DeKay CSGO Monthly Mailbag - What Happened with Jamppi, the 2020 landscape, more - Dexerto

DeKay CSGO Monthly Mailbag – What Happened with Jamppi, the 2020 landscape, more

Published: 28/Oct/2019 16:59 Updated: 28/Oct/2019 17:24

by Jarek "DeKay" Lewis


With the Counter-Strike scene moving forward and multiple rosters being reported, there are still a tonne of questions that need answering before a number of announcements.

Jamppi was supposed to be headed to OG but now looks sidelined, so what’s next for them? When will the European organization make an announcement on their move into CS:GO? Will GeT_RiGhT find a permanent home after Ninjas in Pyjamas? 

Answers to these questions and more are in this edition of DeKay’s Monthly Mailbag.

StarLadderGeT_RiGhT is in search of a new CS:GO home.

What will CSGO esports look like moving forward?

Counter-Strike will be similar to 2019 in 2020 with at least one new addition to the calendar. For a couple months out of the year, the landscape will be divided due to playing their respective leagues. Teams like Liquid are positioned on the ESL side while many other North American teams are aiming to play in the new league that has been rumored. 

As far as the rest of the calendar, it should look pretty much the same but I don’t expect ECS to remain in the same capacity that it is operating in now. Online Counter-Strike for the top teams is pretty much a thing of the past and no one wants to do it anymore.

Why did OG switch to poizon?

Multiple sources have said it is due to the VAC banned account that jamppi is linked to. The real question there is if OG decided to stay away because they don’t like the risk or if they were able to get a clarification from Valve. I haven’t heard one way or the other just yet. 

As for poizon, he was next on their list and has earned himself a chance on a better team. 

Should Cloud9 move on from JamezIRL?

I don’t have any insight as to what type of coach Jamez is on Cloud9, but I’ve heard previously that he is very dedicated. I doubt he is their weak point, so changing him out doesn’t really make sense to me unless there is conflict. 

How close are we to an announcement from OG?

I’ve been told to expect something pretty soon. This week hopefully.

What’s next for oskar?

Oskar will always have less options to choose from than a player of his skill would normally have, due to his reputation as a teammate. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is reality. He is known for being tough to deal with and I don’t really expect him to go anywhere other than a smaller team similar to that last HellRaisers lineup.

DreamHackOskar last played for Hellraisers after leaving Mouz’ active line-up.

Should Complexity make a move for an AWPer?

An obvious option is WARDELL, but that is something you need to have full confidence in being an upgrade before doing it. I’m not convinced it is. At this point, if they are truly bringing k0nfig in, shahzam is the next guy up for replacement due to the structure of the team.

Outside of WARDELL, you probably have to go to Europe to get a legit upgrade but that would put Complexity in the EU Minor pool. That isn’t a risk worth taking in my opinion.

How do you fix North?

You have to go get MSL again at this point. I know it isn’t flashy, but they would get more decent results with him there. Is there a leader that is more deserving of a chance in Denmark? 

DreamhackMSL won his last premier CS:GO event as North’s IGL.

What should Cloud9 do?

I think they should go a couple of events with subroza just to see how things change. Beyond that, I highly doubt koosta is an issue on that lineup. Koosta is quiet and does a ton of the dirty work on the teams he plays for nowadays. 

They need a player that will buy in fully to the system who also has a ton of potential. I don’t have a name that fits that bill just yet. 

What’s going on with nawwk and fnatic?

I’m hoping to make a report about that, so I’ll have to ask you to remain patient for me.

What’s happening with 100 Thieves, Dignitas, and TSM?

Many of those organizations are considering an entrance to CS:GO if the new league in NA pans out in the way they’d like it to. The issue is, there are only so many top lineups to go around. The latest information I have had on 100 Thieves leads me to believe they won’t be getting a lineup anytime soon. 

Has GeT_RiGhT had any offers?

I don’t have any information on that front, but I imagine he has had some interest. One option could be wherever Xizt and Friberg go. I’ve always thought GeT_RiGhT would give an international team a chance before he stopped playing, so maybe that happens. I’m not sure really.

Do you think k0nfig will find form again?

