At least one notable professional Counter-Strike player seems to be fine with how many events are in the game today.
After Virtus.pro defeated SK Gaming in the semifinals of the ELEAGUE Major, Slingshot’s Vince Nairn talked briefly with Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas. TaZ had time to answer only three questions, but his answer about the state of professional Counter-Strike was particularly interesting:
“I think the state of the game is amazing,” he said. “It’s great. Even though many people say there is an over-saturation of events, I’m coming from the era where you had literally no events, or the biggest one was for $50,000, and it was one per year. For me, this is amazing, and I love the moment we are in.”
TaZ’s remarks come as the CS:GO world picks up after a break during the holidays in December. Before that, however, came a stretch of LANs that ignited the debate about over-saturation perhaps more than ever before. Starting at the end of September, there was ESL One New York, EPICENTER, ELEAGUE Season 2, ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals, IEM Oakland, DreamHack Winter and ECS Season 2 Finals — all in an 11-week span.
The conclusion of the Major marks the start of the next season, with ESL Pro League Season 5 beginning next week, DreamHack Las Vegas later this month and IEM Katowice on the first weekend of March.
“It’s really hard for us because we have to travel a lot and we have a full schedule,” SK Gaming’s Epitacio “TACO” de Melo told Slingshot at IEM Oakland. “Online tournaments every day, every week and sometimes we don’t want to schedule the matches and we have to travel to a tournament. Then we arrive Monday and have a match to play Monday, Wednesday. Every day we have a match to play.”
Still, to hear TaZ say he’s happy with the current state of tournaments is perhaps a reminder of what the game used to be like, and the appreciation a veteran player has for a time when the CS:GO economy wasn’t so booming.
Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE, illustration by Slingshot