With numerous Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams forced to field stand-ins for the upcoming Boston Major, many members of the community have expressed concern that it could affect the quality of competition at one of the game's biggest events.
For his part, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács agrees. In a press conference ahead of ECS Season 4 Finals on Thursday, he said the rule forbidding some teams from fielding the rosters they have been practicing with — due to a lengthy roster lock period — could hurt the viewership and level of competition at the Major.
SK Gaming and Team Liquid are affected by this rule and will be unable to field former Immortals players Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Lucas "steel" Lopes respectively. Astralis may also have to field a stand-in due to uncertainty surrounding Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz's health and TyLoo's roster also faces uncertainty due to visa issues.
GuardiaN's teammates Finn "karrigan" Andersen and Håvard "rain" Nygaard also answered several questions from various media outlets during the conference — from preparation for SK to karrigan's in-game leadership.
Editor's Note: The following Q and A is a transcript of a press conference which included several members of the media, including staff from Unikrn, Dot Esports and Newsweek's esports vertical Player.One, alongside theScore esports.
Your rivalry against SK Gaming is the of the most exciting ones out there right now. Are you putting in special preparation against them in the coming weeks?
karrigan — In the coming weeks we will try different stuff against SK. We have been trying to play our style, our own game against SK for a long time and it's safe to say it hasn't worked out. Even though we lost a close game in Pro League, it's time for us to a little more up and prepare specifically for SK in the future.
karrigan, in comparison to your time in Astralis, you are now surrounded by players that have [been] recognized as star-level talent. How does this affect your style of in-game leading, if at all?
karrigan — In the way that my in-game leading is changing is I'm giving more space to my players. In Astralis we had a kind of structure where I knew what I could do and what I couldn't do and in the end I felt like it was too structured. That's why we didn't play together anymore. In this team it's more like they have a lot of freedom but it's also important that we keep up the structure and people know that they can't do plays all the time … and people need to have space to play their game and I need space to call the way I want.
Considering the multinational roster, is communication 100 percent?
rain — I think the communication is good. It's going to take some time to get used to, especially for GuardiaN and olof, who've never been on an English-speaking team like this before. But other than that everything is good and... it's perfect.
Given the stand-in situation at the upcoming Boston Major, will the value of winning that Major be diminished?
GuardiaN — Yes it will be. Because winning against a stand-in team is not fun. I mean, qualifying to a Major is, I mean... [I've been] to two Majors, you know, it should be something... the value of winning a Major title should be much higher than any other event. Because it's only twice a year. That means, the rules... for example SK signed boltz. They know they will be playing with him at least one year, I mean in that case they should allow him to play with SK at full power.
Because, let's say we get to play [the] final against SK with any other stand-in, I think it will devalue the Major title if we win. So I mean, for me, it's a stupid rule in this way. Just because the event is twice a year and for us it's the biggest event in CS:GO, so they should do everything for the teams to be able to compete in the highest level in their lineup and if they don't allow it then I think the viewership and the joy to play the Major will be not... joyful, I would say.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
a silenced Cavity 9mm Ryu Bounty Hunter Dual Berettas a Tractor Cannon. You can follow him on Twitter.
Sean Wetselaar is a supervising editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.