Shakezullah: "Any of us could go to VALORANT and find an offer there, but we play CS because we love it"

The Bad News Bears captain talked to HLTV.org about the team's struggles in ESL Pro League and shared his thoughts on leading the team thus far.

After a dismal ESL Pro League Season 14 campaign that ended in an 0-5 finish in Group A, Bad News Bears returned home to North America, the subject of much derision and public criticism. The team, who had swapped in Paytyn "⁠junior⁠" Johnson just ahead of the event as Peter "⁠ptr⁠" Gurney retired, had almost no opportunity to get top tier practice in ahead of their trip to Europe, and were limited on time upon arrival at the GODSENT facilities.

Shakezullah and company are in the grand finals of Fragadelphia 15

Bad News Bears' first appearance since their EPL exit is at Fragadelphia 15, the first large-scale North American tournament since DreamHack Anaheim nearly 18 months prior, with the team entering as favorites to take the entire event alongside Party Astronauts. Spots in Fragadelphia Fall, the North American regional qualifier for the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown, are also on offer to the top five teams from the event, with Bad News Bears already having booked their spot as they went undefeated in the upper bracket to advance to the grand final.

Ahead of the team's final upper bracket match on Saturday, HLTV.org spoke to Alan "⁠Shakezullah⁠" Hardeman, who revealed that the team suffered some turmoil ahead of their EPL appearance that played a part in their lacklustre showing. He also spoke to the quality of practice in North America, praised the progress of Michael "⁠Swisher⁠" Schmid, and touched on how the pressure from not having an organisation to represent has been affecting the team.

I wanted to start with you coming here after EPL. Obviously it wasn't an ideal performance for you over there going 0-5 in your group. What went wrong?

We had a lot of team turmoil before the event actually happened, and it really took the first day when we lost to Heroic before we said a lot of things that we needed to say, and a lot of things that have been building up over the course of a month or two. So we kind of went into that tournament unprepared because of those team turmoil things, and our performance did get better after that first Bo3 against Heroic, obviously they're the best team in our group so it's expected that they have the most dominant performance against us, but after that, we started to play well.

A lot of the time what happened is that in the mid rounds, we would actually get into beneficial positions, spots where it would be like 50/50, and we would just misplay a lot of them. I think that just comes down to the kind of practice that we get and the skill level that we get.

We kind of have a meme now every time we play scrims, like 'we would have lost that round in EU, but we won it here in NA', or where we play a 3vs3 or something and we mess it up. We miss a smoke, we miss a flash timing, but we still get the kill, we still get rewarded for the fact that we did it and in EU, every time that happened, we got punished. Again, a lot of times, we would get down into these rounds, and we just would make one mistake, or we would have one lapse in communication, and they would just wipe us or whatever, and we would just lose rounds like that constantly.

Even when we played Astralis and it was 16-4 or 16-5 on Inferno, there were a ton of swing rounds if you go back and watch the demo. If we can close out two or three of those, maybe we don't win the map, but you know, it's a lot closer, they don't get an economy where they're never broken on CT side and stuff like that. That was a lot of the difference in those maps, and kind of what we identified as what we need to fix.

Since you're talking about that scrim practice, obviously North America is not doing so great in that regard. A lot of top teams aren't really scrimming here, even when they are back between events. How's that been for you, not even being able to get top tier practice at home?

It's really rough because sometimes we can't even get scrims on prime scrim days, like we'll try to scrim three or four times and we can only get two, or sometimes only one depending on if MDL matches are going on or if there's an open qualifier going on. We scrim way more Advanced teams than I've ever scrimmed before in my whole career once I made MDL.

Again, the practice level is just not good, because on one hand, it's hard to stay focused when you're beating a team really bad and it's hard to say, 'hey, we messed that up, hey we messed that up' and trying to be really hard and critical on yourself.

The biggest problem right now with NA teams is just that a default style, which is what we want to run, is hard to run in Europe comparative to NA because you get so many more opportunities, you get so many more holes, like on Inferno we will run up banana and kill the other team every single round in NA practices. Then in EU, they will either win the banana fight or it'll be a 50/50, and so that means your win condition in the round is a lot different. So when you go over to Europe and you don't get the banana control, now you're playing a whole new Inferno T side than what you're used to, and that's kind of the big difference is that it's like that across most maps.

