As NA's big guns migrate to Europe, Chaos and Triumph look towards the future

Anthony "⁠vanity⁠" Malaspina and Alan "⁠Shakezullah⁠" Hardeman discuss the current state of the North American scene at a time when some of the best teams in the region are competing in Europe.

In the middle of October, it was confirmed that the trio of Evil Geniuses, FURIA, and Liquid would make the trip overseas to compete in several end-of-the year tournaments, marking the first international appearance of these North America-based teams against European competition since IEM Katowice.

For fans, the trip presents the tantalizing prospect of seeing battles between teams from the two regions — something that had been missing since Counter-Strike went online in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But for the remaining teams in North America, the departure of the region’s best talents leaves them without top-tier practice partners and lowers the overall level of matches that they have at their disposal.

Shakezullah believes the North American scene will bounce back

This, for a region already suffering from a reduced talent pool as some players have made the move to VALORANT, might seem like a deathblow to the tier-two scene from those looking in from the outside. For Chaos in-game leader vanity however, it is merely a small setback as Chaos look to hone their individual play while waiting for teams to return.

“Getting good practice in the region will be a little more difficult with the teams leaving, but I don’t think it’ll be the biggest issue,” the Chaos captain told to HLTV.org. “My goals for the team stay the same. As long as we are giving our best and not letting each other down, the results will come eventually.”

Triumph’s Shakezullah had a similar outlook, saying that since the move from the teams is temporary, the scene will rebound upon their return. “It’s going to be tough for a few months,” he admitted , “but I’d imagine everything will reset in a couple of months and we will be back to where we are right now soon. I don't think the majority of players wish to live overseas permanently; however, as long as COVID remains, the scene will remain in its current state, so most likely it will take six months minimum before anything changes.“

The Triumph in-game leader also pointed towards a lack of practice opportunities earlier in the day without some of the higher tier teams around, and mentioned that teams would have to find a workaround for the lack of scrim time by prioritizing demo and server work. Additionally, he felt that the up-and-coming teams in the region, such as New England Whalers, TeamOne, and Yeah, will benefit from the absence of the top teams as they will be able to make deeper runs in tournaments, offering them more acclaim and directing more attention to some of their players.

As for the departure of talent to VALORANT, neither captain expressed concern, both sharing the opinion that new talent will rise to fill the gap, given some time. Shakezullah, speaking from experience as a captain who has played alongside a number of rising North American talents, including Ricky "⁠floppy⁠" Kemery, Josh "⁠oSee⁠" Ohm, and Michael "⁠Grim⁠" Wince, conceded that the current season of ESEA’s MDL was the weakest ever in North America, but named a handful of players — Justin "⁠FaNg⁠" Coakley, Danny "⁠cxzi⁠" Strzelczyk, and David "⁠Sneaky⁠" Polster — who he feels will be able to step up into a better team if needed. He also pointed towards some core issues in the region that he feels are behind the degradation of the scene as a whole.

cxzi has been on the rise in NA, briefly helping Gen.G as a stand-in

“I think the biggest issue we suffer from is a lack of roster stability,” Shakezullah stated. “I can’t act like mine has been a beacon of light in the scene either as we have been a revolving door for players recently, but no team tends to stick together. It’s a mixture of ego/inability to be resilient and work out issues, organisation stability, players getting poached, etc. It’s hard to really narrow it down, but a ton of teams you see in Europe who end up making waves have a core that has been together for years. From my experience, most players within the [North American] scene don’t have the ability to talk through and work out issues. I think this leads to roster changes that are mainly sparked from issues that could have been easily solved, but since neither side has the ability to maturely get through it, a change happens. It’s a repetitive and endless cycle.”

The Triumph in-game leader also drew attention to the lack of third-party tournaments in North America, mentioning that “it is extremely difficult to be a full-time pro” in the region if one is not competing in ESL Pro League or Flashpoint. He also mentioned that a number of organisations have pulled out of CS:GO, though he raised doubts about their ability to have a return on investment given the lack of roster stability.

“Recently, tournament organizers such as ESEA, FPL, and Mythic have started to do more cash cups in North America, with prizes typically ranging between $2,000-3,000 for first place,” Shakezullah noted. “It’s a great start, and I think it will help the tier-two scene a lot, but the format needs to change because only the finals are ever on HLTV. There needs to be more teams in these tournaments, a round robin-system [for example], so it is placed on HLTV. Then there can start to be viewers, sponsors, and revenue. The tournaments are being so poorly advertised and formatted right now that I don’t see how these tournaments will last without operating at a loss.”

It remains to be seen how this will affect the North America scene in the short term — after all, six months, as Shakezullah predicted, is a long time in esports. It is entirely possible that with the region's best migrating to Europe, where ESL will build a studio that will be used for all of its major competitions in 2021, North American tournaments will be scaled down to the same level of their Asian and Oceanic counterparts. Still, the Triumph captain is confident that his region will rebound, both from the loss of talent to VALORANT and the temporary departure of top teams to Europe.

