Rest in peace, old friend, we're going to miss you
No Longer a Meme: NA CS:GO Is Truly Dead
North American Counter-Strike has always been an object of ridicule within the community. The lack of team success and individual greats has kept the region down for as long as we can remember. Just when NA CS:GO started picking up on both ends, reality struck hard and what was once a meme is now just a sad truth: NA CS:GO is truly dead.
We won't go through the details of every individual case here. There are so many, this would ramp up to a good two-hour bus ride read. In summary: a huge chunk of the current NA CS:GO pro scene is no longer current.
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The Mass Exodus
Over the span of several months, a number of NA players, coaches and whole teams and organizations just left. Packed their bags and went on a search for a better life. At first, it was just a bunch of young hopefuls and old has-beens that wanted to cash in on the Valorant hype. Then the hype began to evaporate, yet matters got worse. Now entire organizations were packing their bags without explanation. Unlike the edgy punk girl though, they did not and will not come back.
The NA CS:GO Pandemic
One of the reasons for the leak of talent in the NA CS:GO scene we already mentioned. It's true that North American players were by far the biggest portion of CS:GO athletes that switched over to Riot's shooter. However, this is not a cause, but an effect.
Players have been raving on about the dire situation over there. It's always the same things: lack of funds, having troubles finding an org to support you, low professionalism, etc. In plain words: all the stuff you don't want to be a trademark of a professional esports circuit.
With all these pre-conditions, all it took was a tiny, harmless global f@#$ing pandemic to amplify every problem to 100. Players running for their lives in Valorant's general direction and organizations saving their investments for more fruitful fields of esports than NA CS:GO, as depressing as it is, surprising it is not.
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I genuinely wonder if it would have gotten so out of hand at least on player level if not for Valorant offering that safety net that did not exist before. Then I remind myself that:
- eUnited left the NA scene, couldn't sustain roster
- 100 Thieves left the NA scene, didn't want to bother with sustaining a team
- New England Whalers left the scene, couldn't handle the unexpected glimpses of success in 2020
- Chaos EC insisted on leaving the NA scene after winning back-to-back regional titles, hanging around for the time being
- Cloud9 left the NA scene, assembled an EU roster
- Triumph are losing players despite having their best year ever
- Gen.G dumped their NA roster
- Evil Geniuses, oh just the most successful NA team this year, had to officially declare it is not disbanding because everybody else was
It went to organizational level so rapidly that it seems like a laughable thought to blame solely Valve's ineptitude and Valorant's existence for driving NA CS:GO's hearse. Five or six of those Valorant exiles sticking around would not have made any difference.
The truth is that as lazy and uninterested as Valve appears to be towards the game and as much as Valorant did pull some players over even before the crisis of the global pandemic settled in, this is just the natural development of a professional scene so far removed from professionalism in the environment of a business-shattering epidemic.
This last sentence isn't political, it's anti-idiotical: For all those, many of which reside in North America, that believe COVID-19 is either fake or harmless, don't look any further than your local CS:GO to find out just how real and life-altering it can be even without actually infecting you.
We know, we know, it's all a scam to keep the New England Whalers from dominating Astralis' ass.