"Sources Say" is a periodically-released column that will focus on discussions and behind-the-scenes developments I can confirm or plainly just feel confident are happening, even if they don't lead to any official moves. "X team are targeting Y player," or "A player has been practicing with B team," -- that type of stuff. The information in this column should not be taken as confirmed transactions but more helping the readers to understand moves as they develop.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive circuit as we know it is due for a tremendous amount of change in 2020, with many parts of it still in flux. Another league will almost certainly enter the fold, which means long-term online leagues like ECS will have to adapt or combine resources alongside the new entrant. Some of the world’s best teams are divided between this new league and ESL, meaning some matchups will be impossible to see outside of one-off LAN tournaments and Majors.
I find myself envisioning the first half of next year until the Major in May as one giant “season” for most of professional CS:GO, and I get the sense most of the top teams feel the same way. We have never had the first Major tournament so late in the year -- it's scheduled for May -- so teams will likely stick together longer than usual. The incredible buyout numbers almost every player has these days increases that likelihood.
Outside of the schedule, CS:GO is mostly quiet now that the post-Major roster shuffle is finished. One opportunity for roster changes will be following the Finals of ESL Pro League (looking at you MSL), but other than that I don’t expect much. Especially now that teams like GODSENT and Chaos have been announced.
On to the juicy stuff!
Everyone at this point knows OG will obtain the services of the Aleksib, valde, and NBK core. While they don’t have a particular deadline, the deal has taken so much time because of their struggle to find an AWPer that suits their needs. Last I heard, they had been trying out mantuu from Alternate Attax. It’s quite clear that they would prefer to have ottoNd, but he must remain with CR4ZY to keep their Major spot.
The rumored league in North America that features a franchise-like model received approval from Valve in recent weeks following a meeting at their headquarters in the Pacific Northwest. Details are still sparse, but it seems to be happening.
It appears koosta is the third player from Cloud9 who is expected to move over to Gen.G alongside autimatic and daps. I haven’t confirmed that information, but all signs point to it being the case. SHiPZ is at Dreamhack Atlanta this weekend with CR4ZY, meaning his transfer will have to wait until afterwards. I'd bet money that people attending the event will spot someone from Gen.G if they look hard enough. The entire group isn’t in any rush to get their fifth player locked down, so the timetable on this coming to fruition is wide.
On the other end, it is unclear what Cloud9 will do with the likes of mixwell and subroza. I believe Cloud9 is a large component of the new league in the works, so I would imagine they will rebuild a roster of some kind.
All signs point to the next Major being held by ESL or DreamHack. The rumor of it taking place in Brazil has existed in my wheelhouse since ESL One New York. I've yet to confirm any official details but if I do, expect a report soon afterward.
Photo by Bart Oerbekke/ESL