“We will go through a bit of a down period, and things will be rough for a while, but ultimately new talent will come in and fill the void,” he commented. “The overall skill level might take a dip for a bit, but over time, everything will even itself out and new people will get opportunities. I don’t think the game is dying, the player base is expanding, esports in North America are only becoming more recognized and mainstream, and tournament organizers are still hosting tournaments with record numbers.”

United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
713
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
United States David 'Sneaky' Polster
David 'Sneaky' Polster
Age:
20
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
232
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
United States Danny 'cxzi' Strzelczyk
Danny 'cxzi' Strzelczyk
Age:
20
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
150
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.15
United States Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
606
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
United States Michael 'Grim' Wince
Michael 'Grim' Wince
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
650
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
United States Anthony 'vanity' Malaspina
Anthony 'vanity' Malaspina
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
596
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
United States Alan 'Shakezullah' Hardeman
Alan 'Shakezullah' Hardeman
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
464
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
Canada Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Justin 'FaNg' Coakley
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
261
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
#2
 | 
Faroe Islands pmX_
mibr top 1 NA
2020-11-08 00:03
4 replies
#38
s | 
Brazil finexys_
+1 finally someone in hltv that has more than 2 braincells
2020-11-08 01:10
+1 Mibr third place in blast group stage Eg and furia last place So mibr>eg and furia
2020-11-08 02:51
Isn't Brazil in South America?
2020-11-14 04:42
1 reply
NA region in CSGO
2020-11-16 18:16
AU > EU > NA
2020-11-08 00:03
21 replies
#5
 | 
Costa Rica resistance_
0 majors > 13 majors > 1 major nt
2020-11-08 00:04
14 replies
everyone knows majors are scripted
2020-11-08 00:24
6 replies
#44
 | 
Switzerland Saixd96
Australians...
2020-11-08 01:55
4 replies
Majors are fake news
2020-11-08 04:47
3 replies
Australia is a fake news Jkin
2020-11-08 05:58
2 replies
Australia is not real. It’s a hoax, made for us to believe that Britain moved over their criminals to someplace. In reality, all these criminals were loaded off the ships into the waters, drowning before they could see land ever again. It’s a coverup for one of the greatest mass murders in history, made by one of the most prominent empires. Australia does not exist. All things you call “proof” are actually well fabricated lies and documents made by the leading governments of the world. Your Australian friends? They’re all actors and computer generated personas, part of the plot to trick the world. If you think you’ve ever been to Australia, you’re terribly wrong. The plane pilots are all in on this, and have in all actuality only flown you to islands close nearby – or in some cases, parts of South America, where they have cleared space and hired actors to act out as real Australians. Australia is one of the biggest hoaxes ever created, and you have all been tricked. Join the movement today, and make it known that they have been deceived. Make it known, that this has all just been a cover-up. The things these “Australian” says to be doing, all these swear words and actions based on alcoholism, MDMA and bad decisions, are all ways to distract you from the ugly truth that is one of the greatest genocides in history. 162,000 people was said to have been transported to this imaginary land during a mere 80 years, and they are all long dead by now. They never reached that promised land.
2020-11-09 03:34
1 reply
#117
 | 
Brazil lfmateu
