The tournament was billed as the final chance for North American teams to gain points towards qualifying for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s next Major, but both teams revealed that they wouldn’t participate in the tournament in an announcement from ESL.
At first glance, fans might think that the departure of Gen.G’s in-game leader Damian “daps” Steele and C9’s unfinished roster are to blame for the move, and there’s likely some truth to that. In reality, it’s much more likely that the extension of Regional Ranking tournaments due to the cancellation of ESL One Rio is a larger factor.
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) September 30, 2020
When Valve announced that it had canceled 2020’s CSGO Major, it also announced that Regional Ranking events would continue for the indefinite future.
These events award points that are tallied, deciding which teams will attend CSGO’s biggest tournament. With the event canceled and the Ranking tournament set to continue, suddenly there is much less pressure for teams to compete in New York, especially those who are rebuilding rosters. Instead of competing at IEM with underpowered squads, Gen.G and C9 have decided to sit this one out.
Valve has yet to announce the next round of official tournaments. That lack of information points towards a long-term system while Valve and ESL find a new place and time to host the Major. In other words, neither team is putting themselves behind.
In fact, other North American teams might have helped them make that decision. Often thought of as two of North America’s top teams, Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses both underperformed over ESL Pro League Season 12, leaving the door open for other teams to fill in those gaps. With Gen.G looking for a new in-game leader and C9 trying to fill empty spots left by the release of its former roster, now is the time to chase those spots.
The Esports Integrity Coalition’s banning of 37 coaches has left a large number of CSGO competitors scrambling to find solutions as well, leading to general uncertainty in CSGO about what the game’s next step will be after a tumultuous 2020. It’s a tough and uncertain situation all around, making the decision from both teams a solid response to an unsure future.