Then, just further talking about the amount of scrims, it's just hard to keep up a good map pool because if you're only scrimming two maps a day, or two times a day, maybe three times, it's hard to just make sure that you have your stuff set and that you remember everything. You know if we did four scrims, we would have no problem, we could do like two scrims where we talked about whatever we wanted to do, we could do like two refresher scrims or we can just change it around. But a lot of times you're scrimming only one map a day. So you might be able to play every map over the course of a week, but if you go a whole week without playing a map in a scrim or official, then you just lose a little bit of it, and so we're just lacking the reps in that sense.

I think you had pretty short notice ahead of your EPL group, only a couple of days before you actually had to figure out where you're going to bootcamp and whatnot. What actually was the practice environment like coming into EPL?

I think we had good scrims coming in, I actually can't remember too much. Again, it was just the same as before, there's player breaks, so we had to run in with that issue, and we were only getting two or three scrims. It's not that different from how it is now, there wasn't paiN or GODSENT that were really scrimming, so we were really only getting Advanced teams and stuff like that. Obviously, when you compare NA Advanced to playing, you know, EPL teams, and us coming off our own break, it just was not a good mixture, or not a good recipe for success.

Speaking of coming off that break, ptr announced that he was retiring right before EPL and you replaced him with junior. What's that experience been like, without having ptr on the team and reuniting with junior?

It was one of those big things that affected us during the comeback. We didn't have a lot of notice, and we essentially had to plug and play in a lot of the spots, but Paytyn [junior] is a little bit different than Pete in terms of AWP style. I think Pete is a little more supportive, and he is more... he definitely has more of a voice, and I think he can do a lot of things without being told necessarily what to do.

Paytyn sometimes lacks experience in that area, but he's more of a clutch AWPer, and he knows that he's gonna play more late rounds, if that makes sense. Pete would be a little bit more aggressive, especially on CT sides, I think that's the biggest difference that we can tell right now in our comms. Pete was very active with the AWP, he was very good with communication, you know, 'hey, come repeek this, it's good for me for you to come up and do this', and Paytyn doesn't do that as much. Again, that's just something that we need to work on.

junior has reunited with Shakezullah on Bad News Bears

Obviously, you played with junior a bunch on Triumph before he went to FURIA. What sort of differences have you noticed in his game between that time and now?

He's a lot slower now, I don't know what happened, but we call him 1senior now because he's just a grandpa on the server. I don't know what they're doing over there at FURIA, but he got the worst of it.

Otherwise, I mean, he's just more experienced in terms of knowing how to play situations. He's had a lot more scrims against top teams, so he's just more well-rounded fundamentally, I guess I'd say. He can make better mid-round decisions without needing to be told what to do. He's not as active with his comms still, so that's again, just something we need to work on.

In terms of playing things correctly, by himself, he's definitely improved and stronger in that area. He was doing a lot of different stuff on FURIA, so I haven't noticed that much of a difference in his AWPing — they had him doing like pit on Inferno or you know, on Overpass, he would not be allowed to play situations the way he would play them on this team. So he's better at more aggressive AWPing I guess, because he was forced to do that a little bit more on FURIA, but he's having to kind of get back into the mode where he does some passive AWPing. So yeah, that's a big difference.

When you came in to this team before ptr retired, you took over the IGL role. Tell me about bringing your system into this team and how that's been. I know you said earlier that it's been a bit plug and play so far, but what's that experience actually been like for you?

I think it's been good because the players are a bit more experienced. Obviously we didn't have the results in EU that we wanted to have by any means, but I like to run more of a default style, one that allows my players to work and really make decisions on the fly in-game. I think that I need to do a better job about enforcing and making them look for certain things in the round, because I don't think we're doing the best in terms of communication about what holes we see, what trends we're seeing, and making sure that that's all adjusting because that's things we need to be doing in that style.