Australia is not real. It’s a hoax, made for us to believe that Britain moved over their criminals to someplace. In reality, all these criminals were loaded off the ships into the waters, drowning before they could see land ever again. It’s a coverup for one of the greatest mass murders in history, made by one of the most prominent empires. Australia does not exist. All things you call “proof” are actually well fabricated lies and documents made by the leading governments of the world. Your Australian friends? They’re all actors and computer generated personas, part of the plot to trick the world. If you think you’ve ever been to Australia, you’re terribly wrong. The plane pilots are all in on this, and have in all actuality only flown you to islands close nearby – or in some cases, parts of South America, where they have cleared space and hired actors to act out as real Australians. Australia is one of the biggest hoaxes ever created, and you have all been tricked. Join the movement today, and make it known that they have been deceived. Make it known, that this has all just been a cover-up. The things these “Australian” says to be doing, all these swear words and actions based on alcoholism, MDMA and bad decisions, are all ways to distract you from the ugly truth that is one of the greatest genocides in history. 162,000 people was said to have been transported to this imaginary land during a mere 80 years, and they are all long dead by now. They never reached that promised land.
2020-11-21 01:52
#107
 | 
India SKS_1337
name checks out. But if you are JKS fan support EU now
2020-11-11 13:26
actually EU 11 Majors, but still more than 0
2020-11-08 01:10
1 reply
what if we count css & 1.6
2020-11-08 04:18
#62
 | 
Brazil mig1
??? Brazil 2 majors NA 1 Rest EU Some good maths there
2020-11-08 05:54
4 replies
#71
allu | 
Finland Jlu7
Didn't gambit win a major? Or have I lost it completely?
2020-11-08 08:10
#72
 | 
Brunei cyLoL
1 major CIS (gambit) mens
2020-11-08 08:11
1 reply
#91
 | 
Brazil mig1
CIS KekW
2020-11-08 19:38
Brazil also almost won 3rd major but ....they lost to Gambit
2020-11-22 05:10
AU disband in NA because SA kekw...
2020-11-08 00:04
4 replies
NA TALKING LMFAOOOOOOO
2020-11-08 00:24
#43
 | 
Latvia De1Co
Bro, NA pro league finals had 0 teams from NA
2020-11-08 01:30
2 replies
#45
 | 
Mexico Crotosobo
That's true. Actually had 0 NA players in a NA final
2020-11-08 01:57
1 reply
+1 LUL
2020-11-14 22:43
#66
 | 
Europe X1gma
AU=cheaters in every game
2020-11-08 07:07
#4
 | 
Australia Sify
Pog
2020-11-08 00:03
#7
 | 
Canada yuv1_
thx shake
2020-11-08 00:05
#13
Luken | 
Sweden fxzo
Well so clearly NA Cs is diying lmao
2020-11-08 00:07
Rip NA CS
2020-11-08 00:08
Who are these big guns? Have we heard of them?
2020-11-08 00:08
6 replies
I mean last year we had LAN's they won more tier 1 tournaments then EU so I'm fairly certain they are talking about EG, Liquid and Furia. But what do I know.
2020-11-09 03:44
5 replies
I know who they are talking about, it is literally mentioned in the first line of the article.. Was making a joke, didnt expect anyone to take it literally. But there is always someone i guess..
2020-11-09 11:32
3 replies
Whoosh
2020-11-09 16:32
2 replies
When i was googleing that word it started to piss me off. Im done with looking up the meaning for made up internet words that i would never use in my life. Learn to speak like a person, im not joking. Make an effort.
2020-11-09 21:01
1 reply
It's not an internet word. lol
2020-11-09 21:55
#109
 | 
Finland Kujis
last year OMEGALUL
2020-11-14 05:52
#16
 | 
Portugal KINGOR
NA players went to Valorant, NA CS is dead... R.I.P.
2020-11-08 00:10
1 reply
#76
 | 
Spain N0Love
NA retired and benched players went to valorant
2020-11-08 10:45
#17
broky | 
Norway JKR01
nice
2020-11-08 00:11
Rugratz honestly looked decent against Liquid I wish Triumph picked up a few of those guys, they seem like a team full of aimers that lack the structure Shake could add. Something like Shake, Junior, FaNg, Cxzi, Penny/Moose would have been sick.
2020-11-08 00:14
6 replies
Shakezullah (IGL) junior (AWP) Infinite FaNg penny/mada/cxzi
2020-11-08 00:21
5 replies
Infinite's a great choice as well good point, not sure how Ryann got picked up tbh
2020-11-08 00:41
3 replies
maybe because ryann is a nice person and teammate, as ive seen on his streams, also he has more experience than newer names in the na scene who have better statistics but not everyone can be the star so support players are needed, ryann might be a valued support player
2020-11-08 00:54
2 replies
I don't doubt that he's a nice guy and I know support players and structure are just as important as firepower but Triumph sort of seem like they're lacking in the firepower department if I'm being honest. I feel like taking a risk on someone like FaNg or cxzi in hopes you find a stud is worth it in comparison to the consistency you know you'll get out of Ryann. It's not even about downtalking Ryann or his value it's more about taking risks to try and get a lineup that can say be competitive with Chaos
2020-11-08 01:11
1 reply
Suppose so, but people like infinite don't seem to last very long in any team, wonder why.... I think NA players like Shake said don't work through problems and instead decide to leave a team if things don't work out quickly
2020-11-08 10:49
mada went to luminosity valorant
2020-11-08 00:59
So basically it's like you're living in an area where there are no top tier csgo teams :D
2020-11-08 00:15
1 reply
flag
2020-11-14 22:55
#20
 | 
Canada firtlast
