It’s an exciting time as a Counter-Strike fan. The Major playoffs are upon us, which means the post-Major roster shuffle is right around the corner. This time around won’t be any more active than it has been in years past, though you’ll probably read “this shuffle is going to be INSANE” at least four times before everyone realizes it will be business as usual and nothing out of the ordinary. Thus is the norm when contracts are for multiple years and buyouts are as high as they’ve ever been.
It would be foolish to imagine players wait until the culmination of the event to start discussing roster moves; in fact, some teams even arrive at the event with players they plan to axe the moment they get eliminated and fly home. In a way, that dilutes the Major a bit, Not everyone can pull a Gambit at PGL Krakow and win the event right after they planned to disband. You’d hope that despite an inevitable roster change, players would set aside their differences for one final run at CS:GO’s most prestigious event. That’s hardly ever the case, though. Patience is a premium when players are short tempered and egotistical at almost every turn.
There are a few interesting notes this time, some of which will likely change following the culmination of the Major. There won’t be too much time for movement with ESL One New York and Blast Pro Series next weekend, and StarSeries starting the weekend after that.
With that said, here we go:
--A few weeks back I published a column about BIG inquiring on AWPers should the team end up replacing smooya. Since publishing that report, it is less likely that will occur, but the move would almost certainly depend on smooya himself. Although BIG made top eight in London, he isn’t happy with the team, more specifically the playing environment. This situation will depend entirely on how BIG can console his frustrations and keep him happy; time will tell. Should an enticing offer come from a decent team, he’d definitely consider it.
--Rumors swirled leading up to the Major about Mousesports' unhappiness as a unit, leaving many coming to me to explain the team intends to replace Oskar. If you read this series often, you’d know I tabbed Mouz as a team I expected to make a move after the Major regardless of its finish. The first name mentioned as a replacement was Byali, but he has a tremendous buyout and hasn’t even decided if he’d like to continue playing professionally or not. I would imagine the prospect of playing with Snax might help, but getting him cheap won’t be possible. Another name that has recently popped up is Twist, who was recently benched on Red Reserve and is open for transfer. He has shown himself as a capable AWPer in the past should Mouz decide to follow through with replacing Oskar.
Following my report of Krystal leaving Ghost after his two event loan from Imperial, it appears his replacement is more and more likely to become the player mentioned in that report, Neptune. He has played a number of scrims with the lineup and I’d expect some sort of announcement eventually.
Photo by Helena Kristuansson/ESL