Na’Vi superstar s1mple has spoken out against tournament organizer ESL for its handling of teams that lost an earned spot in the ESL Pro League.
Between the EPL, the B Site League, and BLAST Premier, there are ample opportunities for CS:GO teams in the very top tiers of the scene to compete for shiny trophies and robust prize pools in 2020.
But, members of the game’s community are concerned that chances may be taken from teams sitting just outside the very top tier, and recent actions by ESL have drawn complaints about earned league spots being ripped away from teams. Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields has even completely cut ties with ESL over the announcement.
On January 24, ESL announced that they were halving the pool of teams for ESL Pro League, from 48 to 24. In addition, they announced the 24 teams that had been directly invited to compete, but players and personalities took issue with how it was handled.
While some zeroed in on the business practice of announcing the invites as a means to put pressure on teams to compete before they had officially agreed to, others focused on the teams that were now losing Pro League spots they had earned, and were being relegated to the lower-tier Mountain Dew League.
One of the faces of the competitive scene and one of the game’s best-ever players, Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev of Natus Vincere, didn’t hold back his feelings online.
Just imagine YOU do qualifiers for spot in TO league then they cancel and send your team home, what a pathetic organizers
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) January 25, 2020
Calling the move “pathetic,” the Na’Vi AWPer highlighted the decision of teams being sent home by the organizer of a tournament they had qualified for. Another CS great in Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer Gustafsson retweeted s1mple’s sentiments.
Teams like BIG and HellRaisers had previously qualified for Season 11 at the end of Season 10, while other teams like Sprout, HAVU, and Team Spirit didn’t get a chance to compete in Relegation matches to earn a spot. And these are just the teams in Europe losing out.
S1mple also called out ESL for their “World Rankings” system, questioning why they would use that while the HLTV world rankings have already been in place for eight years.
ESL are yet to respond to the community’s complaints. It’s yet to be seen if the response will impact the decisions of teams invited to the Pro League.