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September 23, 2022

Snax is following Spinx around like an oversized shadow, XANTARES can’t win a game despite playing like a superstar and we look at roster moves, critically.

EG continues the losing streak

We’ve made it folks! It’s the last week of the incredibly long ESL Pro League group stage, which means we are close to finding out the full playoffs and which teams will be fighting for 175k and…a slot at BLAST World Finals.

This week we have the battle of The Americas, with one of EG’s rosters, Team Liquid, Furia, and…can we call Cloud9 North American? Probably not. We’re going to anyway.

It’s been a very split group so far, with three teams going 2-0 while the other three go 0-2.

Furia currently is in first place in the group due to their round win differential, with a 2-0 record and a 4-1 map score after Thursday's games.

Maybe not making any roster changes was the way to go. Seems to be working out better than whatever is happening with EG, who got double digits in just one of the four maps they’ve lost so far.

The last time EG won anything in EPL was when Astralis' core was still playing and FNATIC was Swedish. Those were the days.

Cloud9, North America’s best hope for ever winning (another) major, also has gone 2-0 to start the week. They’ve got a 1.2 average rating as a team after two games, and the lowest two players on the team rating-wise both have 1.09s.

They also, despite being the only of the three teams with wins to not drop a map, somehow have a lower round differential than Furia. Eternal Fire really brought the heat by getting double digits in both their games on Thursday.

The third undefeated team is Team Liquid, the only (mostly) North American team actually winning rounds in this group.

One could argue that their wins are in large part due to the one non-North American player on their roster.

We won’t be arguing that today. YEKINDAR is an honorary American or something, with how many wins he’s getting TL.

His lowest map rating right now is a 1.22, on a map that they LOST 16-14 to Movistar Riders.  Steve better shell out however much it takes to keep this guy on TL, especially with oSee struggling so far in the groups.

The real fun questions will come when the three top teams have to face each other.

Will this turn into a weird rock paper scissors situation where large cats beat horses, horses beat clouds, and clouds beat cats? Will YEKINDAR ever get less than a 1.2 rating? Will EG actually make it to the event?

Well, that one is unlikely, but as for the rest of them, we’ve got three more days to see.


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Time is money

Illustration by ANDYJ

Should rosters be given more time?

That titular question is one that TLDR alumnus Harry set out to answer, in his — by now — famous mix of fancy words and fancier graphics.

Thankfully, as he’s a very clever little boy, he answers a lot more than just the original question. We’ve often said that the reason teams who don’t make roster moves are successful is because you don’t need to make roster moves when you’re successful.

It’s not just a case of teams who don’t make roster moves are successful, it’s a case that successful teams don’t make roster moves. Of course, Harry mentions this.

A lot of truly great teams peak very, very early. The Astralis core clicked immediately. NaVi with b1t immediately started winning. FaZe with ropz took a few months to take over the whole world.

As such it would be easy to answer the question with a simple no, but it’s not that easy.

How does one account for teams like Gambit - either roster, but specifically the now-C9 quintet - who took a while to start going crazy?

One of the important takeaways from the article is that swapping IGL or two/three players does, obviously, change how long it takes to peak. Changing IGL can take an extra 50 days or so, on average, over other moves.

The final conclusion suggests that if you were to learn from history, you should just add a great player to a great team.

Very big ‘how to draw an owl’ vibes, that.

Just add a great player to an already good team. Just have a good team, idiot. Simple as that.

So should teams give rosters more time? Probably depends. Seems you might actually have to watch and understand Counter-Strike while using the data on a case-by-case basis.

Sounds dangerous. We’ll stick to HLTV forums.


A who’s who of forgotten names

It might not sound like a massive story, but there were some fun surprises in the official roster announcements for the RMR.

Perhaps the biggest we’ll get to later, mind.

  • olofmeister is on hand to stand in for FaZe Clan should anything go wrong. A sentence that sounded insane six years ago, and potentially boring nowadays.
  • gade has been resuscitated and placed as Heroic’s substitute - taking what was Kjaerbye’s spot before his revival on Endpoint.
  • Speaking of which, Portuguese AWPer fox is 00NATION’s substitute. If coldzera went from being the best player in the world to a bit crap over a few years, what on Earth does fox play like now? Unless he’s Benjamin Button’d his career, he can’t be good.
  • Snax is ready to deputize for Spinx again should there be any issues; as he is Vitality’s substitute. Quite how Spinx’s shadow is so big is beyond us.
  • Thomas has the unfortunate title of the benched player on Benched Heroes.

Something suspicious…

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:

  • Why HEET shouldn’t have signed JACKZ
  • Just who is the third best team in the world?
  • What on Earth does XANTARES have to do to win a game?

k0nfig takes a tumble

Illustration by NovaH. Source: Astralis

Remember when k0nfig slipped on some water in an airport and “shattered his wrist” on a handrail? Well, lightning has struck twice.

The Berserker has had a “complicated” (we don’t know what that means either — but we’re guessing it’s bad) ankle fracture that means he’ll miss the upcoming European RMR.

You might be wondering why an ankle fracture means he can’t sit at a desk and do some shooty shoot, but apparently, his injury is bad enough he can’t sit upright for a prolonged bit of time for “10-14 days.”

This might mean k0nfig can return to action for the Major if Astralis qualify in five weeks’ time, but that’s a big if. Krelle’s replacement for the RMR will be MistR from Astralis Talent, who is… not great statistically. More pressing is the fact that he’s not even aggressive, only being involved in 18.8% of opening duels on T-side.

A silver lining of this is that there’s a chance we might see entryF again like we did last time k0nfig was injured at the end of the Juggernaut. And you know what? We’re actually down. Blame might end the game with fewer kills but at least he’ll use his massive talent to have some impact for a change.

Make no mistake. Astralis were a one-man team with k0nfig and they’ll be a one-man team without him. But that doesn’t mean we should write off the Danes just yet.

Xyp9x and Farlig have been getting the about-to-get-cut buff for months, and gla1ve seems to double in prowess every time the pressure’s on. With blameF unleashed Astralis should be able to beat off the likes of Sprout, forZe, BNE, and Eternal Fire for the 8th RMR spot.

But then again, they should have been able to get out of the open qualifier in three attempts. And we know how that went.


Sometimes not talking at all is best

🤔 So bad it’s… good?

  • So CC Tour had these truly awful casters who proved to us once and for all that having no caster isn’t all that bad. Of course, this wasn’t the first time a Relog Media partner had some interesting casting.
  • Looks like Harry, Stunna, SpunJ, and HenryG have decided to start a musical career. If only they hadn’t.

😠 Come on, EG…

  • EG.PA and EG.CD are no more, as they rebrand to EG White and EG Black. What annoys us - nay, vexes us about this is that EG’s colours are blue and white. WE WERE THIS CLOSE TO GREATNESS, EG!
  • Also, writing jokes about their main team losing has become a little boring now that it’s seemingly become routine for them. Get your clown act together, man…

Weird org-related decisions

  • We know it’s ahead of TI 2022 and it could change for CS - but one has to wonder what Valve are thinking by allowing VP back into the scene, given their connection to the Russian government
  • Apparently, G2 is out of the VALORANT franchising following the entire Carlos/Tate business. Bit too much of the good stuff, Riot.

👋 Hello, goodbye!

  • We’ll gladly say goodbye to Roobet (amongst others) on Twitch.
  • We’re less glad about GuardiaN’s medical leave, however. Get well soon, brother!
  • But - to end on a good note - we welcome the return of our favourite tournaments: Katowice and Cologne’s dates got announced!

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