DeKay Mailbag Part 1: Potential Roster Moves and Explaining the Rash of Coaching Changes

Photo courtesy of DreamHack
Photo courtesy of DreamHack

Welcome to Part 1 of the DeKay Mailbag, a monthly 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.

I think it is understandable given that many teams don’t want to get penalized for making a roster move during the Road to Rio. When there is something holding rosters in place, the natural approach is looking elsewhere. This is why you have seen coaching changes, but you’ve also seen them because we are playing online only right now. Changing a coach isn’t nearly as risky as making a player move right now. Unfortunate for some, but many will benefit from the changes being made right now.

I think that is somewhat understandable given the current climate of the world during the pandemic. As much as I wanted them to find an organization, it was always a tough ask. Valorant definitely hurt their chances as well, which is drawing an insane amount of interest from organizations right now. Everyone loves to hop over to the newest hot thing and it won’t be the last time that happens.

I do expect some changes inevitably with Virtus.pro because they seem lost. They consistently lose to teams that they shouldn’t, considering what we have seen from them in the not so distant past. I’d fully expect some changes after the first stage of the Road to Rio, unless they magically surprise there. Ange1 is a guy that I think has a chance to go there.

Hard to give any thoughts in the current conditions. As far as the health of the game, I don’t think it has ever been better. Players numbers are fantastic right now and I don’t expect that to suddenly drop off. For every pro that leaves to Valorant, another door opens in CS:GO. Once we get back to normal tournament play, things will feel a bit better.

There are a few candidates, but I’d rather not tip my hand at this time.

I don’t expect any just yet, unless they fumble the rest of their matches in the first stage of the Road to Rio. I could see a coaching change perhaps, but that’s about it for the time being. Making a roster change in these conditions is a risky move, which is why you have seen more coach changes than anything else lately. You must be absolutely sure it’s the right thing to do, if you are to replace a player right now.

ChrisJ is an IGL’s best friend and extremely versatile. He has a great relationship with the organization as well, so I don’t see him leaving unless he feels it’s the best thing to do. I’d be surprised if that happened, to say the least.

I don’t expect any for them right now. Should things not improve a bit after that, I could see it happening.

c0ntact are a team that I would have expected to make a roster move soon had the Road to Rio not started yet. Making a change would hurt the points they will receive, via penalties. Therefore, I don’t think they’ll make one right now.

I’m sure they are keeping an eye on things, but everyone I spoke to said they were really pleased with their ESL Pro League Season 11 performance. Even they know there is still work to get done, but they are happy with the progress. Therefore, I can see them sticking with what they have for now. If that result and others don’t translate to LAN later in the year, I would expect a coaching change.

I think they will have a nice honeymoon period, but I don’t expect them to routinely beat good teams when we move back to offline play. suNny in-game leading strikes me as a very high risk but low reward type approach. That is their weakness among others that keep me from rating this six man lineup higher.

Hard to say just yet. I could say more but again, I have to keep my cards close to my chest.

I’m not too surprised because I had already heard a few credible rumors about the separation between him and the players. I think both parties will end up benefiting from the move, so it’s great for everyone really. Kassad is one of the best coaches in the game today and he won’t be teamless for long.

Just about any team is a contender for the top 5 while playing online, so I don’t really count that. Once we go back to offline, I hardly rate NiP as a top 10 team. They lack leadership and while they’ll knock some teams off, I just think their ceiling is capped. I don’t think many are contextualizing how much of an impact coaches have right now being able to communicate fully in these tournaments.

They would have to suffer many more losses for that to happen, I’d say. I think they will recover once they have had enough time to work with zews more. Adjustments and improvements take time and they haven’t had a lot of that to work with yet.

Most top ten teams are locked in the ESL Pro League so no, I haven’t. I have however heard of organizations considering the idea of buying into Flashpoint and buying top ten rosters. That is a very realistic possibility.

I haven’t heard a single thing since his period with Dignitas in FLASHPOINT. While that technically wasn’t very long ago, I don’t know that I’ll hear anything about him before it’s public officially.

From what I can tell, at least some of them are headed to Valorant.

Last I heard neither of them will actually end up on that roster. I was told a new Swedish roster would be formed, with Hampus and RuStY still involved.

I like some of the talent they have, but it’s too early to make any claims like that in my opinion. We have seen these type of projects look promising in the past, only to falter when they actually get to events or attempt to qualify for them. So far so good, but let’s see how they do later in the year.