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DeKay Mailbag Part 1: What Happened to TSM, League Sustainability, and B Site Team Quality

Photo by Helena Kristiansson

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.

With a tremendous amount of change looming in professional Counter-Strike at the moment, numerous questions exist in all areas of the community. A new-look ESL Pro League and new "B-Site" league are expected to begin in March, but we still aren't entirely sure which teams will play where. In Part 1 of the DeKay Mailbag, I've done my best to clarify what is going on.

I am not convinced it is the only way to remain sustainable, but it's probably the least risky of all the possibilities. While I believe many things can still be experimented with, like pay-per-view, it's clear the traditional model doesn't work long-term. I think a franchise model is probably necessary so we can explore every avenue and learn from it.

The issue with teams like this is you never know if it was an actual possible team or just a wild idea that someone made up. In the last few months I haven't heard anything wild at all. Buyouts are so high and most teams made their changes after the Major. Before and after the Rio Major is where I'll hear something crazy.

Considering that both of them wouldn't be able to participate in the Minor/Major process, it just doesn't make sense. Valve doesn't allow multiple-team ownership these days, despite being perfectly okay with it a few years ago.

I do not, but I think it's safe to assume that Cologne will be one of them. Beyond that it's anyone's guess. I should know more closer to the Major.

I don't have any idea on that front, but I think he is a serviceable pickup for teams in NA and EU.

Not anyone of any real relevance from what I've heard. I hope that isn't true, though. He is too good a player to sit on the sidelines for this long.

I think they are willing to make whatever moves are necessary as long as they make sense long term and financially. The management team from when he was cut isn't there anymore, which kind of helped facilitate bringing him back. Internally, North is a much different organization than the way they were previously.

I think its ridiculous to expect them to have recruited a ton of top teams without having a proven product on the table while simultaneously asking $2 million per team. Teams would rather go with the devil they know, rather than the devil they don't. With that piece of context in mind, I think the team-list is a good start. While the level of play might not be top-tier, the content planned will help keep people entertained and involved. If it really ends up being as good as the creators intend, the teams will get better naturally over time.

From what I know, he wasn't enjoying the team at that time and wanted to take a step back from it all.

As for TSM, there were conversations there. I was told quite soon after though that the org would not be moving forward with the roster. Even before they lost players that signed elsewhere. I don't think they will enter CS:GO anytime soon despite exploring the possibility on multiple occasions in the last year. I hope I'm wrong though.

Everyone I know who has connections there says it was actually due to the virus.

I haven't heard one way or the other. If I had to assume, I think he hangs it up. I don't see a way he can find a spot on a roster that will have a legit chance at the Major.

Not that I've heard of. It has been a really long time since his play has warranted a ton of attention in my opinion. That doesn't mean there isn't interest, I just haven't heard anything.

Probably, just because of how many teams were added to ESEA MDL. Some of the teams and players have loyal fans that will remain interested. Outside of that, I don't expect anything to change really.

It's hard to say really. The only way it would make sense would be to do it on a short term basis with teams that have a large gap in skill, so that the two teams wouldn't have a conflict of interest for a Major or other large events. The logistics of that make it kind of difficult though.

It doesn't make financial sense with that type of model though, so I don't really expect it to happen.

I think the team that has the best chance of getting into the top ten is North, but they might need one more move to make that happen. I'd like to see them get some more offline maps under their belt to really feel confident about them though. The ceiling for North is inside the top ten, while I think the ceiling for MAD Lions is right outside of it. If I had to make a move on North, I would probably try to get a young gun with a ton of potential fragging power and swap them in for Aizy or Gade.

While I don't rate them as a team making it into the top ten, I don't think their run was a fluke. They have some serious talent on that roster, I just think leadership will be their limiting factor. I think they will cause some significant upsets this year when the conditions are in their favor.

It's only a rivalry if you make it one. I know people love the idea, but I personally don't view it as a rivalry because of how little the players face-off directly in a match. Now that s1mple will AWP again, it can possibly become an actual rivalry. I think he is focused on getting his team back in shape, not about other players on other teams.

I will agree that they are two of the best players the game has ever seen though.

I don't know for sure. I don't want to misspeak. Both made it clear their leagues would take place in March as early as mid-2019, from what I know.

I wish they would, but no. I think there is a less than 1% chance that ever happens. Valve like making a statement to deter others from doing the same thing.

I'm not an expert on the financials of CS:GO, but there are a ton of factors. Incredibly high player salaries, the introduction of analysts, sports psychologists, etc.

All of that combined with tournament organizers trying to operate at a profit as well just creates a situation where there aren't enough resources to go around. I also believe the marketing and content efforts of most tournament organizers is sub-par all around.

For the second question, yes. Political correctness has a large influence and I'll never agree with it.