Everyone knows that feeling, often at the end of the week, where you just want to kick back and chill out. Whether you’re a doctor or lawyer, cleaner or chef, pretty much every job takes a toll on those who do it, but what if your employer told you what you could and couldn’t do, even when you weren’t at work? That is the reality for one CSGO side in North America and in a weird way it might not be a bad thing at all.
Cloud9 are the most successful American organisation in CSGO history, in that they have won one major and no other American team has. That victory came earlier this year in Boston, where they defeated a fragile FaZe in the Grand Final of ELEAGUE’s event but, since, their trajectory has been decidedly Star Wars, from legends, to an embarrassment to the franchise - and getting worse.
Team issues and motivation have both been cited as a problem and the organisation has been forced into a number of changes, including the addition of Malik ‘Golden’ Selim, former in-game leader of Fnatic, who has imposed himself on the team well since his arrival. One of the ways he has turned things around is a little odd though, and relates to what people are doing when they aren’t playing CSGO.
CSGO or nothing
As you can see from the clip, where current C9 star Timothy ‘autimatic’ Ta is speaking to former C9 player Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek, Golden enforced a rule that players are not allowed to play any games other than CSGO. This is relaxed if the team want to enjoy a bit of console gaming, but when it comes to PC play, it’s CSGO or nothing for the C9 boys.
This is particularly pertinent because recent times have seen a few of the team struggle with motivation and admit they play a lot of battle royale games to ease the tension of the professional lifestyle. The clip below, where autimatic admits he no longer looks forward to playing CSGO, was viewed and discussed many times across the CSGO scene, and caused some concern among the C9 fanbase as you can imagine.
While motivation will vary from player to player, there are obvious reasons why C9 would feel that way, with a Major success being followed by the destruction of the team that took them there. With that in mind, attaching certain rules to the contracts related to training habits makes sense, and refusing to dedicate yourself to the game should not be tolerated at the pro level.
Fatigue is a risk
What might seem like a fairly draconian rule actually makes sense on a number of levels, not just from a burnout point of view. Hard as it may be for sports fans to realise, esports injuries related to fatigue and repetitive strain are a real concern, so hours spent in Fortnite or PUBG are a risk players should not be taking. There is also the argument about picking up bad habits playing other games, and losing a degree of your muscle memory in the process.
You might say it’s a bit much but the wages modern players are earning are serious money and this is in line with the way other sports operate. Basketball pros are encouraged not to play anywhere other than club premises for insurance and injury reasons, for example, and esports should begin to take more seriously the idea this life is a privilege that you should not take for granted.
As for the C9 boys, according to the clip dissent varies from player to player, with Tyler ‘skadoodle’ Latham most likely to break the rules, which is not surprising when you consider his unkickable status. Golden might be ahead of his time, but we firmly believe his way will become standard, and is a good step for CSGO, especially in NA, to be taking.