DeKay Mailbag (Part 2): What's Next for MSL, Where is Draken, and Renegades' Current Status

Photo courtesy of ESL

Welcome to Part 2 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 a few rosters still being finalized for 2020 there are a number of notable names still left inactive and teamless. Some teams already look like another roster move should be made. I do my best to answer what those moves might be and where a few players might end up within the next couple months in part two of this DeKay mailbag.

I very much believe that it did. The frustrating part before the win was that I had felt like their performance as a team wasn’t representative of the amount of work they had done in practice. Almost as if they were missing something that they have no found one way or another. I fully believe they are similar to Team Liquid in the fact that most of the players will thrive when confidence is at a very high level. This win should allow them to continue in an upward trajectory.

I have not heard his name mentioned recently in regards to any moves to top teams. The lineup he was on got picked apart so now he is on his own again, from what I can tell. It’s a shame but I think it’s possible he can find himself a good home if the former NiP guys regroup at Dignitas. Whether it’s at NiP again or another organization that ends up losing a player to NiP.

I’ve been told he doesn’t have any offers right now. Like I've said many times, I fully believe he should be on a top lineup but many teams passed on grabbing him for one reason or another. It’s a shame really.

I expect him to find himself on the North lineup or possibly building a team from scratch somehow if he can get some backing and get out of his current contract. If he wasn’t still locked down by the Immortals organization, I fully believe he’d already be on a new team or at least signed. I don’t think NiP is a place he would end up though.

Once the ESL Pro League Finals are over, teams will have more context about their future and be able to add him without roster rules keeping them from playing. He had already played in the league for OpTic Gaming so that prevented him from playing this season on another roster.

I get the feeling that ENCE will be extremely stubborn with this lineup and do everything in their power to make it work before they opt for a change. The criticism they’ve received over the Aleksib move has put them in a position where if they admit defeat with this lineup, it’s like admitting the change was bad. They definitely don’t want to do that until they have no other choice, I’m sure of it.

It’s looking more and more like SHiPZ will stay put at CR4ZY for now, so I’m not sure which direction Daps and Autimatic will go. If the move did happen for some reason, it’s impossible to know who they would go grab to fill his spot. The move didn’t get far enough along for me to hear any actual names mentioned.

I don’t have a direction I want Counter-Strike or esports to go explicitly. I just want it to head in the direction that suits it best and keeps all aspects of the industry as healthy as possible. Trying out a franchise model for a small portion of the calendar isn’t a bad idea because it gives us a chance to see how it works without going all in. We’ve done the open circuit for years now, so why not give it a shot and evaluate afterwards?

I am not a gatekeeper and welcome any new fans to the game, the more the merrier.

Surprisingly, I haven’t heard anything mind-blowing in over a year now. Crazy rumors used to fly around on a regular occasion but those have ceased as of late. I’m not sure if it’s because my network is bigger and better or if contracts keep players from moving as easily. Possibly both.

This is a giant question so I won’t dive into all 30 teams here. I will mention a couple notable teams who I think could easily make upgrades at the moment or very soon. 

First, North should add MSL. Add him for Jugi and have him AWP. Later on, if his AWPing is holding them back they could get a dedicated AWPer. I’m fully convinced they improve tremendously if they make that move.

Na’Vi should consider xsepower if GuardiaN doesn’t improve over their next couple events. That or put s1mple back on the AWP and grab whoever fits best in his secondary AWP role.

I’ve been told they plan to stay in Counter-Strike but haven't confirmed anything to have happened with them yet. One name mentioned a few times behind the scenes was the Grayhound team, which would be an obvious choice. Again though, I haven’t heard anything reliable just yet.

I don’t think it would work at the highest levels of the game. I just don’t believe communication can be at an all time high level if you have different people in practice or the game at different times. No one would want to be the guy that would get “substituted” and I just feel like it would cause a team to implode if done at the wrong time.

Cromen was in a tough spot. Keeping him would have meant cutting Olofmeister or replacing someone like Rain. All of those guys are legends of the game and that earns them extra time on top lineups even when they struggle a bit. There was really nothing he could have done to keep his spot on a permanent basis.