The behind-the-scenes discussions and developments are never-ending in the world of CS:GO esports, and here's the latest rundown on what's been going on, featuring FaZe Clan, BIG, and some of the North American teams.
“Sources Say” is a regular column that focuses on discussions and behind-the-scenes developments I can confirm or plainly just feel confident are happening, but should never be considered as an official report.
“X team talked with Y Player” or “A player has been practicing with B team” is the type of stuff that will normally be discussed in these columns.
Counter-Strike is in a weird place where few transfers happen between high ranked teams, which is a side-effect of the growth of esports as a whole.
Think back to the last “blockbuster” trade or transfer - it was a long time ago. A buyout figure of a couple hundred grand is now commonplace for players on teams that aren’t even in the top twenty of the world rankings.
While most buyouts are never paid in full, the negotiation process is much more treacherous when starting as high as they do. Every week I hear of teams inquiring on players only for nothing to materialize, in most cases due to a crazy buyout clause.
People often assume a high buyout figure is entirely the fault of the organization and no fault of the player, but that just isn’t true.
Players have always had some influence on their buyout, aside from extreme one off circumstances. Players are even told they can “set their own buyout”, which is based on how much they are paid monthly more than anything else.
In almost every single case I’ve reviewed, players almost always choose as high of a monthly salary as possible and in turn making their buyout figure as high as possible.
They see dollar signs and disregard the opportunity cost that comes with being locked into a contract that no organization in the world feels comfortable paying.
If anything, this is the new normal in Counter-Strike. Crazy roster moves will be rare and sporadic.
I don’t see that changing unless players go out of their way to align their contracts with the Major schedule and/or sign shorter contracts than the multi-year ones being signed now. Enough of that though, let’s talk business.
BIG have been exploring the replacement of nex for a few weeks now and even considered bringing smooya back for him.
He wouldn’t have been able to play for them for around three months at ESL events due to standing in for Renegades, so they decided against it.
Him continuing to play for them at upcoming events cements that even further. If they make a move it looks like it will be after ESL One: Cologne but could be sooner if they find the right fit.
FaZe inquired with Flusha prior to IEM Sydney, who was someone I mentioned as a likely target for them many weeks ago, but I was told by multiple sources he turned them down.
It is unclear how soon he is to returning to the game and if that had an effect on his decision or not. I heard BnTeT’s name mentioned as an option also, but from the sound of it they didn’t actively try to pursue him.
About two months remain on the contracts of the Ghost roster, or at least some of them. It’s too early to tell if they will re-sign with the org or if that is even an option at this point. JamesIRL has interest from compLexity as a coach, so it is clear they are exploring their options in case a new deal doesn’t work out.
Spacestation Gaming aren’t expected to retain their roster in the upcoming weeks, leaving the players orgless soon if they don’t find an alternative.