k0nfig on playing in arenas: "Using the crowd shouldn't be an option"
Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke spoke up on last night's episode of HLTV Confirmed regarding the effect crowds have at events and some of the other problems stemming from playing Counter-Strike in an arena.
A conversation as old as Counter-Strike being played in front of a crowd has once again popped up after a controversial play was recorded at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals in Odense, Denmark. The play in question took place during the semi-final match between MOUZ and Astralis, seemingly showing how a preemptive cheer by the Danish crowd affected the decision-making of Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth, who knew where two rival players were boosted thanks to the spectators' encouragement.
Both Xyp9x and Robin "ropz" Kool then took to Twitter, the former in a twitlonger and the latter in a thread, to discuss the problems that big screens, loud sound systems and a cheering crowd pose to the competitive integrity of the game.
"You can play clutches on crowd, you can scan walls on crowd, hell you can even throw grenades likes HEs and flashes," ropz says in a Tweet, "because the sound from the stage is loud enough that you'll hear if they explode which instantly means there is an enemy near you." In his Twitlonger, Xyp9x talks about these problems, but also about the importance of finding a way to keep an entertaining atmosphere for fans and not just adding a measure like banning cheering until after a round is over. "It’s really all about the excitement and the entertainment of those fans," he says, "there is nothing more enjoyable than being on the edge of the seat together with thousands of other fans watching the game and getting excited about a play together."
Another player to step up and give his opinion on the matter is k0nfig, who did so during his appearance as a guest in the HLTV Confirmed podcast. The Complexity player talked about the same issues as ropz and Xyp9x, and like the two aforementioned players brought up the solution of using soundproof booths, a fix that seems to be a generalized consensus among competitors. "I don't think [using the crowd] should be an option, that's messed up," k0nfig says to the camera, "I think if everyone had booths with glass that was black on one side so you can't see out, only in, that would be the perfect solution."
Although Xyp9x states that "there are a lot of costs associated with creating properly soundproofed booths and having them shipped around," and that he "also heard about rules on fire hazards causing challenges with respect to booths inside an arena," the topic will nonetheless be discussed by the CSPPA, who will then start a conversation with the different tournament organizers to try and find solutions that are best for both crowd experience and the competitive integrity of the game.