Podcast video topics and time stamps:
1:33 Moses on casting ELEAGUE after a grueling NA Minor schedule
3:06 "All the intensity you could want:" Moses on the Clash for Cash format
4:38 Is there another rivalry you’d like to see in a Clash for Cash 2?
6:04 VP can be the best team in the world, or the worst, any given day
9:07 Why Friberg leaving is “a good first step” for NiP
11:22 Predictions for the EU Minor
13:21 On Valve’s horrible timing on game updates and bug fixes
18:50 Hosts Colin, Josh and Ryan shoot the shit on ELEAGUE
With Counter-Strike titans Astralis and Virtus.pro facing off in a $250,000 ELEAGUE Major redemption match, dubbed the Clash for Cash, theScore esports put in a call to Jason “Moses” O’Toole.
The CS:GO broadcasting personality joined theScore esports Podcast ahead of the event to talk predictions, who he’d like to see compete in a Clash for Cash style-event next and his beef with Valve’s badly timed game updates.
Esports fans are often martyrs for their passion, at least when it comes to their free time and social life. Who has time to crack a cold one with the boys when your favorite CS team is playing in a 72-hour weekend tournament that goes from dawn ‘til dusk?
But the Clash for Cash one-off money match format has the potential to bring the hype of whole tournament to a single match, said Moses.
It’s “$250,000 for one match, all the intensity you could want,” he said. “You lose and you just traveled all this way for absolutely nothing, which is crazy. But I love it, I hope it’s not a one-off thing. I think it would be great to have something like this, if this goes well and ELEAGUE does this more consistently, just to have these cool show matches like this that are all or nothing and you just pick the two teams that have a great storyline that you can build a broadcast around. And obviously Virtus.pro and Astralis fit that bill almost perfectly.”
On actual predictions for the outcome of the Clash, Moses said it all comes down which VP shows up to Atlanta.
“We just want it to be close, right? And the tough part is, I think pretty much every analyst in Counter-Strike is so sick of pumping this narrative but it’s the only one that works with Virtus.pro … you just don’t know which one’s going to show up. Any day of the week they can be the best team in the world, any day of the week they can be the worst team,” he said.
“I can give you the best analysis and best predictions but it’s all going to be predicated on if they show up.
“When they are playing well, they are by far the most exciting team to watch. Their brand of Counter-Strike is just so much fun.”
And if the Poles do show up in fine form?
“I would love it if Virtus.pro won this match,” said Moses. “Especially if you think of the big events coming up, if they were to kick something off like this right now and head into ESL One Cologne, then there’s the Major, that would just be f--king sick.”
So what other rivalry would he like to see play out in a possible future Clash for Cash?
“I think FaZe-Astralis has given us some of the best games in the past three months or so,” said Moses. “I think that would be a really really cool one to bring in.”
In the week leading up to the Clash, the CS:GO community learned that after nearly five years on Ninjas in Pyjamas, Adam "friberg" Friberg would be leaving the team. With NiP struggling to find success lately, Moses said the move is “a good first step."
“It was very obvious for some time that that core four players just wasn’t clicking, just wasn’t working. And you know it’s actually a little bit of a bummer, because they had some upticks last year, winning Malmö, winning Oakland and everything. I feel like it kind of … refreshed their beliefs that they could make it work. And I actually think in the long term that kind of hurt them. We have to see some kind of fundamental change in how they play and how they approach the game.”
There’s no shortage of CS being played on any given weekend, and this one is no exception. Fans still salivating for smokes and no-scopes after the Clash for Cash have the EU Minor to look forward to. For his part, Moses is looking for the favorites, Team EnVyUs, to perform well, as well as dark horse squad Ballistix.
“I would say obviously nV is going to be a pretty easy pick to make it through,” he said. “This Ballistix team is one I’m keeping my eye on. They were the former Fnatic Academy team, so that would be kind of cool. I think out of Group A we’ll get nV and BIG, which is a bit unfortunate because Ballistix is actually in that group.”
Last week, Moses penned a somewhat cryptic tweet about Valve failing to fix bugs and updating the game in the middle of the Minors, tweeting, “Next time you wonder why valve hasn't fixed a 2 year old bug remember they updated the game in the middle of 2 of their own supported Minors.”
“It was more the frustration that there was an update scheduled on a weekend where they have two of the Valve supported Minors going on," Moses said. "And I think the frustration came from the fact that it was 5 a.m. and we were on the last series of the day and an update was pushed through. And then one of the players dropped from the server, and his game automatically updated. So the game actually got delayed for an extra hour longer than it needed to be, while we just all dying."
“But on a more basic level it’s just kind of like, how is that even a possibility? This is the Minor, this is the Valve Minor system, this is the Valve Major system. [You’d think] they’d have a big f--king calendar somewhere in the office that says, ‘Do not push updates on these days, we have our Minors.’
“It just seemed a little bit crazy. The implication is that either they don’t care enough to know the schedule, or they do know the schedule and just don’t give a shit in that sense. Those are the only two options that seem to me to be apparent. Which is a little bit scary.”
Colin McNeil is a supervising editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.