StarLadder's talent decisions could burn them

StarLadder needs the best talent to match ESL One Cologne

Counter-Strike: GO's Icon Stephen Chiu · 17 Jul 2019


Photo: By Helena Kristiansson for ESL

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Yesterday Duncan “Thorin” Shields tweeted that he was not going to attend the Major. Today, DeKay reported that he wasn’t the only key figure missing from the broadcast. Both Jason “Moses” O’Toole and Anders Blume will likely not be at the event as well. As it stands now, StarLadder is losing out on an analyst whose role cannot be replaced. In addition, Moses and Anders are elite CS:GO casters. 

From the outside looking in, these are both weird moves. StarLadder is a tournament organizer that I’ve wanted to see get the Major for a long period of time as they were one of the original TOs that supported the scene before it became huge. Like DreamHack and ESL, they have built a level of history with their tournaments and brand. Virtus.Pro ended the NiP streak at StarLadder StarSeries V. Finn “karrigan” Andersen completed his revenge against Astralis and stopped their era at StarSeries Season 3. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev put on the greatest single man performance we have ever seen at StarSeries Season 4.

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So when they got the Major, I believed that they were going to live up to that legacy and status. However these moves are questionable in the context of what is happening in the scene right now. If the Berlin Major was following up on the FACEIT Major, these moves could likely be brushed off as the FACEIT Major set the bar of expectations to the lowest they’ve ever been.

However, the Berlin Major isn’t being compared to the FACEIT Major. It isn’t even being compared to the IEM Katowice Major. It’s being compared to ESL One Cologne. ESL One Cologne did not get Major status this year, but it was still one of the best events of the year. It has earned its status as the Cathedral of Counter-Strike. With both events being so close to each other and both being in Germany, the community will naturally compare both events.

If that’s the case, then the Berlin Major needs to go all out. The major needs to be a global celebration of Counter-Strike, it’s history, and it’s community. That is what ESL One Cologne has accomplished without major status. For StarLadder to succeed, they must put on an even better event, and the decision to not hire the likes of Anders, Moses, and Thorin could get them burned.

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