I really do think he will return to form in 2020. I think everything is in place for him to make that happen. He has dealt with his own struggles in the past as well as organizational struggles recently that have severely hampered him. Once he is officially locked down, there will be so much less in the way for him. I’m excited. 

Dreamhackk0nfig departed OpTic once the former roster disbanded.

Masvidal or Diaz?

Masvidal has the edge in my opinion but fights with Nate never seem to go how I expect. I’m not super confident about that choice. 

How long before Na’Vi make another change?

I think b1ad3 can still work some magic with this lineup and help fix some of their issues. Replacing an in-game leader isn’t an easy move, especially when you have a guy doing it that doesn’t have any notable experience with the role. 

I will have a ton of patience with this lineup and I hope they have patience themselves. GuardiaN needs to step up too, which I think will happen. 

Any moves for ex-GamerLegion players?

I haven’t heard anything about any of those players, but if they want any real interest they’ll need to prove themselves again. Either together or separately. 

Would FaZe ever take Karrigan back?

Some players like Rain would definitely consider him returning, but I doubt NiKo ever would. Nor would Karrigan for that matter. He likes having control and has the accomplishments that warrant that control, so why would he give that up? 

Karrigan will be at Mousesports for as long as he wants really. If they go downhill, he’ll be allowed to make the changes he feels are necessary. 

ESLKarrigan was FaZe’s longtime in-game leader.

Do Faze want to continue with Broky?

I can only assume so. They probably aren’t happy about their recent performances and I would hope they’ve been working to improve them. If not, I’d be pretty worried. 

Will the next Major be in Sydney?

I am 99% sure there will not be a Major in Sydney. I don’t know what that random report was talking about. 


BLAST’s director of operations on maintaining integrity with online CSGO

Published: 24/Nov/2020 15:23 Updated: 24/Nov/2020 15:33

by Adam Fitch


“This time last year our rulebook and our whole setup were based on LAN events,” BLAST’s director of operations and production Andrew Haworth told Dexerto. “We hadn’t really done a huge amount of work on how that would be replicated in an online world.”

Earlier this year, with the global health situation emerging, governments all around the world were forced to reduce the feasibility of hosting events, and thus, they were moved online — halfway through a tournament, in some cases.

Prior to the restrictions, tournament organizer BLAST managed to host their first big competition of the year in February, impressing many and unknowingly hosting what would be one of the only prominent offline events in the 2020 Counter-Strike calendar. They didn’t have the same privilege later in the year, however, as limitations had yet to be permanently relaxed in many locations. Nonetheless, they went on with their plans to host the BLAST Premier Fall Series, albeit online.

Another layer of absurdity was added as a factor of hosting an event, and that was the revelation of a spectating bug that spanned multiple years. With the Esports Integrity Commission — a body devised to maintain the integrity of competitive gaming — issuing bans to dozens of coaches, integrity questions were more prominent than ever during an online era, no less, where it’s harder to monitor the activity of teams and their coaches.

BLAST Premier Fall Series 1
Commentators Scrawny and launders arrived at the production location early to accommodate local restrictions.

Haworth’s background working on major music festivals and the Olympics Games means he’s no stranger to crafting contingency plans to put in place in case of a problem arising. Prior to hosting the Fall Series, they went through sessions of scenario testing with key department leads to devise numerous methods of still getting the job done.

Considering BLAST have deployed everything at their disposal to maintain competitive integrity within their events, Dexerto spoke with Haworth to see how they adapted their processes to move to a remote production while monitoring the gameplay itself both in and out of the server.

Going back to esports’ roots

“We were fairly lucky in the timing of the outbreak, we just finished our Spring Series in February and didn’t have another live event till the end of May,” he said. “Other tournament organizers didn’t and were thrown into that halfway through a show. We had a bit of time, purely by luck, to have a look at what we need to do for our Spring Showdown and our Spring Final.”

While esports, like most other sports, is fundamentally an entertainment product, the need for competitive integrity is essential. Fans tune in to watch the best players in the world face off against each other, and that’s no different during an era of online competition.

