On their way to the title, Astralis also swept Team Liquid, the top-ranked team in the world according to HLTV’s popular power rankings. That win gave Astralis a clear path to their third straight major championship and a chance to reclaim the world’s number one spot.
In the lead-up to the match, retired poker player and Youtube content creator Doug Polk chimed in with his thoughts about the major and about one analyst in particular.
He asked if he was the only one who thought veteran CSGO analyst Duncan “Thorin” Shields was annoying.
“Talking about Astralis, says all these negative things… they are the 2nd best team in the world and were like 20-25% to win the entire event,” Polk said.
Polk has been known to stream WarCraft 3, StarCraft, and other competitive games and is constantly tweeting about esports events. This particular tweet sparked a reaction from several members of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community and from Duncan “Thorin” Shields himself.
Shields responded by saying that Polk doesn’t follow CS but looked up some stuff online to pretend that he did. He followed it up with his dismissive hashtag, “#FanLogic.”
Polk responded with a challenge. He wanted to bet on the result of the match. Polk said that the betting lines for the major and for the match itself were not in line with Thorin’s analysis.
“Hate to break it to you, but what you think about how good people are is totally irrelevant. What matters is where you bet money. So I’ll tell you what, if Astralis makes the playoffs I’ll bet you my $100,000 to win your $500,000,” Polk said. “Put your money where your dumb mouth is.”
Shields responded in kind.
“Ok, turns out this poker guy is a mega moron. LMAO at him doubling down over and over on stupid shit. Can’t accidentally hit your flush draw on this ill-advised all in, son,” Thorin said.
This sparked further discussion with Polk offering his opinions on the analysis of Astralis and many CSGO fans seeming to argue in response that Polk didn’t have the appropriate experience to argue with the likes of Thorin about strategy or tactics. Polk went on to clarify his point and say that dumping on Astralis, when they are the second-best team in the major according to betting odds, was not good analysis.
The back and forth on Twitter caught the attention of another long-time esports journalist, Richard Lewis.
“Sick reverse psychology. Surely this will work and give you the attention you crave,” Lewis said.
When Polk said that his tweet was intended for his own followers, Lewis responded further.
“I’m very happy to inform you that Twitter is a public platform. If you want your tweets only to be seen by your followers there’s a ‘protected mode’ for that. Given the sheer stupidity of some of the things you’ve said, might not be a bad idea to think about using it,” Lewis added.
Polk continued to argue his case and to offer bets to those opposing him. He called out some of the more aggressive responses and the arguing continued past the match itself.
Ultimately, Astralis won the series and the event. The result was on the side of Polk this time.
Polk argued that betting odds can give you a more accurate picture of potential results. Shields, Lewis, and many other members of the CSGO audience argued that experience, and analysis based on that experience, was the way to go.
Polk may or may not continue to make esports content or interject himself into the community, but if he does it seems like it might make for a tumultuous affair.