The uncertainty in CSGO struck again, with the news that Ghost Gaming will be releasing their entire CSGO team with basically immediate effect. Josh ‘Steel’ Nissan, Ryan ‘Freakazoid’ Abadir, Kenneth ‘koosta’ Suen and Jason ‘neptune’ Tran are all free agents, while Matthew ‘Wardell’ Bowman Yu is still under contract, with the organisation expected to field offers for him.
Obviously, with the four others being set free, there is unlikely to be a high price placed on Wardell’s head, with Ghost having no use for him and other orgs knowing that, and it makes sense that he would be the one they attempt to sell. For all Steel’s undoubted knowledge and ability, he is still banned from playing at Valve events, and the other three are either past their prime or in career slumps, with koosta the only one likely to attract immediate interest.
There was an interesting footnote to the decision, as Ghost's tweet seemed to deliberately miss out the contribution of coach James 'JamezIRL' Macaulay, and was not corrected when that was pointed out in the replies. Macaulay himself seemed unbothered, but either way it was a poor move from Ghost, to exercise a grudge, or just forget a man who contributed to the good times.
Where next for Wardell?
Ghost follow Rogue as North American organisations that seemingly got tired of CSGO and just walked away, although Rogue at least saw their team betrayed before they finally lost patience. Ghost’s project was always limited by the fact their in-game leader cannot play at Majors, but they had shown great promise at third-party tournaments, and the move comes as a surprise to fans at least.
Sadly, the reality is that CSGO is an expensive game at most levels, and the tops teams dominate the majority of headlines and prize money. At a time when some of the most exciting talent in years is emerging, many content creators have remained focussed on the traditional big names until teams like ENCE and Furia literally forced their way into finals, and the consciousness of the CSGO media.
Where the players will end up is not clear, but Wardell at least would be a perfect addition to the Cloud9 roster, especially when you consider they tried to sign him in 2018. As a primary AWPer he has a lot of talent and room to grow, and his signing would allow autimatic to go back to being the hybrid threat he is best at, where he can slay with sniper or rifle depending on what the round requires.
Freakazoid is unlikely to find himself on a top level team again, both from an ability and attitude point of view, and neptune’s LAN struggles have seen his reputation take a hit. The aforementioned koosta could improve some of the tier-2 or 3 teams in NA, but needs to work harder if he is to earn a move onto a real contender, as his form has been relatively unspectacular in recent months. The loss of Ghost to CS is a sad one though, as the org seemed well-run, and to respect the game, but in 2019 it is not easy to justify the costs of a CSGO team that doesn’t win or make major finals.