Sent on
April 17, 2020

The odds of MIBR being one of three teams to win a $1M event in 2020 are pretty high. No, we're not joking, but HAVU and MAD Lions also have a shot. Still not joking btw.

ESL One Cologne barred from having live audience

Illustration by NovaH. Sources: Trophy by u/FREIHH, logo from ESL

Getting sick, for most people, sucks. But if you were anything like the spotty, nerdy kids at TLDR, staying in and playing video games instead of going to school sounded like a fantastic time.

Sadly, the whole world has been a bit sick recently, and we're all getting a little bit tired of staying in and playing games - we'd much rather go to Germany and... well, go inside and play games.

The poor guy or gal who first thought eating undercooked bat was a great idea has now bestowed onto us a ban on events until at least the end of summer, at least in the great country of Bratwurst, Lederhosen and gob b.

We could deal with losing the Pro League, and FLASHPOINT, and DreamHack events. But losing ESL One Cologne? We're not the only people to lose access to our place of worship, of course, but we never thought our Cathedral would be shut down.

Now, we're not sure if the games will be played there with no fans, or if the whole thing will be online - we, like many people, don't have a crystal ball. But it seems unlikely that we'll be able to go there, even if by some miracle the players are.

Ulrich Schulze of ESL gave an interview speaking about the issues they had to overcome in a short span of time when the Pro League was moved online, and now he'll have to find a way to make ESL One Stay-at-ho-gne a remarkable event in its own way. Though not being able to invite NA teams might be a blessing, really.

ESL haven't confirmed that the event has been cancelled, or fans not allowed to enter, saying they will 'see what this means' for ESL One Cologne. We all know, though, when your mate says he'll 'think about it', it means no, he's not going to that party.

The TLDR armchair analysis

Mutti Merkel doesn't muck around. She knows what she's talking about and cancelling all big events until September seems to be the standard European modus operandi. We are going to miss the Cathedral, but we are looking forward to see if ESL can pull off a memorable online event that celebrates the spirit of Cologne. See you in LANXESS in 2021! knock on wood

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Season 1 of Flashpoint comes to a close

Day 22 of quarantine: we're excited for MAD Lions vs HAVU.

We're only joking, how could we not be excited for squints sLowi to take to the server?

HAVU have been a revelation in FLASHPOINT, coming from near-obscurity to outing themselves as the best Finnish team in CSGO - though that is a tallest midget/nicest Russian in MM-type situation.

Wins over C9 and Gen.G have really put them on the map for Americans, and trading series' earlier in the tournament with MAD Lions means this should be a juicy match-up.

The winner of that series goes on to face MIBR in the grand final. MIBR! Grand final! We're not ready to say they're back just yet, but seeing FalleN back to some sort of form is definitely a look we're a fan of.

$500,000 dollars awaits the winner of the final, making FLASHPOINT an extraordinarily well-paid event - one that HAVU would never have dreamed of being in the final of until now. Maybe the internet in in NA is just so much better than in Finland; it would definitely explain why ENCE seem to play with input delay.

The CS:GO landscape is about to change forever

Editor's note: A lot of you, our amazing readers, wanted to see more analysis from us. This section is an attempt at that. Let us know on Twitter or in a reply to this email if this is something you'd like to see more of.

As Covid-19 rages across the World and has put society at large to a stand-still, the effects haven't been felt too harshly in CS:GO and esports. Maybe it's because we spend most of the time trying to get better at CS anyway (and failing spectacularly one might add), or it could simply be because online CS is second nature to us.

Either way the last few months have been pretty much business as usual in CS:GO, right? On the surface that's true. Players still moan about broken guns, SPUNJ still provides a ton of content for the nocontextspunj-account on Twitter and Thorin still lives rent free in our heads.

But if we go a level deeper, there's a profound change coming to the CS:GO landscape, that might change it forever. Parts of the esports market has surged during extended quarantines, but for the teams the truth is very different. Astralis Group for instance, have had to take a 30% paycut, and several other publicly traded companies have furloughed or laid off staff to balance cost.

Esports orgs have one thing in common across the board: High expenses and low to medium revenue-streams. Astralis Group expected a high double digit increase in sponsorship revenue this year - is that still attainable in the current market? Not likely.

What does that mean?

In short it means that teams with high salaries and low liquidity are in trouble. Especially if they are entrenched in other expensive ventures like franchised leagues.

CS:GO salaries are in line for a big downwards correction, but if that doesn't happen quick enough, expect to see Top 20 rosters moving to new homes where pockets are deeper. As Thorin succinctly puts it - "It's a buyer's market".

tonyblack didn't want that FAMAS drop...

5 fun facts from ESL Pro League

#1 - Astralis are not SG abusers, NiP are: Astralis bought the SG the least of any top teams. Only 7% of the times they could purchase a AK47 or SG533 they went for the SG. Meanwhile NiP went for the SG 79% of the time (!). If the NiP somehow disappears (even more) overnight, you'll know why.

#2 - No one likes the AUG: Players were three times as likely to purchase a M4A1-S as they were  an AUG. You know a gun has been nerfed into the ground when you want a silent squirt-gun over it.

#3 - Inferno plants are a coinflip: If you want to gamble-stack on Inferno, just flip a coin. Of 616 recorded bomb plants, 308 was on A and 298 was on B. That's a 51.3/48.7 split.

#4 - Always stack A on Vertigo: 65% of recorded bomb plants on Vertigo is on the A site, so if you're not a part of the Vertigang core, just stack 4 man there every round. It's gotta work at some point, right? Right?!

#5 - You win if you plant on the A side of Train: If you thought the B site on Dust2 was hard to re-take, look at the defuse-stats for planting on the A-site of Train, as reported by Stayinpit. Only 13.3% of bombs are defused - that's a lower success-rate than North has at recruiting players.

Badass Bardolph

  • Valve adds online events to the ingame HUD. Nice mens)))
  • It was James Bardolph's birthday this week - and Rin Hallward made this kick-ass image of him as a GTA loading screen character.
  • Why did NaVi lose in EPL? We don't know, but stuchiu does.
  • WESG have added 'coronavirus' to their list of reasons why they can't pay Windigo.
  • Shakezullah of Triumph spoke about trying to get into FLASHPOINT and EPL as a tier 2 (if we're kind) team.
  • nukkye is a free agent after leaving Hellraisers. If he knows Excel, then maybe he can join Heretics as an analyst.
  • BUFF THE KRIEG.
  • We never thought we'd see ropz complain about playing CS online... even if he does have a point.
  • Cobble might be coming back! That's according to a not-very-cryptic tweet from the mysterious 2Eggs.
  • LOMME has left Heroic.