Welcome to Part 1 of the DeKay Mailbag, a semi-regular feature in which Counter-Strike reporter and insider Jarek "DeKay" Lewis answers questions from readers on Twitter. Do you have a question you'd like to see in a future mailbag? Tweet @dekay.
With 2019 coming to a close, most roster move questions have been answered that were circulating throughout October, November, and December. Most teams have geared up and are prepared to compete in the ESL One: Rio Major this coming May. For those that aren’t prepared, they don’t have long before they’ll need to make their roster adjustments. In the first part of this mailbag, I do my best to answer the first group of questions that still remained unanswered.
Prior to the holidays, I was told everything was still in the works although from what I’ve gathered, hallzerk may not be a part of the project anymore. Some issues surfaced that have complicated the matter and may result in them going with someone else. The other question mark is f0rest, I’m not sure if he has agreed to join just yet. I do think he will eventually make his way there though.
I think people are being way too harsh on multiple members of that lineup for no real reason. Specifically daps, s0m, and koosta.
Daps didn’t get a fair shake at leading on Cloud9 and wasn’t able to make any of the adjustments he wanted to, outside of benching TenZ. This lineup will be a true “make or break” moment for what he can do and I think he will be able to get similar results to his NRG lineups.
s0m gets a ton of flak for no reason and it disgusts me. The kid is still super young and has done nothing but grind and try to learn. For example, when nifty was sick at one point on Envy, he tried in-game leading because he wanted to help the team any way he could. Tell me another 17 year-old that is willing to do that?
Every step of the way he seems to have been doing everything you’d want a young guy to do in an attempt to learn the ropes. Each opinion and judgement from the community that I read about him reeks of jealousy and is based on what he does in FPL, which is in no way the same thing as his approach on a team. What more do people want him to do? Drop 40 kills every match? It’s ridiculous.
Koosta is underrated, pure and simple. He is an in-game leaders’ best friend and was the one person I heard steel mention as a huge help while they were on Ghost. You need a guy to do the dirty work and he will get the job done.
Overall, I’m excited for this lineup. Autimatic and BnTeT will provide the firepower, while s0m builds confidence and chips in along the way. I see them as a top 10-15 team in the first half of 2020 with upside.
Not very long. Things are getting interesting in the CIS region at the moment, but nothing is a certainty just yet. I expect some changes soon, both in Na’Vi and elsewhere.
I have not heard any discussions as to who they would get if he does leave. I can only make guesses at this point. Hampus and nawwk are two players I think they might express interest in.
I don’t believe that will become a factor. The “B Site” league will only be a month long outside of the finals so there won’t really be a long period of time that teams won’t be traveling. There will still be just as many events sprinkled in for them all to travel to. Picking the leagues comes down to the allegiances that exist between the organizations and organizers, at least for now.
There had been some discussions that included mixwell before he left and TenZ wasn’t a player that was discussed as being involved from what I was told.
The most sought after player for the lineup has been kaze, so I expect him to join. There isn’t really a reason he wouldn’t join unless he didn’t want to, but I’ve been told the idea of playing together is mutual.
I expect them to fade unless they can find a leader who can provide proper structure for the players. BnTeT was an incredible carry individually and called a decent game. Kaze will help provide some firepower if he joins, but beyond that I feel like they won’t have any direction.
Your guess is as good as mine. One would hope they would have went with a dedicated in-game leader but I really doubt they would have with NiKo there. I can only assume they would have went with another one of his friends.
I have a soft spot for seangares because in-game leaders are still undervalued worldwide and especially in North America. Although, I don’t wish anyone to come back to playing who don’t actually want to play anymore.
North is hard because I worry they will believe their recent victory means they are headed in the right direction with this lineup. I still think MSL winds up there, but I’m not aware of the length and buyout of his contract.
I heard not too long ago that they should be receiving more support or financial help of some kind which could help them get the pieces they need in 2020. I should know much more this time next month.
Zywoo, s1mple, dev1ce, EliGE and ropz.
There might be a bit of recency bias with ropz, I think electronic is a good shout for that fifth spot as well.
Mirage. It’s the one that makes the most sense, unless people want to give up on Vertigo altogether. I don’t think Valve is willing to get rid of it this early though.
I cannot think of anyone notable at the moment. The amount of travel and time necessary to play at a high level doesn’t make it easy to do both. Players can always go back to school, you can’t always go back to being a professional Counter-Strike player.
I heard three or four names mentioned as possible pick-ups for them and xcurrate was never one of them.
I have no information here, but last I heard he was still technically on loan. He will have to move at some point because I assume Cloud9 will not be able to participate in the same Major tournament as one of their players on another team. That is assuming they will field a roster for the next Major and/or qualify.
Series: Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Virtus.pro - DreamHack Winter 2014 Semi Final
Map: Cloud9 vs. Dignitas - ESL One: Cologne 2014
The best change for FaZe right now is to grab someone like MSL and relinquish most control of the team to him. NiKo would never go for that though, in my opinion. They are in a really tough spot because until NiKo acknowledges that him leading and playing isn’t working, this cycle of mediocrity will never end. I hope I'm proven wrong though.
If you try and force him to give up the reigns to someone else when he doesn’t want to or they give it a try and it fails, then you have a very uncomfortable situation. The last thing FaZe wants is to lose their Major slot and future tournament invites and this roster can at least keep those with their skills alone.