StarLadder is facing fresh backlash for their handling of the Berlin Major.
After the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community started complaining about the observers switching perspectives during fights and missing key moments, a fan decided to look closer into the observers listed on StarLadder’s talent tab on Liquipedia.
In a Reddit post, one user listed all of the observers’ Liquipedia pages. All of the Ukranian observers have one thing in common: They are all listed as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds observers, and have little to no experience in observing CSGO.
Many on the thread pointed out that PUBG and CSGO are completely different games, and that it would be expected for PUBG observers to have a hard time following Counter-Strike action.
Other Reddit users have also watched the PUBG tournaments listed on the observers’ Liquipedia bios, and they weren’t impressed with their work in PUBG either. It has been proposed that hiring the Ukranian staff, rather than hiring a more specialized staff of talent, is significantly cheaper for event organizers.
Hiring cheaper or unpopular observers is nothing new for StarLadder. At DOTA Summit 9, many viewers had complaints about StarLadder observer Aleksandar “vandersar” Miloshevic. Problems there included focusing on the wrong parts of the map and showing irrelevant stastics for extended periods of time.
That 21-year-old observer is also from Ukraine.
While an apology was made for the ill-received observing, many StarLadder viewers have not found there to be much if any improvement since then.
While many of the Berlin Major’s viewers seemed heated about the quality of the observers work, most people blamed the organizer for hiring them. Many felt the observers were doing their best to observe a game they aren’t as familiar with, but they also noted that they shouldn’t be the ones observing in the first place.
Respected observer Connor “Sliggy” Bloomfield felt that StarLadder was disrespecting other observers with the move, and that he was glad the community was being vocal about it.
“I’ve heard rumours the reasons are budget and language barrier (not sure if this is true). They have eight observers for this event. I worked the whole Faceit Major + Minor live stream on my own with Keita (current coL coach) as the secondary observer on a delay for replays,” Sliggy said. “As for language barrier observers normally mute everyone except the casters and maybe one person in production. It’s the same as the casters it’s impossible to focus properly with all the comm’s that happen back stage in production.”
This isn’t the first complaint that the CSGO community had about the Berlin Major. Many fans, viewers, and pros reacted negatively to StarLadder’s initial response to people streaming the event’s matches. The organizer was copyright striking streamers, sometimes even having them banned from Twitch.
StarLadder responded by stating they were “ready to share sponsorship obligations” for the Berlin Major, but requiring streamers to promote sponsors didn’t sit well with the community either.