Welcome to DeKay Mailbag, a semi-regular feature in which Counter-Strike reporter and insider Jarek "DeKay" Lewis answers questions from readers on Twitter. Check out the previous editions.


Do you have a question for DeKay? Tweet him @DeKay or email dekaycs@gmail.com, and your question might end up in another edition of the mailbag. Now, onto the questions:

Australian teams are always on the cusp of taking the next step but I’m not quite sure what continues to hold them back. The level of talent that exists there seems high, so I think they are close, but something is still missing. I’ve always wondered how an Australian team would do if they could practice against European teams on a regular basis. The same goes for plenty other Oceanic rosters.

Oskar is a unique player in the fact that when he has the proper mindset and motivation, he is almost unbeatable. The problem is he phases in and out on a regular basis and can’t always be counted on. Before the Major, the Mouz players felt let down by his preparation compared to theirs, but following the event he/they regrouped and you saw what happened. The replacement would have to be a player like Krimz to warrant removing Oskar and his high ceiling potential. Right now, I think they should stick with bringing STYKO back and see how it goes.

Some teams and organizations are definitely kicking the tires on MSL, but I haven’t heard anything legitimate yet. I respect the decision of North to make a change so soon after winning at DreamHack. A team/org that can recognize a deeper problem is one that will get back to the top sooner. I think cadiaN earned the promotion; gade I’m not as sold on. He is definitely underrated but still has much to prove. I think North will become better overall.

In all honestly, I have no idea how long Edward will remain on the team. I’ve always gotten the sense that they hold his experience and attitude in high regard on the team. That said, it can only go on so long before a player as good as s1mple loses his patience. I personally have been advocating for AdreN or hobbit to join Na’Vi for a long time. It’s too soon to tell just yet how things will play out. Anything can happen, really.

He just joined Tempo Storm with Rubino! ​Check out my report.

Extremely unlikely. That ship has sailed, in my opinion.

They have a decent number of orgs interested. One concern is their ability to get visas on a regular basis, though. I’m told SK Gaming has no interest in returning to CS:GO anytime soon, but you never know. Someone will pick them up, though.

Anything Valve plans to do, they keep to themselves until it happens or just before it happens. They like to make small changes at a time, as we saw with the two 0-3 teams in the Legend stage getting sent back to the Minor. It will take some time for us to reach a point where everyone is happy with the Major structure.

Unclear at the moment.

I think a team will beat them in a best-of three soon. MiBR showed it’s possible. I don’t, however, believe their era will end anytime soon. They are miles ahead of much more than in the server. The players have turned into true professionals in and out of the server, which gives them a leg up on the rest of the world. I think this will be the most dominant era in CS:GO since Fnatic’s run back in 2014-2015.

I think if Mousesports does end up changing in the near future, it will be one of those players who moves. It would be an Oskar benching or sunny getting plucked by a more skilled team. Either way, I don’t expect it in 2018 unless the STYKO reunion doesn’t work out.

I’m not entirely sure what his plans are. I think retiring is a possibility though for both neo and pasza.

Unfortunately haven’t heard much on that front in recent weeks.

FNS was the other player outside of krystal that Rogue considered for replacing cadiaN. The players chose to go with krystal. Envy will likely play out the Pro League season with its current roster.

Rumors? Yes. Do I think they are legit at this moment? Not really.

Hard to say exactly. I think Draken is an obvious pick because of Golden and Flusha. But if they go with another European, that means they’ll have to take the EU route through the Minor system in the future should they not make it far enough in Katowice. I’m not entirely confident on any others, it could be anyone they feel fits. There is always the chance they try to take a chance on a younger unproven player like they did with Stewie.

Because Skadoodle wasn’t feeling confident with it and either had already or planned to tell them he wanted to step down from the active roster.

I still hold the same sentiment. If he has an opportunity to join a team he is interested in, he’ll do it. Even if the team is worse than BIG. I’m not sure who’s fault that is for him not being 100% committed, but a little of both I’d imagine.

I’d like to see Draken spend some time at the lower level to gain confidence and eventually end up again on a top Swedish or international roster. He has the talent for it. AdreN should have been on Na’Vi six months ago if you ask me.

I’m sure they have some loose ideas but they’ll definitely hold some tryouts during the process.

I don’t put much stock at all in online matches, but I agree they don’t like inspiring. I think a player like Hampus would be a risk, but a risk worth taking. There is too much skill on this team that isn’t being utilized and he would help structure it properly.

No rumors that I’ve heard. Everyone seems really happy for them.

All sorts of rumors exist but nothing I’m putting much stock in. I think people don’t realize how much more resistant the org is to spend money compared to the past. If they make a move they want to make sure it’s absolutely worth the money. It’s obvious that Karrigan would be the one to go if they do make a move.

I think some sort of change is inevitable if they don’t make an improvement. Unfortunately this team was hyped to all hell, so they’re feeling the pressure. The next couple events will be pivotal.

