DeKay CS:GO Monthly Mailbag – Coldzera’s buyout, 100 Thieves plans and more

ESL/Helena Kristansson

The CS:GO community is gearing up for the kick-off of the StarLadder Berlin Major, marking a good point to rattle through some of your burning questions. 

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The StarLadder Berlin Major main qualifier might be just a few weeks away, but teams have been battling it out through their respective regional minors to try and grab a spot. 

The play-in minor, the last shot at hope for teams who came ever-so-close to qualifying the first time around, is underway but will there be any huge shake-ups ahead of the Major itself? What will be fall out of the player break? DeKay answers your questions. 

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ESL / Turtle EntertainmentColdzera’s departure is still a hot topic.

Did Felps impact Coldzera’s departure?

I don’t believe he had much of an impact on that decision and they’ve already tried him twice now, so I don’t expect them to try again. Felps is a great player with a ton of talent, but he clearly needs to play positions that weren’t allowed to him on MIBR. He is good enough to play for an international roster if he really wanted to. 

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Should Hellraisers be at the Major?

Typically I don’t fault organizations for exploiting rules. In most cases, the rule is the issue rather than those choosing to abuse it the way they do, but in HellRaisers case it’s a little bit different. Having placed a player as a coach almost a month prior to the eventual rule change leaves me skeptical and concerned. 

It makes me wonder if they had prior knowledge that this would happen, which would have given them a competitive advantage over other teams like Cloud9 who chose to play the Minor again. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but it looks extremely fishy that they would set their team up to benefit from a rule change occurring so far in advance. I’ve spent some time asking around about it but no one has been able to tell me one way or the other. 

Will there be any departures from NiP?

The current players don’t really have a choice while they are under contract, assuming their contracts are legitimate and enforceable by law. I haven’t heard any rumblings that they plan on leaving but there isn’t much they can do other than not re-sign with them or look for a team that wants to buy them out. 

It will not shock me if the organization uses their current players as pawns to talk good about NiP and try to sway public opinion somehow. One day down the line the current players will tell a story similar to Fifflaren’s and that’s a shame. 

Helena Kristiansson / ESLGet_Right is set to depart NiP following the Major.
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Will Witmer make a return?

The real ones know he is capable of doing it, but how bad does he want it? That’s what I want to know. A fully focused and undistracted witmer has a place on many teams in North America. 

Will Renegades opt for a shake-up?

This is a tough question because I believe the Major is a huge focal point for them. It will determine their future and help decide how they approach their lineup moving forward. If they bomb out of it, I don’t see how they can continue with this lineup. 

It just hasn’t been the same since Katowice and they can’t use Gratisfaction being out as an excuse anymore (not that they were). I don’t know jks well enough to know if he fancies playing internationally or not, but he’d be a great addition to North American teams and even some European teams. 

Could golden join NiP full-time?

Golden’s performance at the Major as a leader and a player will dictate if he is in the discussion or not for joining the team full time. 

This is definitely a trial of sorts and they’ll keep their eyes open for other players should he not be added full-time. With Fnatic likely to make changes, the player(s) leaving there will probably be in the running. Flusha is not an option I’ve been told, so they can’t count on him. 

ELeagueGolden, fresh off his cloud9 stint, will be joining NiP on loan for the Major.
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Who are 100 Thieves eyeing up?

Neither of those players from what I’m aware of, but that could change of course. Right now I’m hearing rumblings of who they are looking to add for management and/or coaching but nothing about players. It appears they want to build a team from the top down. I should have more about it coming in the near future. 

What’s the likelihood of Hunter and Nexa in FaZe?

Both players have been considered in the past but the large issue that remains is their large buyouts. Their current contracts were signed at the start of the year, so there isn’t a ton of wiggle room to work with.

On top of that, I just don’t see FaZe paying large amounts of money for Counter-Strike players ever again. Something big would have to change on either end to make something like that happen. 

What plans does Steel have?

He wants to continue playing but right now that’s all I’m able to share. 

Will Fnatic make a change?

100% chance they make at least one change. I would put my money on twist leaving the lineup. If I had to put money on someone joining, it would be flusha at minimum. They are on vacation for the most part, so news about it will be further down the line. 

FNATICCould Flusha really join NiP?

Will Smooya return to BIG?

If he had it his way, he would be bought out from his BIG contract to join a new team. He does have an offer elsewhere, but there are a ton of moving parts necessary for it to happen. Should that not come to fruition, there is a world in which he returns to the BIG lineup. I don’t think that happens though.

How long will Coldzera be benched for?

Extremely likely. The only organization I can see being able to pay his buyout is 100 Thieves. Trust me, his buyout is double the amount anyone has ever paid for a player in Counter-Strike player. Actually, it might even be higher than that. 

If Immortals feel that he could one day return to their lineup, they aren’t going to make it easy for other teams to get him. Two years still remain on his contract as well, so it’s not a pretty situation. 

Is Mouz a dark horse for the Major?

I’m not sure if you would consider them a dark horse but the most obvious answer to me is Mousesports. Should they end up peaking at the perfect moment, they have the talent and the leadership to get it done.

Karrigan has made a living out of sending hyped teams home with ease, so I’m not about to doubt him. Personally, though, I think it’s a little bit early for them to make that type of run but making the finals or semifinals is not out of the question for me. 

Will Team Liquid fall off any time soon?

I think they will pick up where they left off. It’s not like every other team out there is grinding at home right now while they relax. Just about every team and player high up in the rankings is enjoying their time off. 

I don’t understand why everyone is focusing on Liquid and the player break when it’s pretty much an even playing field. Everyone will have to come back and get into the groove again. 

DreamhackLiquid have dominated the CS:GO scene in recent months.

Who could knock off Team Liquid?

This is a tough one. I can’t come up with a single answer that makes sense at the moment. I think the team most capable of doing it right now is probably Astralis, but I don’t think it will actually happen. 

Every team below them has at least one flaw that I feel keeps them from ever dethroning Liquid for any given period of time. Vitality relies too much on ZywOo, ENCE aren’t quite skilled enough from top to bottom, NRG have too much work to do with a new leader, FaZe are a dead man walking, and Na’Vi still rely too heavily on s1mple. 

It will be some time before a team appears that I can feel confident enough to pick as a future number one team. 

What are the odds of Smooya heading to Complexity?

I haven’t heard Complexity mentioned as a possible landing spot for him, but it does make a ton of sense now that you mention it. I would imagine it is because Shahzam is there and their playstyles would mesh well with each other. Both of them like to AWP full time.

As far as I know, he has a separate offer and BIG wants him back. Right now those are the two most likely spots for him to end up.