SpunJ warns CSGO pros to dedicate more effort into their "brand value" - Dexerto

SpunJ warns CSGO pros to dedicate more effort into their “brand value”

Published: 22/Sep/2020 2:04

by Alan Bernal


Times have been tough. The world health crisis has forced the esports landscape to adapt, and beloved Counter-Strike: Global Offensive caster Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill is imploring pro players to do the same.

In an impassioned plea on HLTV.org’s ‘Confirmed’ podcast, SPUNJ veered a bit off the rails from the topic of events’ scheduling during the pandemic to get CSGO players to invest more time in developing their own “brand power” due to the strain of the time.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of players and trying to get them to understand the situation,” he began, showing frustration from having dialogues with people that aren’t trying to optimize their “brand value.”

To SPUNJ this could mean anything from getting better at interviews, amping up efforts in social media, expanding content to different platforms, and more.

SPUNJ has been a longtime advocate for players’ rights, and is asking CSGO pros to mobilize efforts in raising their brands.

The problem is that as more events go offline, the more tournament organizers (TOs) have to elongate their competitions online to deliver on some metrics promised to sponsors at the beginning of the year – even considering the unexpected pandemic.

“(If I’m an event sponsor, and the pandemic hits) there’s going to have to be renegotiation for what the value of my money is,” he said. With these extended events, they create more games between the same teams.

While this wouldn’t be a problem if fans were genuinely invested in the matchups, the lack of initiative from pros to build up their profiles can make some of these matches pass without a beat.

Burchill painted a picture of how everyone from TOs to the staff they employ have all taken a hit because of the times; and pro players are going to quickly feel the impacts next if they don’t adapt.

“(Outside of a few exceptions, pro players) have zero (brand power). When you are not playing in an official game, you offer nothing to your organization,” SPUNJ said, noting that the offline era reduces players value to  orgs (and sponsors/partners) since they can’t capitalize off of event signings, fan-meets, and the like to make metrics meet.

“We can either pay you less, and have less tournaments; we can’t pay you the same amount of money for less value, we’re trying to find your value in (these times),” he said. “I don’t understand how in your 24-hour day, you can’t put enough time to balance your f**king life.”

While he warns against burnout or creating mental health problems from a busy schedule, he wants pros to do their part in keeping the scene thriving during uncertain times – ultimately for their own sake.


FunPlus Phoenix reportedly returning to CSGO with GODSENT roster

Published: 21/Oct/2020 2:40

by Alan Bernal


FunPlus Phoenix have reportedly entered discussions to acquire the GODSENT roster and return to the CSGO landscape in the coming weeks.

FunPlus Phoenix have had a rather unceremonious start to their journey in CS:GO. Known for winning the League of Legends World Championship in 2019, they looked to enter the popular FPS title through Flashpoint in 2020.

However, it wasn’t smooth sailing. They picked up and let go of rosters: first Heroic, then Bad News Bears. Now though, they’re looking like they’re ready to pick up their third, and potentially final roster.

KRYSTAL and the rest of the GODSENT lineup could be making a move to FPX.

GODSENT is reportedly in “advanced discussions” with FunPlus Phoenix to take their roster onboard for the remainder of the year, according to HLTV and DBLTAP.

If the two teams agree to terms, that means that the lineup consisting of Kevin ‘kRYSTAL’ Amend, Martin ‘STYKO’ Styk, Jesse ‘zehN’ Linjala, Pavle ‘maden’ Bošković, and Asger ‘farlig’ Jensen would soon wear black and red.

The deal could also bring current GODSENT coach Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg into the fold with the new org.

In late-September, FunPlus announced Petar ‘peca’ Markovi as the General Manager for both Valorant and CSGO divisions. Now it looks like peca is making an all-in purchase for the EU roster that is ranked 19th in the world at the time of publishing.

Michal Konkol via Riot Games
The FPX banner could fly in CSGO again soon.

The general manager also indicated, regardless of a team-acquisition, that FPX wouldn’t participate in Flashpoint Season 2. Although one of the founding teams, FunPlus will instead “take [their] time and focus on 2021.

“We don’t want to make any rushed decisions, as our main goal is to build a promising, long-lasting roster,” he said.

The org initially expected to play with Heroic’s roster back in March, which would have included Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen among others. Unfortunately, that deal fell through, which prompted FPX to target Swole Patrol’s roster, though that didn’t pan out as well.

Eventually, they temporarily fielded the Bad News Bears for the second leg of Flashpoint 1, after only playing one match prior and forfeiting the rest of the first phase.

While the FPX front office successfully put together a Worlds championship roster in 2019 for League of Legends, it’s going to once again attempt to bring a similar metric of success for CSGO.

Peca teased that there could be “news soon,” and if the reports turn out to be realized FPX could be announcing its acquisition of the GODSENT lineup in the near future.