There’s a bit of a lull in the Counter-Strike LAN schedule before things pick back up quite significantly in the summer. But that means it’s a good time to answer some of your questions about the scene, potential roster moves and more. So with that, here is the first DeKay Mailbag. (Have a question for a future mailbag? Send them to me on Twitter or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Q: Should pro players do more to unban iBP?
should pro players do more to unban ibp?
— Filip (@FilipMO) May 15, 2017
A: In my honest opinion, I don’t think there is anything players can do. Trying to influence Valve is almost never going to have any sort of success. They could go as far to all stop playing, protest and I still don’t believe anything would change. For some reason, people think that the community can “take a stand,” but that’s just not true. Valve doesn’t care what you, me or anyone else thinks.
Q: Is Valve’s model for community interaction, particularly at the pro level, sustainable in the long term?
Is Valve's model for community interaction, particularly at the pro level, sustainable in the long term?
— Benjamin (@BenInMotion_) May 16, 2017
A: Sustainable? Yes it’s definitely sustainable. Although, that doesn’t mean it is the best way of doing things. I have always felt that Valve should hire some sort of community manager to help communicate and relay how players feel about the game in its current state. In fact, someone like Launders would be perfect for it, but I don’t see that ever happening.
Q: Does Fnatic have a chance to win the ESL Pro League Season 5 finals?
U think fnatic have a chance in esl s5 finals? (To win it)
— -_- (@NureddinMaher) May 16, 2017
A: It’s extremely hard to bet against the same five players who dominated the world for such a long time, but I think that chance is quite small. The game has changed so much since that point and I don’t feel that the players are nearly as dedicated as they once were. Ultimately it comes down to Olofmeister. If he doesn’t return or come close to the level of play during 2015-16, this team won’t win tournaments.
Q: Thoughts on Na’Vi’s recent performance? Is s1mple the problem, or is it more that they don’t have zeus/starix as an in-game leader?
A: Valve ruined Na’Vi when they eliminated coaches from being able to communicate to the players during play. Since then, they’ve picked up the pieces and tried to make it work but have had limited success. S1mple is far from the issue on this team and ultimately they lack leadership and performance from former stars on the team. GuardiaN is a shell of the player he once was and I don’t see him regaining that form with this lineup. It’s time to give it one last shot at the PGL Major before they make a roster move and pick up a real in-game leader like Ange1.
Q: If you could have all development for CS be taken over by one other studio, who would it be?
A: ELEAGUE, no questions asked. I’m not even considering the fact that they are on TBS. I’m just basing that on the sheer production quality and fact that they hold LAN-only tournaments. I don’t think anyone can argue against that and if they do, they’re delusional.
Q: With Astralis and FaZe not qualifying for the Pro League finals, are SK the favorites going into the event? If not, then who do you favor?
With Astralis and FaZe not qualifying for the pro league finals, are SK the favorites going in to the event? If not then who do you favor?
— Jacob (@jh8CS) May 15, 2017
A: I have SK as clear favorites for the event and even favorites for the Major. I think this team is about to peak at the perfect time and has a top five player in the world along with the best player in the world. The ESL Pro League Finals is theirs to lose. They’ll hoist that trophy.
Q: How has it been taking a step back from the day job and focusing more on writing for CS?
How has it been taking a step back from the day job and focusing more on writing for CS?
— Mitch Gaylord (@Mitch_Gaylord) May 15, 2017
A: It’s been fantastic, even though it has been so recent. Unfortunately, a number of things have come up since then but this week I have been able to focus most of my attention on Counter-Strike. I look forward to improving my writing, start interviewing and pump some videos out ASAP. Being able to travel to more events will be a definite bonus!
Q: How do we fix the NA CS scene?
A: This is probably one of the most difficult questions anyone could ask, and I hate that it’s even a topic. In all honesty, players need to drop the ego and practice proper. Above anything else, those are the two most apparent issues right now. Most of them don’t even realize they have an ego, because they truly aren’t going out of their way to have one, but it’s more of a natural thing. For many of the best players in the world, a proper work ethic and willingness to adapt for the sake of the team are accepted and embraced. The same can’t be said for many North American players. Some of them have specific players they refuse to play with or will only play specific spots/roles. Many of those same players refuse to do anything other than play Rank S and show up to practice once in a while in autopilot. No one said they have to live and breathe Counter-Strike, but a sense of urgency when it comes time to prepare and play would go a long way. Most of them talk the talk, but don’t do shit when it comes to taking action. It lasts for a day or two after you see the typical “I’m so motivated” or “Can’t wait to play and improve when we get back home” and then just returns to the usual lethargy.
Q: M4 Buff, UMP Nerf, Pistol nerf: what’s needed the most out of the three?
M4 Buff, UMP Nerf, Pistol nerf what's needed the most out of the three?
— k 🐲 (@w00dyK) May 15, 2017
A: Pistol changes are definitely the most necessary and drastic change that needs to take place. The issue is that there is no guarantee it will happen. In my opinion movement speed with a pistol should be reduced as well as reducing the damage up close. Leave the eco wins to those who can get funky with a deagle, not someone strafe spamming a p250.
Q: Do you think there are any female players with a high enough skill level to play on a high level team?
Do you think there are any female players with a high enough skill level to play on a high level team
— Pug (@ScarletPug) May 15, 2017
A: At this point in time, no. I don’t see any mix of female talent that could compete anywhere near a high level. That’s not because they are women, but because they aren’t good CS players relative to the top talent in the scene right now. However, I do think it is possible in future if the right players dedicated themselves and practiced properly.
Q: 1. what would be your dream roster (without language barrier)? 2. what would be your dream NA roster?
1. what would be ur dream roster (without language barrier)?
2. what would be ur dream NA roster?
— demonico17 (@demonico18) May 15, 2017
A: Without language barrier: Coldzera, NiKo, KennyS, Gla1ve and AdreN
NA Roster: RUSH, Elige, Stanislaw, Stewie2k, Autimatic
Q (via email): Just wanted your opinion on the future of the pro CS scene. What do you think it will be like in a few years generally? Who do you think will be on top in this and next year? How long do you think it will continue for?
A: I think it will be a continuation of what we have now, barring a huge change to the map pool or engine of the game. I expect Brazilian teams like SK to continue to stay near the top as their work ethic and mentality is the best in the world. Danish CS hasn’t ever looked better so I don’t plan on any of those teams to go anywhere. I think that Swedish teams will continue this pattern of regressing until they find a proper mix. Many of the best players from NiP and Fnatic are far from the form they’ve displayed in the past, so I look forward to the next crop of prospects to show what they can do. In addition to that I expect North American teams to continue to be one step behind. Nothing has changed to make me feel otherwise.
I think tournament play will get a bit crazy once leagues start trying to implement forms of exclusivity and negotiate different types of broadcasting rights. The more people who inject their money into the scene, the more chaotic it will get. That’s just how it goes.