These players are a lot more experienced though, we have Jon, even Swisher is really good at thinking on the fly, junior, I did that with him on Triumph a lot, and Spongey as well. They know some of the things to look for, and they know generally how the default is going to work. That's what I wanted to go towards more and I thought that was a lot of the reason why we struggled on old Triumph, because I had more inexperienced players.

A lot of the IGLs that are coming up in the scene don't really run default styles, they run a lot of set strats. I know NartOutHere makes a lot of videos and a lot of Advanced and Main teams will just run that stuff, and that's not breeding the best way to read the game, or the best player types.

A lot of the players in Premier aren't good at reading the game, they're not good at defaulting and seeing things and reacting. Even with the kind of players that I played with on Triumph, I mean, they're really good players when you run strats and do their own system, but they had a lot of growth that they needed to do in terms of defaults, and I think that would have taken us a lot of time as a team to really get that down.

It was just really frustrating for me to go from Grim and junior, players that were able to grow into that very easily and understand it, and then go take a step back with players that kind of need to be taught and shown. And not every player can learn, or not every player can improve as fast as those players did.

Expanding on that a bit, I remember I talked to you a while ago, and you mentioned wanting to play with certain players who have the ability to actually make an impact in the scene, actually make it to top 30 or achieve something bigger together. Two players you'd mentioned were Jonji and Swisher, so what's it actually been like playing with them versus sort of your expectation?

Well, Jon's one of the only real, real entry fraggers in the scene right now, so that's been night and day in terms of having somebody that goes in and knows how to create space and how to call things. I had that with ryann for a little bit, but obviously he's in VALORANT now. Jon's just an experienced player, he's not afraid to take over the reins and be like, the secondary caller, he's not afraid to be like, 'hey, this is my timing, we need to go go go', and that's really impactful to have in terms of entry, because sometimes if I'm throwing nades, or I'm supporting, I don't really know the best time to go in, or I'm just doing it off feel. So it's really important for him as an entry player to be able to communicate that, and that's a skill that has to be taught to a lot of entry players that are coming up in the scene.

In terms of Swisher, he's an all-you-can-do player, just all around, he can support, he can be aggro, passive, whatever we need him to do. He's kind of like our Ironman in that aspect and I've been very impressed with him. I know he came up in the scene, he's relatively inexperienced, especially comparative to all of us, but I think his growth as a player has been at that trajectory where he can definitely make it and be one of the top pros. I mean, that's kind of the trajectory line that he's taking in terms of his improvement, so he just need to keep doing what he's doing and I think he'll be a really good player.

Another one for the Shakezullah Academy.

Yeah. *laughs*

Shakezullah thinks that Swisher is on track to become a top pro

You were previously on Triumph, a team that had a salary and was able to play full-time. Now you're onto Bad News Bears, and one of this big storylines here is that this team has been looking for an org for a decent amount of time now. What's the environment like there, is there a lot of pressure for the team? How does it feel to play with that barrier in mind?

I think there's definitely more pressure because at the end of the day, I think any of us could go to VALORANT and find an offer there, but we play CS because we love it, and it just puts more pressure on us to perform. I don't think that was exactly why we struggled in Europe, but it might have been a contributing factor.

I think that we're probably going to be able to find something here, because there was a line of communication that was kind of broken, and we figured out that a lot of the orgs that were reaching out to us were not properly being handled, and we fixed that so hopefully orgs reach out to us now. We have good talks with them and we've had talks with a few, so hopefully we can find something soon here.

But as I said at the end of the day, all we can do is prove ourselves in North America and get opportunities to go over to Europe, and we just need to have better performances over there than we had previously.

Two final questions here. You have domestic competition in teams like Extra Salt, Party Astronauts, and then also the Brazilian teams like GODSENT, TeamOne, and paiN as well. With that reduced pool of teams that play domestically, how is it constantly ending up facing against the same teams over and over for you guys in terms of your matchups?

It's really good for us in a way because like I said, we like to run the more loose default style, so in terms of picking up reads about what other teams like to do, because you're scrimming the top team more you get an idea of you know, this player likes to do this, this player likes to do this, or when they run 'this stuff' we need to watch out for 'this'.

