European teams have been left at the short end of the stick after PGL decided to hand out four invites out of the eight possible positions for the EU PGL Minor. This is the first time in CSGO history that invites have been sent out for the Minors.
Representatives of 11 European teams have sent a letter to PGL. These teams include :
- Alternate Attax
- Guerilla Method
The four teams to have received invitations to the tournament are Fnatic, Heroic, Hellraisers and Space Soldiers.
The letter sent by these representatives notes :
Dear Valve Corporation and PGL Esports,
A core value when it comes to CS:GO Majors and qualifiers is that all teams should have an equal
chance. There have never in the history of CS:GO Minor events been any direct invitations. Remember
that the challenger teams already have a long way to go to get to the Major, starting from online
qualifications, followed by the Minor events and finishing with the main Major qualifier. Inviting four
teams to an eight team Minor, and forcing all the other teams to compete against one another does not
Valve teaches to play fair, e.g. via banning coaches mid-round, because “the goal of [their] events is to
identify the best five-player CS teams”. That includes each team having the same conditions to play. So
why are there teams who are not equals but something more, deserving of direct invitations for the
Minor? By inviting four teams directly, it means under no circumstance can five of the teams who were
not invited qualify.
There is no definitive and agreed to CS:GO team ranking system, and as such there should not be any
direct invitations for Minor events. Alternatively, if e.g. the HLTV.org ranking were to be used, it should
be made clear to all teams, so they would know of a way to make their qualification route for the Major
easier in advance. All teams should qualify on the same conditions. A closed online qualifier with seeded
teams based on actual team ranking could be an agreed solution, but that is far away from the current
system we perceive as unfair.
Moreover, future information about Minor qualifiers and Minor events itself should be announced at least
a month prior to the start of online qualifications, to make sure teams can plan their schedules in
advance. Some events are bound to collide in today’s climate, but at least it will allow teams to choose
early on. The Major’s date is known a couple of months in advance, so it should not be a problem to set
dates for the online qualifiers at least a month before they begin. We understand fnatic and HellRaisers
have a scheduling conflict with EPICENTER, but while it is unfortunate, other teams who have signed
this letter have similar conflicts with other events. Had the minor and the qualification system been
announced earlier, perhaps more of them could have been avoided.
From the next Minor qualifiers on, we highly recommend combining the European and CIS qualifiers.
The main idea behind geographical divisions has always been to avoid high pings and guarantee all
teams fair conditions to compete in. That is not a valid concern for CIS region teams, who are playing in
European online tournaments on a daily basis. At present, the geographic division is also unclear for
certain teams. Essentially hosting a separate qualification for CIS teams that the rest of Europe cannot
participate in discriminates against the European teams. We believe the only valid reason for separating
qualifiers is ping, and for CIS it is not an issue. The qualifiers should be combined to ensure the best
European teams – a region most of CIS is considered a part of – qualify for the Minor, and then the
At first, in the next 48 hours, we expect Valve and PGL to change the ‘direct invitations’ to
‘closed qualifer invitations’ for directly invited teams for European Minor – fnatic, Heroic,
HellRaisers and Space Soldiers. Two online qualifiers should allow through four teams each,
instead of two, to determine the eight teams at the Minor. We also hope that the next Minor
qualifier will be announced at least a month in advance, and that combined qualifiers for
Europe and CIS would be at least discussed prior to the next Major. We hope to get feedback
and discuss these points together to make a good system even better.
We are representing all of the affected top 50 teams from Europe (as of October 12, 2016 per the
HLTV.org team ranking – excluding teams already invited to the Minor, and those who have a spot at the
main Major qualifier or the Major itself). If our voice does not get listened to, then whose does? Valve
and PGL – we are waiting for your move.
European CS:GO Teams
Signed by teams’ representatives:
Stephan Barth, ALTERNATE aTTaX
Dimitar Slavkov, Bpro Gaming
Mattias Rosbäck, Crowns Esports Club
Tomi Kovanen, ENCE eSports
Christian Lindberg, Epsilon eSports
Nemanja Boskovic, Guerilla Method eSports
Slaava Räsänen, iGame.com
Andreas Pullitzky, PENTA Sports
Hampus Johansson, Rogue
Jaroslaw Smietana, Team Kinguin
Nicolai Petersen, Tricked-esport
With full support of currently the best European Team:
Jakub ‘Kuben’ Gurczyński, Virtus.pro
The original letter can be found here.
We at Esprts feel that the minors should be an equal opportunity for all teams. The good teams should be able to qualify based on merit and not because they got the invites. Let the invites be for the legends for the Majors, the other teams should not be given special treatment just because they are well known.