FPX is a founding partner. I'm not sure where people got the idea that they weren't.
Everyone I have spoken with behind the scenes has a different opinion about this. Many people think that the six man rotation thing is actually just a long term play to eventually replace one current member of the team. I have heard a couple rumors but none I could substantiate. Even if that is true, I believe they do want to try the six man thing. Astralis love to innovate and this is another chance for them to get ahead of the curve once again. If it doesn't work, they can make any necessary changes and move on. There isn't a whole lot of risk, just unnecessary spending if it doesn't work out.
I think if they don't make it to the playoffs of ESL Pro League, some sort of change will happen. I don't have a specific reason, it's just my gut feeling.
This is a great question to start with because what I'm about to say will apply to just about every question. Teams are in a tough position right now because the only results they're able to use as context are online, which can be extremely misleading. If a move is made by any team within the next few months, I'm going to assume it is because there are severe issues that offline play wouldn't remedy.
I don't have any information and I always take any Valve rumors with a grain of salt. If it is going to happen, I don't see it being for a long time. Next year at the earliest.
That change is far too recent for me to have a full understanding of what Zews was speaking about. It isn't news that the lineup has struggled to improve despite adding some youth to the roster. From what I read in his statement, I believe there is a clear disagreement between him and Fallen on how to approach the game.
While I believe food is a great prospect, I don't see Liquid taking a risk on an unproven player. If they do make a move this year, I would expect them to aim for a top player in NA of some kind. The only way I see them reaching down that far is if they feel like they have no other choice. Given that we are stuck playing online, I don't feel like there is a need to rush into changes with that much risk.
I think many changes will depend on if that rule remains in place or not. Perhaps ESL can sway Valve to make a change but I'm leaning towards teams having to keep three players. Valve sticks to their guns more often than not, so it's the safer bet.
I do not see us getting an extra Major. Just back to two next year like usual.
I think at some point Dexter is the guy you almost have to try. I don't know which player would be best for him to replace, but he is ridiculously good. Other than that I like just about everything else about their lineup, I don't believe they need to change a whole lot.
They will use him for now and explore options to replace him when he leaves to join Astralis full time. If I had to guess, the lineup will try to grab a younger Danish player to try and develop.
My report about his situation has generated some activity behind closed doors but I don't think anything has changed on the Valve side. Jamppi and his camp just want to exhaust every avenue before they give up, that was clear from what he said on stream. They definitely don't want to pursue the entire litigation process, but instead just want to have a conversation with Valve. I don't like his odds but I would have done the same thing in his position.
From my end, expect more reporting that goes into much further detail.
This is hard to answer with how muddled things are right now. I don't blame players for not being 100% motivated because playing online sucks. Therefore, I don't see how its possible to predict what to expect as far as ranking. Everyone is just in a holding pattern right now, for the most part.
I don't see TSM coming into Counter-Strike anytime soon. I said the same thing when I was told they backed off from WARDELL and company, while others still claimed they hadn't. We all know how that turned out. They will return one day, but it won't be for a while.
I think they have some really nice pieces but lack a bit of direction. I would like someone who is a bit more experienced as a leader to take control, but who do you even get? Sweden has next to nothing as far as in-game leaders, which is a shame. This roster could really do some damage with a proper leader, in my opinion.
I think their situation is similar to EG in that it's definitely possible if they miss the EPL playoffs. Although, I wouldn't blame them if they decided not to. I guess you could argue that some of these results from EPL are legitimate considering they are all best-of threes, but I just can't get over them being online. Again, it purely depends on how bad the issues are within teams that will decide if changes are made or not.
This is something we will just have to live with, unfortunately. I would say that this period adds hype to the second half of the year. Placings will be all that more important due to how few we will have in 2020 as a whole. I like to look at the glass half full, there are a ton of positives once we get back into the swing of things.