It's just a mind game right now in NA at the top level in terms of just figuring out the other teams in scrims and just making sure that you can just get info on the other team. A lot of that's just gonna come into the matches and help us, so we just need to stay loose, make sure we change stuff, and just make sure that we're reading the game well, and I think that that'll be a benefit to us.

This is your first event after EPL and you're coming in here as the tournament favorite. First of all, does that add or remove pressure for you knowing that you're not the hard underdog coming into a tournament after EPL? Also, what is it like being back on LAN, playing some teams that you are a little bit more familiar with than at EPL?

I mean, LAN is just always good experience regardless. We also started on stage and there's just things you have to adjust to, and even though we're the favorites coming in, we're still not that experienced on LAN, so just getting reps with stuff like that is very important. I don't think we need to think about it any more than we do online, we've beaten all of these teams online, we've proven that we can do it, and there's just no reason that we shouldn't have that mindset and translate it into LAN.

It's definitely a little weird, because in the last Frags I've come to, I've been the underdog and I've been like the player that looks up to swag, Cooper, freakazoid, the lineups that won. mitch was there with a roster, kaboose, it was kind of surreal to see all those players before and it's just a bit weird to be here, especially with the depleted scene and to be just one of the favorites coming in. But like I said, I'm not thinking about it, our goal here is to win, and we're in the grand finals so we're putting ourselves in a good position to.

