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March 31, 2023

Ready to learn? We’ve got: A recap on the first games of an event you probably missed, the lowdown on a region you probably forgot, an amount of money you didn’t know it was possible to earn and a Major in a game that isn’t out yet.

The Lord of the Underworld, risen again

If you hadn’t realised BLAST Showdown was on, then we don’t entirely blame you. It’s an eclectic mix of teams, some of which have transitional rosters, duking it out for a spot at a bigger tournament.

The more casual among you might skip it. The more hardcore recognise that that is where the diamonds are.

To sum it up, it started with OG vs NIP, where smooya stood in for degster and Aleksib is still playing. Thankfully, NIP did win relatively convincingly, and the stand-in looked mediocre. We’re not sure we could have taken the HLTV threads if smooya played well.

Cloud9 banged out Copenhagen Flames, sending them to the low- never mind, it’s single elimination. We definitely knew that.

Rare Atom pushed BIG to three maps, once again showing they’re no pushovers. Y’know, except for them getting smushed on Overpass. That wasn’t pretty.

There was one result worth crowing about for fans of upsets, though, as fnatic were eliminated in round one by 9INE. We have to admit; it’s nice seeing hades win and play well again. The less said about the AWPer he outperformed, the better.

Over in America, there’s little in the way of surprises. paiN edged out MIBR, and Liquid ran through Nouns in two. Obviously.


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The richest man in Estonia

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: FaZe

Sorry, Twitter. We’re going to cover this story.

Why? Because it’s interesting, and we’re a little bit jealous. ropz’ tax returns are public, because that’s how Estonia (and a lot of other countries, apparently) works, and the guy is making bank.

We’re obviously not surprised — he is one of the best in the world, won multiple events, and is a professional esports player. They make money even if they’re not that good.

ropz, though, makes an absolute bloody fortune. Good for him. We’re not at all envious, running our free newsletter, twice a week, with unpaid writer- ahem, nevermind us.

Reportedly he made around €800,000 in 2022, which is a slow weekend for some of us here at TL;DR, but a hell of a lot for 99.9% of the population. Seriously. 800 big ones. For playing a video game! A game some of us pay to watch!

If your parents are ever asking why you spend so much time playing video games…

This includes prize money and salary, and there’s no mention of how much of a cut the org takes, but it still works out at around €67,000 a month, or a measly €15,500 a week. A WEEK.

What he makes in a month is more than most of the population makes in a year. Which… fair enough. Get that bag, king. We can’t hate.

It’s an intriguing insight into the finances of esports and really makes you wonder how anyone actually makes any money.

Oh, yeah. They don’t.


PGL on BLAST’s hometurf

Source: PGL

A major in the Royal Arena? Hosted by PGL, not BLAST? On CS2?

Yes, yes, and yes. All three of those things are correct.

We barely had time to sit on the fact there’s only 1 major this year before PGL came out with this madness. They’re hosting the first CS2 major, which is mad enough, given its PGL. Audio Issues.png But the fact they’re hosting it in the Royal Arena, BLAST’s favourite spot to host Danish Events, is even more insane.

Despite being one of if not the most successful countries in CS:GO, we’ve yet to see a major hosted in Denmark. Probably because the crowd is usually mediocre as soon as a Danish team gets eliminated, and with “a Danish team” we mean Astralis. The good news is, Astralis won’t even qualify, so maybe this time, the crowd won’t be equally sleep-inducing as watching a VP series.

Although, who knows what the state of the pro scene is gonna be like in 2024?

We’d be lying if we said we’re confident about knowing who’ll make it to the CS2 major right now; the game is gonna change a lot. We’ll see the util meta change heavily until then, and who knows what else will change before release.

Okay, we are confident about one thing: Astralis ain’t qualifying.


A trip down under

Tune in to this week's episode of Overtime on Inferno where your favorite hosts aizyesque and Logan Ramhap have a cool new guest. Welcome Conky to the podcast!

  • The state of Oceania
  • The state of Asian Counter-Strike
  • Who is and isn’t worth listening to in Australia

Richard Lewis: “HUNDEN still bad”

Illustration by NovaH - Source: Astralis

Everything good comes in threes. The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and now The Hunden Files.

Richard Lewis has done some digging, getting access to 101 pages of files from Heroic’s lawsuit against their former coach.

And, there’s some juice. HUNDEN had signed an initial contract with Astralis in April 2021, a full two months before IEM Cologne kicked off.

The full extent of the leak that caused his second ESIC ban has also been revealed, with screenshots of the Google Drive that Heroic called “strategy documents”, including a weird set of notes on Astralis Talent that even Lewis can’t explain.

A lot of HUNDEN’s communication about the leak is to VNG, the old Astralis Talent head coach — there’s clearly more to this story that has not yet been revealed.

But we know that HUNDEN was also very involved with the main team. The third set of leaks shows HUNDEN taking part in team-building scenarios with Kasper Hvidt (Astralis Sporting Director), including variations of Astralis featuring Bubzkji, es3tag, acoR, stavn, as well as how they ended up with Lucky.

blameF and k0nfig were only convinced to sign once Bubzkji was excluded, giving Xyp9x a way back in.

A lot of this is confirmation of what we already knew: Astralis were scrambling to find a team once dupreeh, Magisk, and zonic departed, and HUNDEN was a key part of that new team.

blameF and k0nfig were his signings, as was Lucky after acoR proved too expensive. Messioso, for one, was not impressed with the “unconventional” recruitment tactics.

Poaching, and early talks, are a part of every sport, no matter how hard regulators try to prevent it. With HUNDEN’s past, him taking part in some scumbaggery shouldn’t be too surprising — but it is a reminder for those who have forgotten his previous antics.

Including the ESL Pro League director who showed him celebrating after every. single. Astralis. round.

Nobody needs to see that.


Counter-Strike Two, the second

Counter-Strike Twice:

  • Someone found a cheeky new boost on Dust New. We don’t think this’ll be staying for too long.
  • Neither will this wallbang.
  • If you didn’t play matchmaking before CS2 Beta came out, then tough titties.
  • No access? You should have just tried cheating, instead.
  • There’s also some pretty bad wallhack stuff going around - which may have been fixed by the time you read this.

Any Other Business:

  • BLAST’s Major trophy idea has had… mixed reactions.
  • valens - who is in charge of decisions at EG, by most accounts - says HexT should have been given more time. Aren’t you the guy… doesn’t matter.
  • swisher is looking to move to Europe to find some success after getting bored of NA. The Americans reckon he might actually be good enough, so we’re willing to look and see.
  • BIG’s CEO isn’t happy.

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