Sent on
May 9, 2022

A crypto-betting website turned out to be a scam (shocker!), NiKo is staying at G2 for even longer, and jks is staying on the bench for even longer.

Astralis calls it quits

Illustration by NovaH

How does wanting to be a family-friendly brand, work with signing a “Crypto's Fastest Growing Casino” as your new jersey sponsor?

Drumroll It obviously doesn’t.

Like, who at Astralis thought they’d get away with signing a CASINO PARTNER for their family-friendly brand? Let alone an unregulated crypto-casino, that’s working out of the tax-haven Curacao.

We mean, their CEO obviously did, because he praised his commercial team for the deal, only 24 hours before walking it back with the words “We haven’t done our homework well enough”.

Good thing Danish politicians, media industry people, and everyone else, could help you.

Maybe Astralis didn’t research it properly, maybe they thought they could get away with it, or maybe this is one of the “grey areas” and “controversial decisions” that leaders in esports are bound to make, according to the Astralis CEO.

Yeah, we’ll go with option B as well here, Kenny.


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Tying up loose ends

  • NiKo and huNter- have confirmed a longer stay at G2... how long, you ask? Well, a “f*ckton of years and a half”, apparently.
  • 00Nation have benched leo_drk after the team’s disappointing performance at the RMR. biguzera and Lucaozy are the touted replacements; both of whom are solid players.
  • Apparently, there’s still nobody who wants jks. Though in fairness Jason, it was your team’s performance that made some people doubt if he was any good.
  • ISSAA has officially transitioned to VALORANT. We don’t want to seem rude, but we thought this had already happened.
  • TYLOO have added LETN1 as their coach. No, we don’t really understand either.

The looming cloud

Illustration by NovaH

We just can’t get away from the coach bug.

We refrained from going into it in the week - partially because the report was vague, without names, and partially because we thought if we ignored it, it might just go away.

It won’t go away.

ESIC decided to ban zakk, peacemaker, and hally just days before the Major for perceived abuses of the ol’ coach bug. As you can imagine, that went down well.

Team Spirit started calling out ESIC in a statement, suggesting that hally didn’t abuse the bug, had just one instance of it before reconnecting to get rid of it, and essentially didn’t do much wrong.

They screwed up, though, by suggesting they didn’t know who ESIC are. As Richard Lewis points out, they had to have known.

zakk, similarly, was not happy. LMBT wasn’t even involved, but he’s ready to dish out some dirt (and we’re pretty sure he’s found someone to talk to, too).

Great timing, lads. Glad you waited until now to cast a dark cloud over Counter-Strike’s Christmas.

If you want to keep up with the story, Luis Mira has generally been on the forefront with it, so drop him a follow.


It’s here and it’s beautiful

None of that previous story really impacts our hype that much.

While yes, Spirit, 9z, and Imperial might be down a coach - maybe change your pick ‘ems to match - there’s not much else to dampen the hype.

So, are you ready?

We have two weeks of wall-to-wall Counter-Strike, culminating in FaZe losing to Cloud9 in the Grand Final of the Major again. Wait, were we not supposed to leak the script?

By the time you read this newsletter, you have maybe a few hours at best to get the comfiest seat in the house, a whole boatload of snacks and drinks, and the HLTV forums open ready to flame whichever big team loses a game first.

Finish your pick ‘ems, run your errands, and make sure your schedule is as empty as can possibly be tomorrow... and every other day (nearly) for the next two weeks. You’ve got a date with Twitch and they will not be happy if you’re late.

We absolutely cannot wait. This is just like Christmas Eve as a child, except the presents are better and the food is worse. And it’s warm outside. Alright, it’s nothing like Christmas.

It’s much, much better.

Strap in, it’s going to be a wild one.


The Major is Magical

🏆🔥  The hype is real

  • Or at least, that’s how zonic described it in his interview with L’Équipe. Due warning, however: the interview is in French.
  • Heroic are so hyped for the Major, that they want another rank above Global Elite. A more nuanced way to describe the level of the kid that owned us on MM? No thanks.
  • CS Money took the liberty of exposing some of the pop culture references in player autographs.  Thanks, CS Money!
  • Here are Luís Mira’s words on ENCE’s possible path to glory at the Major. It’s worth reading, trust us.

📊  The numbers, what do they mean?

  • Forbes just made a list of the most valuable esports companies of this year. Unfortunately, we’re not on there - but that’s only because they don’t count humour and time saved.
  • Our good friend and former socials guru - Harry “HLTV is cooler anyways” Richards - just gave you one more reason to switch to 4:3. Or 16:9. We’re not sure.

👋  (Don’t) say goodbye!

  • After VP’s not so glorious involvement in the entire Russia/Ukraine thing, CEO Sergey Glamazda has departed the organization. The parent company, ESForce, will now collectively be taking over the reins. That’s the same ESForce that Na’Vi broke ties with...
  • Even though you’re going to the “game that shan’t be named” - you’ll always have a place in our hearts, ISSAA.

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