United States Peter 'ptr' Gurney
Peter 'ptr' Gurney
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1113
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.61
United States Michael 'Swisher' Schmid
Michael 'Swisher' Schmid
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
401
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
United States Alan 'Shakezullah' Hardeman
Alan 'Shakezullah' Hardeman
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
647
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.64
United States Paytyn 'junior' Johnson
Paytyn 'junior' Johnson
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
311
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.61
Respect!
2021-09-13 01:34
17 replies
GODZULLAH
2021-09-13 01:36
1 reply
+1 Mad respect for NA player first time.....its not about money its about what your heart says..
2021-09-13 18:19
+1
2021-09-13 05:41
+1
2021-09-13 06:26
+1
2021-09-13 08:39
#129
 | 
Sweden AFCHannes
+1
2021-09-13 09:28
+1
2021-09-13 10:00
#136
 | 
Singapore FallBlade
+1 they didnt go to valo just for quick money
2021-09-13 10:49
#151
 | 
Poland B0rdo
+1
2021-09-13 14:22
+1
2021-09-13 14:35
#156
 | 
Finland Nollegee
+1
2021-09-13 16:09
+1
2021-09-13 16:53
+1 the memes are only in good fun
2021-09-13 17:55
+1
2021-09-13 18:04
+1
2021-09-13 21:12
He's Malding.
2021-09-14 05:12
+1
2021-09-14 05:13
#2
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
massive respect
2021-09-13 01:34
22 replies
I don’t respect NA
2021-09-13 01:39
21 replies
#33
 | 
United States f2n
fake flag?
2021-09-13 01:56
name
2021-09-13 01:56
#38
 | 
United States makaios
i respect NA
2021-09-13 01:58
i respect NA
2021-09-13 02:03
i respect NA
2021-09-13 02:08
#57
 | 
China HEIDASHUAi
I respect NA
2021-09-13 02:17
i dont respect the leader of NA but i respect NA . wdym
2021-09-13 02:38
I don't respect NA, bust i respect BNB
2021-09-13 02:42
i respect NA
2021-09-13 02:52
#76
 | 
Argentina p1nguinit0
i respect NA
2021-09-13 02:54
#77
 | 
El Salvador qrii
based
2021-09-13 02:55
I respect na
2021-09-13 03:08
#87
 | 
Other WYSI
i respect NA
2021-09-13 03:48
i respect NA
2021-09-13 04:47
#105
 | 
India nimr0d69
i respect NA
2021-09-13 05:48
I respect NA
2021-09-13 05:50
name and flag
2021-09-13 08:13
i respect NA
2021-09-13 08:31
respekte north america
2021-09-13 09:56
i respect NA
2021-09-13 11:15
I respect NA
2021-09-14 05:13
cool
2021-09-13 01:35
<3
2021-09-13 01:35
k
2021-09-13 01:35
-"because we love it" +"because we have a soul"
2021-09-13 01:35
#7
 | 
India akashp1997
Exactly what I wanted to see here <3
2021-09-13 01:36
3 replies
#93
 | 
Spain Tool40
Noone would sign these players lmfao
2021-09-13 04:41
2 replies
I was thinking the exact same thing...people signed junior and look what they got haha
2021-09-13 16:43
1 reply
Junior was a terrible fit for Furia. It's also been said several times that learning to play in Furia's system as an AWPer is notoriously difficult.
2021-09-14 02:41
respect the hustle, hope some org picks them up
2021-09-13 01:37
12 replies
#45
 | 
United States Phamous3k
Maybe an EU org but, NA pretty much moved on. I wish they get signed but if Chaos couldn’t find an org I mean. What are the chances here??
2021-09-13 02:04
11 replies
just pain then, feel bad for NA
2021-09-13 02:04
1 reply
sorry but pain wouldn't sign them, they already have a great team
2021-09-13 02:30
Well Chaos got dropped at one of the worst times with COVID. Being that COVID hit the NA scene hard as well with other scenes. It makes sense why they didn't get signed but at the same time they were good enough to get signed. When LAN's return hopefully things will go back to normal, hopefully C9 will return as they said. NA VAL Bubble bound to burst soon, just a matter of when.
2021-09-13 02:59
8 replies
Unfortunately NA Val bubble seems quite strong right now. I tend to agree with the other guy. Chaos showed real potential to compete internationally beating teams like Liquid/100T/EG/etc. This BNB team hasn't shown any of that kind of potential. Why even with Covid lessening would that make them more likely to be picked up now?
2021-09-13 04:29
7 replies
I don’t disagree the NA bubble is strong rn. It definitely is, but that doesn’t mean it will last forever. It’s bound to burst. It’s simply just unsustainable with the amount of orgs in the scene rn. It’s oversaturated as well. Chaos definitely deserved to get signed. But covid definitely wasn’t there friend there. They could have been another Extra Salt. I think more teams should learn from Extra Salt tbh. BNB and their potential isn’t bad. If you base it off strictly on EPL then yes but you got to keep in mind that they are practically a minor league team going against major league teams that are full salaried, have the best everything, etc. Supposedly I heard from people that were looking at them that their salaries are really reasonable. They don’t ask for much, so we will see.