Favorite: Helping players/people within the community. I love each and every aspect of it from start to finish. Most help I provide is behind closed doors so the public never sees it, but that’s fine with me.


Least Favorite: The level of immaturity in this industry. I could talk for hours about it, but it's not worth it.

Yes, I do see it happening. Fallen needs to do whatever he did at Blast Pro Series to feel as comfortable as he did and over time when that will help each and every member find their identity. Fer doesn’t have to replicate what he used to do, but once he finds his comfort zone they could really start hammering teams.

I’m not really sure. I find it so odd that skilled players like him and KioShiMa can’t find a spot on a decent team. Likely means some sort of political grudge exist in different areas for them, limiting the number of players willing to play with them. Eventually they’ll find something; the question is how long will it take to find.

As far as I know Pimp would still like to play professionally. Unfortunately his most recent plans didn’t pan out. I had heard rumors of a few orgs being interested in Swole Patrol but obviously nothing ever came to fruition. I think mainly because they haven’t made it to Pro League yet. Once they do, they’ll have a few to choose from.

Reddit is a double edged sword in that aspect. The key to handling the bad aspects of Reddit is understanding that the ratio of people that bad mouth your work is almost always very minuscule in comparison to those who read your piece, enjoyed it, and then moved on. Without Reddit, I probably wouldn’t have ended up at places like Slingshot or DBLTAP, so I have to remain thankful to it.

I’m not too keen on the South African scene but I do know there are some players to keep an eye on. I would say the No. 1 thing any country that is up and coming in Counter-Strike lacks is experienced players to learn from and/or practice against. Bravado has taken the first step by moving like they have so if that progression can continue, the scene will only grow and improve. It takes a ton of time and dedication but it will get there.

I think the best move FaZe could make would be to add MSL right now. Mainly because the number of competent in-game leaders that are available is quite small. It’s not the best move possible, but it would help them improve in my opinion.

Snax has a few directions he could go, but right now it’s a bit unclear. He likely hasn’t even decided yet. Mouz made the change because they likely had a jaded view of the type of player Snax is and could become on their lineup. Counter-Strike is littered with “the grass is always greener” type roster moves that often fail. Remember the Fnatic split to Godsent before they reunited again?

It depends what you mean by “in.” Do you want to to work at events? Do you want to write? Do you want to play? All of them require different things. One common suggestion for all three would be to attend as many events as you possibly can and network with as many people as possible. That, more than anything, will open up opportunities.

It’s discussed regularly in the community but at the end of the day none of it matters because Valve will do what Valve does and make a change when they feel it’s necessary. No one knows what Valve will do, no matter how many people try to act otherwise.

I don’t think it’s likely right now, but if things really break down on the team they might have no choice other than to give him another opportunity. Some sort of dynamic exists on the current roster that does not want him on the team, it appears.

I absolutely think that has had an impact. I’m excited for them to find a new organization and improve on their game without that headache.

You don’t commit to Flusha and Golden while planning to build a giant new facility if you plan on making an odds and ends team. I just think they don’t know how they want to structure the team moving forward. Do you add a third European or a third North American? Picking one or the other might divide the team if they aren’t all on the same page.

That’s a hard question to answer without knowing their new fifth player. I see them as a fringe top 10 team internationally unless they get a huge signing.

I think that the best talent should be picked for Majors, it’s a shame that personal politics got in the way at the most recent one. Valve shouldn’t be allowing tournament organizers so much freedom with an event that is so sacred.


Cromen and Rubino decided to join Tempo Storm for the time being. I think the all-Norwegian team is something that would happen a bit further into the future.

People not understanding how journalism works or what it even means.

Nerves and luck. They have shown on numerous occasions that they crumble under pressure at different points and lack a super vocal individual that can rally them outside of Zews. They’ve been terribly unlucky at drawing Astralis or having really good runs at events that Astralis is also dominating. I think they just need to stick it out and maintain a “Win or Learn” mentality.

VP is super unclear at the moment. It wouldn’t shock me if they move on from the old guard sometime soon.

If Guardian hasn’t re-signed, I believe he has just under one or two years left on his contract. I was never able to confirm if FaZe had the players sign two or three year deals. Different numbers have been mentioned at various times. I don’t know if any other team interests him, so yes I believe retirement isn’t too far off for him.

I don’t think they do in 2018 but in 2019, yes.

You’ll have to wait for the next edition of Sources Say for that one!

I don’t think they got that far along in the process to actually consider players they’d have tried to sign.

I expect their lineup to stay the way it is for the rest of the year unless they land someone like Karrigan.

FaZe has a lower ceiling with NiKo in-game leading. He is too good of a player to lead. I would say things are unsteady right now and to expect a change at some point in the near future.

I’m just a normal dude.

I have no idea.

I think they’ll benefit teams like Astralis. Any team that is crafty with utility and force buying will benefit most.

KioShiMa


Photo courtesy of Adela Sznajder/DreamHack