SK Gaming face ESL One Belo Horizonte team choice

One of the biggest moves in esports is continuing to cause headaches for those involved, with ESL One Belo Horizonte the latest event to be impacted by the ongoing shuffle in Brazilian CSGO. The team currently contracted to SK Gaming, with Gabriel ‘Fallen’ Toledo at the helm, is due to appear under that brand at Belo Horizonte, and last night the team that will join SK and replace that five, known currently as Não Tem Como (NTC) also made the grade.

Reported by Dekay on twitter, the news follows on from the original VPEsports news that Immortals had secured a deal for what was then the best five in world CS, or so many thought. Since that deal went through there has been a series of problems for SK, who have cut players, tried to cut even more players and failed, changed in-game leader, and all with little to no success as a reward. Now, it seems, there might be one chance for their current employers to get one over one the team as they leave.

With contracts for the NTC five due to come into effect before the event begins, and the move for the current SK to join Immortals taking place once their contracts expire in July, this leaves SK in the tough position of having to chose between them. This is due to new, extremely welcome conflict of interest rules related to how many teams at an event can be owned by any one company, and should have a fairly predictable outcome.

Acrimonious departure

For one, it would make no sense for SK Gaming to promote a team that has chosen to leave them over the one they are welcoming in, presumably to work with for some time (kNg-factor allowing). That is even before you consider the acrimony behind the scenes that has led to this departure, and completely ignores that fact that the current-NTC/future SK is also just a better CS team right now, which seems amazing to think given where both groups were a year ago.

The choices for SK are simple, either allow their current team to go to Immortals early, or make the choice between the two that will inevitably see Fallen and co miss the event in their home nation. This will obviously seem an attractive option to executives that are not enamoured with their stars, but on the flip side will hardly endear them to a Brazilian public that they want to promote their new team to.

Equally, while it might be considered a good competitive move to prevent the team representing Immortals, there is an argument to say that there isn’t much about them that you’d want associated with your brand, save their history. Having said all of that, these conflicts of interest are the sort of thing esports needs to avoid, and the introduction of this sort of rule is something fans should all be delighted about.

In all probability we’ll see the NTC group there in SK shirts, and the decision on the other five made by Immortals, who are probably not feeling as good about their investment as they were when they made it. Whether more changes are made to the former world number one team is still not known, but it’s obvious they can’t continue in their current, failing form, and for the money Immortals have spent not to be wasted that will need to improve.

Image credit: -harru