2021-09-13 06:31
6 replies
#141
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
Chaos players left the scene too soon. If they stayed and played together for 1/2 more months, they would've been signed by someone.
2021-09-13 11:31
3 replies
I agree. Just the NA mindset.
2021-09-13 11:39
2 replies
#145
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
Even Xeppaa.. he was regarded as one of the best NA talents and what did he do right after he was kicked from Cloud9? He left for Valorant.. And he couldn't have had money problems so there shouldn't have been any reason for him to leave the scene apart from greed. Also one of the reasons why I respect Jonji. He's the only one from the Chaos line up who stayed in CS.
2021-09-13 11:47
1 reply
Him and Floppy both went to Valorant because they were still under contract with c9. That being said, if c9 comes back to CS When Lans return. They can switch back with no problems which might happen especially with Floppy. I know Xeppaa was playing in the mythic cup and pugs too. But yeah you’re not entirely wrong. Marke was also from Chaos whos on Extra Salt too so can’t forget about him with Jonji. I don’t know why but the NA VAL pro scene just seems like such a cult. Ever see a pro make a tweet about baiting on switching or hinting you get the na Val pros be like “COME ON OVER” “see you on the server” “yesss switch” I remember I saw someone say icebox is practically mirage or some shit lol.
2021-09-13 12:00
Of course the NA Val bubble will burst eventually, nothing lasts forever. I think the bigger question is, by the time that happens, will anyone in NA being playing CS anymore?
2021-09-14 02:43
1 reply
yea ofc why wouldn't they lol just wait for lans to return. covid hurt NA cs the most imo.
2021-09-14 02:58
one of the few respectable american players gj
2021-09-13 01:38
Mad respect ++
2021-09-13 01:38
you can do this BnB!
2021-09-13 01:38
Real competitor right there. Respect my brotha
2021-09-13 01:40
#15
 | 
Europe elefiveS
respect. hope an org picks them up, they put in the work
2021-09-13 01:40
respect man, respect
2021-09-13 01:40
This is why BnB does not deserve hate! They are orgless and still play CS!
2021-09-13 01:42
#18
 | 
Chile esanchez47
Huge respect!
2021-09-13 01:43
RESPECT FOR NA
2021-09-13 01:45
gj NA this time
2021-09-13 01:46
Respect
2021-09-13 01:46
respect <3
2021-09-13 01:46
hasbullah
2021-09-13 01:46
#24
 | 
Uzbekistan MUK
+REP
2021-09-13 01:47
RESPECT GODZULLAH NOT TOXIC WHOLESOME MAN *laughs*
2021-09-13 01:49
#26
 | 
Canada _penguins
The mic rulla
2021-09-13 01:49
#27
 | 
Greece RedWinter
Respect hesbullah
2021-09-13 01:50
Well said man
2021-09-13 01:51
this article is so far the only thing I respect from NA esports so far, the rest will always be the laughing stock
2021-09-13 01:51
#30
 | 
Canada firtlast
shakezullah confirmed to own over $400 million in assets, 12 inch dong, a beautiful wife who will eternally love him, and a souvenir awp dragon lore with shakezullah stickers
2021-09-13 01:51
#31
 | 
Chile cristiaan
respect <3
2021-09-13 01:53
Respect Shakezullah
2021-09-13 01:55
#35
arT | 
Brazil logzera
Lol... He will regret that later
2021-09-13 01:56
#36
 | 
Brazil Guadachuva
what a beast! :)
2021-09-13 01:57
SOVL
2021-09-13 01:57
couldve become best player in the world (hi tenz) but chose to stick to cs cuz he loves it, based
2021-09-13 01:58
#40
 | 
Sweden Skunk2
<3333 big respect
2021-09-13 01:58
after g2 and eg also went 0-5 + this interview ppl finally started respecting them more)) make na proud, liquid cant carry forever
2021-09-13 02:02
#42
 | 
Brazil Elakk
Respect
2021-09-13 02:02
sign these men
2021-09-13 02:02
Respect
2021-09-13 02:04
respect man, respect
2021-09-13 02:04
Respect!
2021-09-13 02:05
#50
 | 
France evelynski
Respect, good luck in the future.
2021-09-13 02:05
#51
 | 
Sweden frizzahh
Respect
2021-09-13 02:07
#53
 | 
Brazil isbetter
Loving something doesn't necessary means you're good at it, but good luck
2021-09-13 02:10
2 replies
flair doesn't check out
2021-09-13 04:49
1 reply
#142
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
lmao
2021-09-13 11:33
+rep god igl right here
2021-09-13 02:11
1senior lul
2021-09-13 02:13
This man is my brother now. Whoever says something bad about Shakezullah will have to deal with me. Mad respect for these words man. Good luck on the server!
2021-09-13 02:17
4 replies
shakezullah idyot
2021-09-13 06:46
3 replies
Now you will have to deal with him. Good luck
2021-09-13 07:06
1 reply
#143
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
Now you will have to deal with me.
2021-09-13 11:34
You're dead
2021-09-13 10:58
#58
 | 
Vietnam EvilspokeN
respect shakezullah
2021-09-13 02:19
Shakezullah > tenz
2021-09-13 02:23
Respect!
2021-09-13 02:24
Dumb decision, just go to Valorant and earn money while u still can