no future for these teams. no new NA igl could ever hope to have the brain power and skill to lead a team to at least tier 2 internationally
2020-11-08 00:15
shakes team couldnt even win a match in pro league....
2020-11-08 00:22
1junior boutta become the s1mple of tier 2 NA once the tier 1 leaves
2020-11-08 00:22
#27
 | 
Brazil isbetter
Not that they are making great progress in Europe.. the only victory a NA team had there was against themselves, I wouldn't expect much.
2020-11-08 00:37
#28
 | 
Sweden RaaCCooN
ok
2020-11-08 00:40
#30
 | 
Saudi Arabia Xpicyy
"NA big guns" you mean brazil
2020-11-08 00:42
Bruh TeamOne beats Triumph any day of the week TeamOne should go to Eu and triumph should stay
2020-11-08 00:44
#33
 | 
Brazil Fauchard
Why the hobbits dont come to NA ?
2020-11-08 00:58
they come in europe because of biden xaxaax
2020-11-08 01:00
#37
 | 
United Kingdom DDoubleE
C9 please STAY IN EUROPE. STAY. IN. EUROPE. NA scene is dying so hard right now lol. And yes, i do know X teams will go back to NA but will most likely go back to EU soon again after christmas and all that. NA scene is done lol.
2020-11-08 01:04
2 replies
They only have 1 US player in their lineup, dont think they will all go to the US anyway
2020-11-08 16:50
1 reply
They are definitely coming back to the US it's been stated explicitly. So is Complexity. But it won't be until after Covid. I imagine Liquid, Furia and EG will be doing the same thing from here on.
2020-11-09 03:45
#41
 | 
United States notawaffle
funny joke and shakezullah is dumb by saying this is the weakest season in mdl, there have been seasons with a lot less talent than this one
2020-11-08 01:17
Sorry, but a bit too optimistic. Focus on your primary plan but always have a backup plan just in case things go south. Because from what I'm seeing, if no money is coming in, people are moving out. Simple as that.
2020-11-08 01:15
DISBAND KKKKKKKKKKKKKK
2020-11-08 02:09
na´s big guns? :D:D they are like gold nova´s in europe, so l2p first
2020-11-08 02:10
#48
 | 
Brazil KingDavi
Na CS is a joke
2020-11-08 02:11
Waiting for LAN to return so Renegades can stomp these noobs. #YTB #RNGWIN #DEXTERTOP1
2020-11-08 02:22
Mhhm migrate... Europe.. I heard this before
2020-11-08 02:48
2 replies
Xdxdxd
2020-11-14 23:00
1 reply
:( nah its not funny im sad
2020-11-15 14:32
Gen. G top 1 NA?
2020-11-08 04:06
ez for big guns
2020-11-08 04:30
na scene LOL
2020-11-08 04:30
#60
 | 
Canada jdong112
this harks on the anecdote of franchising the esports scene to save the other regions including NA, apart from Europe. But my statement completely disregards the lower tier scenes as franchising often steers the prospective players away. of course, this is one of many precipitous results but that would have to be discoursed about by bipartisan
2020-11-08 04:55
NA's big guns monkaS
2020-11-08 06:13
big guns beat by tier 3 brazilians OMEGALUL
2020-11-08 07:13
NA KEKW
2020-11-08 07:16
4 replies
#73
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
Pakistani CS scene OMEGALUL
2020-11-08 09:37
3 replies
Still better than NA
2020-11-08 10:43
1 reply
+1
2020-11-08 11:49
At least Pakistan doesnt lie about having a CS scene kekw
2020-11-08 11:49
>Big guns >Chaos and trump
2020-11-08 11:22
2 replies
#84
 | 
World breezy0
with big guns they mean EG,FURIA and Liquid
2020-11-08 16:10
1 reply
still valid
2020-11-08 16:13
Chaos omegalul , good luck triumph
2020-11-08 12:43
EU>MURICANs since cs 1.3
2020-11-08 17:45
There is no future in NA cs, every professional team should just compete in the same region.
2020-11-08 19:28
TeamOne top 1 NA soon. MalbsMd too strong for American noob.
2020-11-08 23:06
Next year the NA scene will be better than now, but still way worse than EU mibr FURIA EG Liquid BOOM dead's team (TACO, felps, dumau, latto, RCF) Chaos Sharks team oNe paiN Triumph
2020-11-09 03:40
Europeans are stupid or children I'm honestly not sure which. These three teams put together had more tier 1 tournament wins a year ago then the entire European scene which honestly didn't really win shit past Astralis. So I don't know why you guys are talking so much. Give Liquid and EG a month of practice in Europe and let's have this discussion again. Edit: Like I'm for real supposed to believe LAN is going to come back and Heroic and BiG are going to start competing for real trophies against EG and TL much less Furia. What fantasy world have I woken up in.
2020-11-09 03:49
Yeah, surely. BiG gUnS of nA hOw sCaRy
2020-11-11 11:52
maybe Chaos should migrate to Europe Triumph too bad, no.
2020-11-15 14:36
very interesting read, enjoyed shakes comments
2020-11-20 19:00
Aged Well
2020-11-22 04:58
1 reply
+1 kinda crazy how well this aged
2020-11-22 05:26
AS NA'S BIG GUNS MIGRATE TO EUROPE, CHAOS
2020-11-22 05:13
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.