DeKay CS:GO Monthly Mailbag - Coldzera's buyout, 100 Thieves plans and more - Dexerto
CS:GO

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

Published: 29/Jul/2019 16:23 Updated: 20/Sep/2019 15:29

by Jarek "DeKay" Lewis

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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. 

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. 

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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. 

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. 

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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.

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. 

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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. 

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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.

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.

CS:GO

missharvey column: Valve, here’s what CSGO needs to be great (Part 2)

Published: 8/Oct/2020 13:42 Updated: 8/Oct/2020 17:12

by missharvey

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After a storied career in Counter-Strike as a player, Stephanie ‘missharvey’ Harvey is issuing a call to arms for the CS:GO developers to act and help the game. After exploring the issues in Part 1, here’s what Valve needs to do before it’s too late.

In my last piece, I outlined a plethora of issues which I believe are the root of CS:GO’s drastic loss of momentum. While there’s no doubt that the statistics paint a positive picture for Counter-Strike, the grass is greener where you water it. Valve has neglected their community to the point where many are considering whether Valorant — a tactical shooter still very much in its infancy — will be the killer of CS:GO.

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Viper in Valorant
Riot Games
Riot has built their tactical shooter with competitive integrity at the forefront of their priorities, but community feedback has been essential.

Let’s get CS:GO’s community back on board

As you may have noticed, the Counter-Strike community has a fond place in my heart. That’s no secret.— the CS:GO community is like no other, they’re loyal, extremely passionate about their game, and dedicated to making it an awesome experience for pros and beginners alike. And this is where Valve needs to start: everything needs to revolve around the community. 

So what can the devs do? Well, for starters, there needs to be a better global link between the player logging into Steam to play CS:GO and what the developers have in the pipeline. Easiest way to achieve this? Roadmaps. Planning the route ahead and sharing their goals with the players could be done on a bi-monthly basis, or from Operation to Operation. Either way, it would provide a level or transparency that Valve is yet to show. That way, if a player wants to know when to expect the next rotation of maps or hotfixes, they can do so by just consulting a roadmap that is frequently updated by the devs in-game. 

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From a content standpoint, Operations are a gimmick. There is no season-based Battlepass system (which seems to be the modern way) and it feels like Valve are being left behind in an era where content can make or break player drop off rates. Other than love for the game, I feel like Valve are giving players no reason to continue their grind. Compare this with the likes of Valorant and Call of Duty, where players have always got a reason to grind — be it Riot’s Act-based Battlepass, or Activision’s Season-based system.

Warzone Battle pass
Infinity Ward
Incentivizing the grind beyond gameplay is key to player retention in the long-run, and can even help build character lore in the game!

And there’s so much more that can be done. A large majority of the community aspire to play like professional players. Instead of relying on third-party websites, why not embed features like player configs directly into CS:GO? This could be as simple as linking it to a verified Steam profile associated with a pro. You could even take this a step further than just downloading the whole config — why not show the user what’s being changed and give them the option to swap specific elements out? So, in practice, a player could take NiKo’s crosshair, juliano’s sensitivity and kennyS’ viewmodel. Again, food for thought, but this is just scratching the surface. Steam already has a profile system in place, and it’s begging to be more relevant than just a vanity item.

Valve: Are you in or out?

I think it’s fair to say, we need more of a ‘buy-in’ from Valve — and by that, I don’t mean a measly half-buy… I mean an all-out M249 full-buy with a Zeus sprinkled on top. Using content to drive interest in a game is just the tip of the iceberg. There are fundamental issues that need resolving. Aside from being on the ball with things like bug fixes and more frequent patches, why not make the playing experience even smoother and make 64-tick servers a thing of the past?

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For those who haven’t dabbled with 128-tick servers, let me give you an example of how it feels. Imagine taking a shot at an enemy who is jiggle-peeking around a wall and connecting the bullets you fire. As opposed to seemingly getting killed from behind said wall… Honestly, the difference is night and day. The best part – there are community-run servers that offer a 128-tick rate as standard. 

In this one example, we have a problem and tons and tons of possible solutions. Let’s assume Valve doesn’t want to overhaul their server structure (which they should do), what else could they do? Reach out to third parties and embed their structure into your game? Give players the choice to play on 128-tick for a small monthly fee (while possibly reducing the amount of cheaters in that matchmaking category)? Slowly implement 128-tick to higher ranks and prime players and test out the outcome? As you read this, I am sure you are coming up with other ideas, and in my opinion, this is one of the things Valve should have been working on for years now. But even if they had been, the community is none the wiser!

64 tick servers in CSGO
Valve
If an enemy came around the corner here on 64-tick, they would have ‘peeker’s advantage’ and would stand a better chance of killing you.

Esports is thriving, now is the time to act!

The interest in CS:GO from an esport perspective has never been greater. More hours are being streamed on Twitch than ever before, and as a result, viewership metrics are higher from month-to-month. With so many tournament organizers wanting their slice of the CS:GO pie — despite being riddled with the logistical nightmare that is presented with online play — it’s obvious that Valve could be capitalizing on a huge demographic here.

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Imagine a pro player’s Steam profile was their hub. Links to all their social profiles with the ability to subscribe to them. An entry level of subscription might issue fans with access to their demos, configs and notifications when they’re online and scrimming. An additional level might include access to exclusive content and the ability to exclusively watch your favorite pro’s point-of-view during a Major, with access to their comms during select portions of the match. Imagine Patreon, but for Counter-Strike.

Steam profile
Valve
There is so much that can be done to bridge the gap between Steam profiles and CS:GO.

By no means am I saying that all of the above will fix everything — there’s so much more that can be done. There’s a gold mine of content with custom servers that could so easily be embedded into the game. Again, look at Valorant’s Spike Rush. The community asked for a faster-paced game mode, and Riot answered. We have FFA Deathmatch modes, retake simulators, warmup arenas, movement (surfing) servers… The list goes on. Valve could easily take the community’s input here and really push CS:GO forward in a positive direction. So what’s the takeaway message?

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Community first. As you can probably tell if you’ve got this far, I’m a firm believer in Counter-Strike’s loyal fanbase. The fact of the matter is, that everyone below tier-one pros are starving, and as it stands, there is no ecosystem to support these players — be it tier-two pros, aspiring pros or the casual gamer. So c’mon, Valve, the ball is in your court.