2021-09-13 02:28
2 replies
what a stupid opinion
2021-09-13 04:52
Its not all about the money, it might seem stupid but in the end its best to do what you enjoy iglf you can
2021-09-13 10:22
1st time i respect NA
2021-09-13 02:32
Respect
2021-09-13 02:36
Honestly I came here expecting a bunch of SUBNORMAAAAALS saying shit like "ahahahahah NA CS you should go to valorant". I'm Genuinely surprised, lessgo Shakezullah
2021-09-13 02:36
let's hope for the best! they took the hard route and going for months/almost a year without a paycheck is rough
2021-09-13 02:39
3 replies
hopefully when LAN's return things will go back to normal. switching to valorant won't even be a smart move either unless they do 100% get signed but the val scene is oversaturated. the amount of orgs in the scene is unsustainable especially since most tournaments have low prize pools in val besides VCT. don't really know how the top 25 teams in NA val are all salaried, don't know how long that will last.
2021-09-13 02:54
2 replies
plus the fact there is no roster stability rn in val. U can see after every vct, a t1-t2 team makes some kind of roster move, but there is also no real support rn in NA, but esl are trying to make strides
2021-09-13 03:03
1 reply
Yeah. It’s just simply unsustainable for the NA VAL scene to last forever in the current state. It’s oversaturated and the bubble will burst.
2021-09-13 06:26
massive respect, hope some org picks them up!
2021-09-13 02:44
based
2021-09-13 02:46
Respect Junior gets shitted on because he got put in a role to fail while he was on Furia.
2021-09-13 02:51
I can't imagine myself a pro CSGO player who spent most of his time and gaming career in CS switching to Valorant that would be so awkward and weird to do even if the excuse of offer stands still, but that wouldn't be a good excuse because a game you don't like you wouldn't play it as you do for the game you always loved such as CS unless you're not a real fan of CS that would be another case you just follow offers and payments can't call yourself a real CSGO fan
2021-09-13 02:52
FFS OpTic pick these guys up....
2021-09-13 02:59
#82
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Asia Blitzer
a EU org is the only chance for them but even so they would have to be willing to move to EU! do they want that? idk tbh because no NA org will pay them to compete in NA only. thats a waste of money
2021-09-13 03:08
It's just a matter of time and the Valorant hype will die down like OW.
2021-09-13 03:13
#84
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Brazil L1p
That is it!!! LOVE, WE ALL LOVE CS 4EVER <3
2021-09-13 03:18
The most wholesome HLTV news replies in a while
2021-09-13 03:33
what a respectable man
2021-09-13 03:44
Thank you shakezullah for not leaving us
2021-09-13 03:56
Respect
2021-09-13 04:03
I respect the team and players but I think Chaos showed us that no one has any interest in Tier 2 na teams right now. I would fucking love to see Hecz come back in and save some of the scene with a new Optic team but I have no idea how likely that is.
2021-09-13 04:31
8 replies
What's the point, cs not as popular as valorant especially in NA. Cs filled with scandals and throws and to mention that EG and Liquid with so much investment produce 0 results and don't win (recent times)
2021-09-13 05:31
7 replies
liquid is tier 1
2021-09-13 06:45
I mean the point is that there is definitely still some market here. Like I don't buy that there is only room for a single solitary tier 1 team (liquid) and nothing else. There's a balance. It's not going to be like 2017 when investment was really flowing into North America but I think the scene still has more in it then nothing.
2021-09-13 08:10
5 replies
well I hope some orgs come and help the scene, but its rough as there are more brazilian teams in NA than NA
2021-09-13 18:09
4 replies
I know there's literally not a single signed T2 team in NA anymore. Like you can't tell me the scene is that dead. The player numbers alone say there should be *some* investment. *I should say Extra Salt does exist. I forgot about them.
2021-09-14 03:54
3 replies
yep because there is no scene, no support from devs which means there is no stability around the game (ironically as cs has been around for years)
2021-09-14 04:35
2 replies
That's the thing though there is a scene. Liquid is one of the best supported teams in the world. Everyone just panic pulled out at the same time at the end of 2020 because of uncertainty and hype around valorant. It was a massive overcorrection. Valorant very well may be the more popular game in NA long term but that doesn't mean NA should have no investment in the Tier 2 side. If that continues in three or four years there won't be a Liquid or even EG for NA fans to cheer for at tournaments. Which then just shrinks the rest of the scene as a side effect.
2021-09-14 04:37
1 reply
