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ESL are saving the rest of the world’s CS, sdy has found a new home and Complexity’s new roster is playing for Extra Salt?
In the shadow of all the juicier things happening at the moment, ESL and its partner teams in the Louvre Agreement, have decided to extend their partnership deal to 2025.
Granted it isn’t the sexiest of news in the middle of the transfer season, but it is important. Not just for the 14 partner teams (and HEROIC once they are confirmed as the 15th team).
No, the Louvre Agreement is important for the wider CS:GO ecosystem, as it provides revenue-sharing between ESL and the partner organizations, mimicking some of the pillars that have made RIOT’s LoL-franchise important.
While not specifically mentioned in the press release, RIOT’s launch of Valorant makes it an imperative to fix the North American CS:GO scene. Liquid’s co-founder Victor Goosens alludes to the fact that the extension will see an increased focus on NA CS. Maybe it’s actually salvageable?
We’ve written at length (or indeed, at shorth. Because we’re TLDR. Never mind) at all the big teams making changes, but there’s a few interesting stories bubbling under the surface this week.
We actually interviewed Rejin from MAD Lions last year and he spoke a lot about building a roster for the future, nurturing talent and it being an ongoing project - and indeed, the project must go on, but it’s fair to have some concerns.
Woro2k and sausol were both benched, to many a raised eyebrow, and their replacement are the relative veterans of sdy and MICHU. Which... is a move away from what the team was, and into more of a recycler of discarded, undervalued talent.
Much like Brentford, they’ve given up on being an ‘academy’ and taken on the players who drop from better teams who still have room to grow. It’s a smart model, but requires a keen eye.
MAD have an interesting thing going, but... we don’t think they’ll be pulling up any trees. Woro2k was most of their firepower, and without him, we’re not certain this team has ‘it’.
SINNERS, similarly, lost their marquee AWPer, with Oskar leaving and being replaced by forsyy (us neither). oskar, we know him though. Apparently he got an offer from an unnamed European team that he couldn’t turn down.
Quite who wants to pay for a 30 year old Oskar has not been revealed, and we’re struggling to think of anyone it could be. Like, seriously. We can’t even joke about it. Sprout? fnatic if smooya isn’t re-signed?
Tune in to this week's episode of Overtime on Inferno where your favorite hosts aizyesque and Logan Ramhap go deep on the biggest news in CS:GO:
Apparently, this is ‘funny’.
We’ll never understand Americans, or quite why heavily corporately sterilised jokes are the height of announcements, but it seems EG are running with CeRq, Brehze and the ex-C9 trio.
Ohhhh. Now we understand the joke.
It’s keeping CeRq on this team.
They’re, according to the linked CEO, ‘here to save NA CS’. Don’t get us wrong, Stewie, auti and RUSH are part of the reason NA CS even exists, but are they the future?
Supposedly - but we have our doubts. autimatic hasn’t played in a long time, and RUSH has spent a little while out the game. Brehze and CeRq spent the last year chilling out too, albeit they were playing the game, which leaves Stewie as the only known quantity.
We’re far more excited for the new Complexity team, which is playing its first tournament together next we-, uh, wait. That says Extra Salt?
Seems for one tournament that saucy quintet will be gaming under the ES moniker, due to ES having a spot at the tournament and not quite having their team ready. At least it’s the full roster, so Complexity get one look at the five together before they get their teeth into it.
Still - floppy, Grim, junior is a really nasty trio for any NA team, and we’d be surprised if this team wasn’t a much better team than the EG one pretty quickly.
Sorry, Cloud9 fans.