“If the fans don’t have faith in what we’re putting on if our broadcasters and sponsors don’t have faith in what we’re putting on, and the teams ultimately lose faith in it, then none of us can stand behind it proudly,” Haworth said. “So competitive integrity is in integral to what we do, none of us are arrogant enough to think that we’re perfect in that.

“There may be things that we’re doing now that we’ll review and determine haven’t worked quite as well or are not effective. Some of the things that we have done we want to ensure, while maintaining competitive integrity at all times, doesn’t affect the performance of play. We don’t want to be taking up computer performance for the matches because that isn’t going to gain the right tone with anybody.”

BLAST Premier Fall Series 2
The venue had no players in sight, with only production staff and broadcast talent being present.

With a change in circumstance comes a need to change the parameters in which events are run, and that filters all the way down to the gameplay itself. BLAST saw the need to adapt their guidelines early in the year, when LAN events no longer seemed possible, so all of the teams were on the same page.

“The rulebook gets issued at the start of every season, we generally review it and update it after every event,” Haworth said. “We did less of that last year — I think we only made one or two slight revisions from Spring Series into Spring Showdown because the former was very much for a LAN. We also have our competitive integrity policy, which is broadly drawn out of the rulebook and is a short, sharp summary to articulate to what we do. That’s on our website. We’ve worked with experienced tournament officials that have worked with other tournament organizers and in other settings, it’s important to us that they can see elsewhere what has worked, and equally what hasn’t worked, so we can pick up best practices.”

From bad to worse

All partners of ESIC — including the likes of ESL and DreamHack — vow to enforce rulings decided upon by the commission, and that was no different for BLAST. The spectating exploit utilized by at least 37 coaches rocked the CS:GO community and certainly begged the question as to what tournament organizers are doing to ensure fair play is had at all times.

Moving online adds another layer of difficulty to constantly and accurately monitoring the matches played, especially considering tournament officials can’t be present to see how teams are operating with their own two eyes. BLAST believes they’ve reached the pinnacle of monitoring at this precise moment.

“Some of the measures we put in place aren’t perfect but they’re the best available solution we’ve found so far,” Haworth told Dexerto. “There are methods that we’re developing and evolving. We are confident that the measures we have in place currently are giving the desired result in not allowing anybody to manipulate the system or take advantage of it.

“From a coaching bug point of view, the player cams that we’ve put in place have been a really useful feature. That’s something that we looked at, to start with, as a broadcast feature that had some great context and depth. It grew into something that we now utilize to ensure we can see what players are doing.

“We’ve worked with players on camera angles, we have down-the-line shots, coaches have cameras on them and we listen to TeamSpeak for both a broadcast feature and in terms of integrity,” he continued. “The MOss system is far from perfect but it allows us to know what’s open on someone’s computer, there’s a report sent to us post-match with that information.

Moving forward in the face of adversity

Despite having what they believe is a solid solution to both playing online and safeguarding the integrity of the tournament, it would be understandable if a tournament organizer decided to postpone an event due to the recent exploit revelation and subsequent disciplinary rulings. Haworth ensured Dexerto, however, that that wasn’t an eventuality BLAST considered.

BLAST Spike Nations
BLAST have undergone plenty of growth in 2020 so far despite the difficulties, expanding into new titles like Valorant and Dota 2.

“We’ve never really moved our date around. We put our 21 days in the international calendar [that’s shared by all CS:GO tournament organizers] in April this year to try and provide full transparency,” he said. “We worked on this straight after the Spring Final, there were a couple of bits that we thought we could include like the coach cams but there were also a couple of things that weren’t ready for the Fall Series. We played around with them but wasn’t sure if it would cause performance issues on players’ PCs so we didn’t want to risk it.”

There’s not the only difficulty in providing a fair and stable environment for the players, BLAST have plenty of staff that are needed to execute a full production. Having staff at home using personal internet lines isn’t the most confidence-inducing prospect, but the company has managed to execute a means of working that allows for maximum efficiency given the circumstances.

While online play, and the copious amount of events that are taking place, may not be ideal, esports has proven to be resilient in the face of extreme and unpredictable challenge. The Fall Series was revered by industry professionals and Counter-Strike fans alike, but it’s clear that BLAST are not resting on their laurels leading up to the next phase of the competition.