even someone from liquid said if they want to compete they have to stay in Europe, similar to whats happening with dota 2 in NA, it happens all across Valve games
2021-09-14 07:04
#92
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United States mattgg2015
well love can't pay rent so...
2021-09-13 04:33
Big Respect, the boys are seriously grinding it out in this wasteland.
2021-09-13 04:46
Respect.
2021-09-13 05:00
Massive respect all of NA i just wish this scene was revived asap
2021-09-13 05:00
#100
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North America dicennt
based shakezullah +1
2021-09-13 05:26
#102
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Argentina Saazu
Respect!
2021-09-13 05:33
#104
 | 
Australia sm0go
Its actually sad that no org wants to sign these guys. What the hell NA
2021-09-13 05:41
#107
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Serbia Dusan837
Respect menss
2021-09-13 06:00
respect
2021-09-13 06:03
#109
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Turkey Varyshy
respect
2021-09-13 06:11
Eventually there’s gonna come a time if they are without an org, then they are gonna have to take up those valorant offers lol
2021-09-13 06:12
respect! gl mens!
2021-09-13 06:26
this is the way!
2021-09-13 06:45
you can hate NA, you can make tons of jokes from BNB results, but you can't hate these guys. respect for BNB
2021-09-13 06:49
big respect
2021-09-13 07:37
Great interview, respect
2021-09-13 07:56
Respect them - TaZ
2021-09-13 08:54
#127
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United States Rayduh
Great interview
2021-09-13 09:12
Respect bring NA back on CS and we will see valulrant kids cry more Btw tenz didnt survive CS because he was nothing compared to the mind of the tier 1 players so he moved to that cartoon game in which you can never play sneaky mind games so that he gets an edge of his aim
2021-09-13 09:21
#respect
2021-09-13 09:53
shakezullah Gigachad
2021-09-13 10:02
Only losers from CS play Valorant .. All the main stars play CS!
2021-09-13 10:27
#137
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Australia Cheesle2
Yikes. Nobody wants you in Valorant
2021-09-13 10:50
Nothing against Shakezullah but tbh if they left for VALORANT i dont think they would do much. They would probably get some cash out of it but then be stuck at tier 2-3. If they stay in cs they will at least be able to win some tournaments and perhaps find a long term org here and there.
2021-09-13 11:19
respect
2021-09-13 12:22
SHAKEZULLAH I LOVE YOU!!
2021-09-13 12:38
"NA teams don't have much opportunities to play against EU(top-tier)." : this is why teams in other region struggle to reach the top tier... for a long time... such as Korea, Thai, Mongolia, AU, Brazil... and now NA. I'm so sad, don't go valorant, plz
2021-09-13 12:59
Yeah and you want a medal for that?
2021-09-13 13:07
#152
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Poland Jevilek
Respect!
2021-09-13 14:24
Big respect. This guy has a character
2021-09-13 15:36
#155
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Peru Grimethk
They dont go to Valorant because Riot is really strict with matchfixing LMAO and will easily find out.
2021-09-13 15:50
2 replies
+9999
2021-09-13 17:03
+++ t3 and t2 only live bcs matchfixing
2021-09-13 17:54
ANY OF US COULD GO TO VALORANT AND FIND AN OFFER THERE - copium
2021-09-13 16:11
1 reply
Not Copium at all lmao Valorant has NA pros from like 5 years ago some teams would definitely take these guys
2021-09-13 16:37
Could go to valorant??? This dude is barely fragging in tier 3 matches :') The second grim left for liquid, they got destroyed
2021-09-13 17:05
1 reply
He is an IGL, IGL's don't generally frag out consistently if at all. There are exceptions to this depending on how teams run strats like with blameF but generally the IGL is bottom or closer to bottom of the scoreboard.
2021-09-17 13:06
passion > money, respect
2021-09-13 17:53
#166
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Chile nachooww
Respect
2021-09-13 18:00
Respect, hopefully the NA scene will survive
2021-09-13 18:13
+rep
2021-09-13 20:55
#176
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Portugal n0xiv4
More respect for NA. They need to play more against EU Tier 2 teams and improve a lot more, because the competition in NA isn't a thing. If you keep playing against RBG and Party Astronauts every day which would get beaten up by European tier 3, you can't improve...
2021-09-14 03:15
Respect to Shakezullah and co.
2021-09-14 05:10
#185
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United States Teztyment
its hard to get good practice in north america because ESEA sucks cack and faceit doesnt have a league or any scrim servers. If you want to blame anybody blame ESEA's pile of shit.
2021-09-14 09:20
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