers – but have followed suit with others in moving to the more open stage plan and apparent noise-canceling headsets.
Whether or not they’ll find a way to rectify their apparent problem remains to be seen, but at least, for now, Astralis aren’t entirely happy with the way things are.