DeKay Mailbag Part 2: Match-fixing, Player Burn Out, and What Liquid Might Do

Photo by ESL

Welcome to Part 2 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.

Look, let me put it this way. Over the years I have pursued several leads where I knew teams were 100% match fixing but I just couldn’t get proof. It exists in every single region you can think of, even to this day. There are a large group of players who know they will never achieve anything further than they already have and are now coasting on what they win from fixing games.

Every time I have information that could be further corroborated by having sports books analyze betting patterns, I am flat out ignored. At this point, I believe many of them are fully complicit and even taking advantage of the games that are fixed. I have spent hundreds of hours on trying to dig into it and there isn’t a single angle that works unless a player or group of individuals admit to doing it.

This gets asked a couple times a year and I always answer it the same. Use your best judgement and common sense to guess who my sources probably are. Chances are, that you are probably right with that guess.

People tell me information because I have either helped them in the past on at least one occasion personally. In that case it is a thank you or a relationship that has been formed in which they are doing it as a kind gesture. In other cases, information going out levels the playing field and lets everyone in on the situation have an equal chance to react accordingly. No two situations are the same but there is always value to a report, no matter what it is.

They are going to use Snappi until es3tag’s contract goes into effect on July 1st. Snappi was loaned and it will be up to TIGER to decide what to do with him when that time comes. I’m not sure if TIGER will make him wait on the bench or what, but we will see when we get there I guess.

Absolutely. This is something everyone should keep an eye on, for a while. The economic uncertainty is only beginning right now and will exist for a while as everything shakes out. There is totally a world in which you see top teams with new organizations within the next year.

It’s hard to know who the highest paid player is at any given point because that information is hardly ever disclosed. When it is, many who think they know what they are talking about are actually wrong. If I had to guess it would be one of the Complexity players still being the highest paid right now.

You always hear about players being burned out, it isn’t necessarily anything new. However, recently I feel like players are more willing to mention it publicly and take a sufficient amount of time off to help fix it. Everyone deals with it differently and oftentimes it is settled by taking a couple weeks off when schedule allows. Many who are feeling burned out now are looking forward to the upcoming player break as a chance to refresh themselves for the rest of the calendar this year.

I think it is because there is much less of a blueprint for how to handle your approach as a professional video game player. In traditional sports, you have your practice schedules and then you have time to take care of your body and keep it healthy. With esports being such a mental game, it isn’t as straightforward on how to properly rest and recover. As many strides as we have taken thus far, we still have work to do on how to help players survive and thrive in the esports grind.

I would love to interview any professional player that is willing.

I wouldn’t say he is in contract hell, but it will take a good buyout to get him out of his contract. The Immortals Group are stern but fair when it comes to transfer negotiations, so the question comes down to who is willing to pay? The only way I see him getting bought out is by an international team that sees his potential. Still feels like those chances are slim though, I haven’t heard of anyone showing interest yet.

No, I haven’t heard of anyone doing it. I think most teams are waiting to see if Astralis actually tries it later this year and if it will be worth paying an additional player or not. Considering Astralis had to loan a player unexpectedly, I don’t think we will see it happen anytime soon.

Liquid hasn’t been looking to make a change right now, from what I have heard. I think they agree that this online play isn’t necessarily representative of offline play. Making a change now would be a risk and I could only see it happen if there is a huge systemic problem lingering. If they were to make a move, I do think it would be nitr0 they would replace though.

I think flamie has earned some slack because he has been with Na’Vi for so long, but I can agree that he is a shadow of his former self right now. The thing is, he wasn’t playing all that bad prior to all matches moving to online play. Therefore, I see them waiting until LANs are played again before making a decision. I keep mentioning that idea, but it’s just so true with almost every team right now.

I’ve heard the two mentioned a couple times but from what I can tell it was never something the team really considered. I do know he has a couple offers though, so I’m sure we will hear where he is going pretty soon.

I don’t know a whole lot about Chaos as an organization, but nothing about them leads me to believe they would be willing to hand over that kind of cash. I think if they were willing, they would have already done so for the first season. I could see Chaos making it in anyway, like they did before. We will just have to see what happens.

They have work to do, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that they absolutely need to make a change right now. Zews will need time to get everything going for them so I think waiting until offline play wouldn’t be a bad idea.

100 Thieves or Gen.G have the best chance right now but I don’t think we can say that will have happened until I see both teams beating Team Liquid on LAN regularly. Hopefully we can see all of these teams going head to head offline soon and find out where everyone really is.