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Var1ables US Var1ables
Name: Forrest Campbell
Age: 25
Location: California
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Counter Strike Shakedown #2

Feature -- Forrest "var1ables" Campbell releases #2 of his Counter Strike 1.6 Shakedown.  This series will look at happenings in eSports the past week and his opinion on what's going on.

Note:  None of this is the opinion Insider eSports. This is just my no-named wannabe-journalist opinion.

Summer Heat

Causes things to break down. Notable Counter Strike teams and sponsorships. MYM broke up last week, along with the French side Mojwai and Norway's Online Kingdom before those two did. It only looks worse with Expert Gaming, another Norwegian team, breaking up and UNiTED losing their Arbalet sponsorship, which will probably cause some major roster chaos in the three countries UNiTED represents.

What is with these organizations and teams disbanding in the summer?

I understand UNiTED and MYM, whose contract expired and the organization/sponsor which loses them their representative backing, but with Mojawi, Expert-Gaming and Online Kingdom all breaking up or dissolving their roster and the organization in some cases makes me fear for future of Counter Strike.

But each time it feels like we have everything to lose, we only come back stronger with more, better, sponsors, better, more reliable organizations and further growth in this ten year old game.

Fnatic Gets Gux, SK Gets Angry

Two of the biggest organizations in eSports, SK-Gaming and Team Fnatic are going at each other’s throats.

Fnatic, who recently released Bjorn “threat” Pers, acquired the not-contracted SK player Rasmus "GuX" Ståhl just prior to the Arbalet Cup Dallas event.

Fnatic said it was due to unfulfilled SK-Gaming promises, SK-Gaming says that Fnatic bribed him. Stahl says he just wants his past due prize money and salary from SK.


Photo: HLTV.org


What really surprises me is that SK-Gaming, known for being the first organization to ever give a contract to a player, never contracted Stahl. Their CS manager says that he didn’t sign the contract of his own volition, but if that is the case, why would SK even keep him on the roster?

I can only guess there was a non-compete clause of some time period after he would leave the roster, but we may never know why Stahl didn’t sign it.

That only lasted a day as SK-Gaming’s official response said that GuX did sign a contract, and that GuX did get money from the tournaments he entered, but decided not to send it back to SK-Gaming, allowing SK to not pay him.

That makes me scratch my head. They say he hasn’t sent them back their piece of the pie - which would be deducted from his salary - but only one tournament has paid out. So why hasn’t he received the rest of his salary? The world may never know.

Fnatic, as they said it their press release, is known for buying out contracts and doing everything legally, but without one this puts this whole situation in a really odd gray area which no one comes out ahead in reputation and threatens the stability of the only bargaining point we have with big companies and tournament organizers, the G7 federation.

Whose fault is all of this?  Nobody and everybody.

It’s SK-Gaming’s fault for not keeping their player happy and not contracting Stahl, and if they did, not keeping their end of the bargain. It’s Stahl’s fault because he didn’t get a contract outlining what he was due, and if he did, he didn’t sign it. It’s Fnatic’s fault for putting Stahl in this situation.

This only strengthens the need for clear cut contracts to be made. And if you can’t find a player who will sign the contract, don’t use them. Just like everything else, if you don’t have it in writing, it’s probably not going to be done.

Being the future law student I am, I'll say this much: unless the law in Germany is different, if there is no signature, there is no contract. Regardless of how long you negotiate the terms or how long you argue over minor contractual obligations, if there is no signature, there is no contract.  

So GuX gets no salary for his time in SK, and he can go where he wants. SK doesn’t have to pay him anything, and Fnatic doesn’t have to pay SK anything.

BOYCOTT WCG!!! Wait… what?

Fnatic announced, only a few days after that whole SK/Fnatic/GuX debacle that they would not go to WCG Nordic because… they’d have to pay money if they don’t win?  What?

They would probably not have any problem winning, seeing as they’ve been steam rolling these teams for about a year now.

But what about their sponsors logos and t-shirts! That has not seemed to be a problem up to this point seriously; 3D - headed by eSports businessman Craig Levine and two of the biggest sponsors in eSports, nVidia and Intel - didn’t have any problems with that.
“License fees being charged if teams pay to go themselves” is the only thing from what I can tell to be a problem there, which is horrible.
That doesn’t even make sense...you don’t pay their way and force them to pay you so they can compete in a tournament they qualified for?  Why not just say they can’t go and instead only have one spot at the event?
WCG released a press release, stating that Fnatic has been disqualified and that H2K Gaming will replace them.  It also says that all the potential organizations which would attend the event, like SK-Gaming, fnatic, H2k and Power-Gaming have all seen and signed off on the new system, with two spots going to the three Nordic countries, only now has Fnatic made a fuss about it.
So basically, they are not going to the biggest competition in the world for almost no reason, outside having to roll kids again at another WCG qualifier.
I understand the idea that they’ve already rolled these kids once - well, more than once - but just do it again, take the spot, win the event then complain. Then WCG would probably care.
Knowing the recent G7 actions, Fnatic will probably change its mind a week before the tournament and go to the tournament anyway.


Tournament Weekend

Two tournaments in the same place this weekend: ESEA Invite Playoffs and Arbalet Cup Dallas.

ESEAi playoffs were full of very little surprises: the only notabe one being Loaded, after losing to coL in the first round, coming back to eliminate them from the tournament in the lower bracket finals.

Outside of that nothing new seem to happen - the young talent Area51, lead by GRT,  left early, UE failed to shake off some of their LAN rust leaving in the same round, and finesse, despite their relative experience in ESEAi LAN playoffs didn’t move pass 4th.


Photo: HLTV.org

Arbalet Cup, on the other hand was full of surprises. Loaded beat BURNING in what seems like the first match of the weekend only to not advance in the second group stage.

BURNING, not to be outdone, beat Na’Vi in the second day to top their second group, EG upsetting mousesports only to falter to the American mix iDemise, before embarrassing them in their rematch to advance in second place was another surprise.

The bracket stage of the tournament eliminated one of the last American teams, Underestimated, and allowed America’s biggest team to advance, EG. Other than that, nothing really happened - Na’Vi beat mTw in two OT maps, H2k continues to impress beating SK 2-1.

It looks like jet lag has a much bigger impact on Americans than was originally thought - with EG making short work of most of their European counter-parts all the way to the top four and all the Europeans playing relatively sloppily in comparison to their home field selves.

EG could not continue their steam roll though - falling in a similar situation as they did at IEM – losing to Na’Vi on train 16-2 and inferno 16-4.

The hot young talent, H2k, lost 2-0 to the more experienced mouz 16-4 on nuke and 16-11 on inferno. And also like IEM, Na’vi beat Mouz 2-0 to take the final.

Unlike IEM though, EG managed to pull through against h2k and place third in three maps. This is great, finally a US team - that doesn’t have an easy bracket or easy groups - advances through the tournament and places in the top three.

So what did we learn?

First that Na’vi, even with jetlag, is still better than most of the competition.

Second is that EG, although the one of the biggest teams - fnatic -  couldn’t attend, are a real contender for the top spot if they can managed to hammer out some issues and play Na’ Vi on the big four – Nuke, Train, Inferno, and Dust2 – like they did on Tuscan.

Finally, Europeans still dominate the scene, taking 6 of the top 8 spots in tournament.

Stay tuned next week for another shakedown.


Comments: Add a Comment

quote#1 US peawok 20/07/2010 - 22:00:26
Great review, var. I enjoyed it :)

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