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Off-season changes: Who’s next?

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Ever since it was established informally by pro players and later made official by the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association, the summer tournament break has always been the prime opportunity for the top teams to evaluate their lineups and make the necessary changes if needed.

This year, the off-season craze has already begun, with fnatic and Complexity being the first to take the plunge, and it’s almost certain that more teams will not be the same by the time we return to tournament mode, in three weeks’ time. So let’s take a look at who else could join that list ahead of the second part of the season.

Read more:
fnatic bench Golden as they enter rebuilding phase
fnatic bench JW, announce plans to go international
Complexity bench RUSH
Complexity sign es3tag
gla1ve signs new three-year deal with Astralis
Complexity sign peacemaker

Denmark Astralis

Murmurs have been circling around the Astralis camp’s long-term plans for a while now, with potentially multiple members of the legendary team looking to follow Nicolai “⁠device⁠” Reedtz out of the door after becoming disillusioned with the direction the Danish organization has undertaken in recent times. Reports have pointed out Danny “⁠zonic⁠” Sørensen as the likeliest candidate to leave and Nicolai “⁠HUNDEN⁠” Petersen as his possible replacement, and there’s no telling where that could lead when it comes to rest of the squad.

Astralis are one of the hottest candidates to make changes

A big overhaul might not be on the horizon until the end of the year, when the majority of the lineup’s contracts run out — and we at least know that Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after he has just signed a new three-year deal with Astralis. However, there are still signs of a change coming before then and possibly very soon, with the in-game leader himself making it clear that the ever-changing AWPing situation in Astralis is hindering them from being able to reclaim the No.1 spot.

The AWP role has been a real issue for them since device‘s departure and a bit of a hot-potato situation, with the ‘Big Green’ going from Peter “⁠dupreeh⁠” Rasmussen‘s hands at first to more of a shared role between him and gla1ve, while in the IEM Cologne playoffs it was mostly the in-game leader who picked up the sniper rifle. That is as much of a tell as you could wish for when you consider what could be in Astralis‘ near future. It doesn’t look like anyone from the current roster can be particularly effective or comfortable in the role, so they’ll have to look elsewhere. But who could they get?

Sweden NIP

Another organization that has already suggested that off-season changes may be on the cards is NIP. When they replaced Erik “⁠ztr⁠” Gustafsson with Linus “⁠LNZ⁠” Holtäng back in June, the Swedish side revealed that the latest academy member to join the main team would be given until the end of the season to prove himself, so the team are bound to at least reevaluate their choice, now that we have reached the tournament break.

NIP have so far given no indication as to whether the 18-year-old will be staying on or not, and the answer isn’t obvious from the outside. LNZ showed some promise at the BLAST Premier Spring Final, but apart from a few good performances there, he has struggled to make a real impact on the team, averaging a 0.93 rating in the short time he has played with them so far.

It is also difficult to judge what the management of the organization is trying to achieve with the academy-focused approach around the fifth spot on the roster. It seems a complete turnaround from their shock (though admittedly expensive) signing of a superstar player like device, with whom they should be aiming for titles, so it might just serve as a plot to buy time before someone who won’t cost them another reported $1 million and is more proven and established becomes available.

LNZ’s future with NIP is uncertain at the moment

Germany BIG

Far from as obvious a candidate to undergo changes as the aforementioned two, BIG might just be on the list of teams who are scouring the market for ways to improve the team. The Johannes “⁠tabseN⁠” Wodarz-led squad rose to prominence again last year with a successful run in the summer, but their recent lack of titles or even deep runs could be cause for their first player adjustment in over a year and a half.

Even now, while Ismailcan “⁠XANTARES⁠” Dörtkardeş is well into his third year with BIG, it’s difficult not to see the Turk as the odd man out and imagine that the German organization wouldn’t jump at a good enough opportunity to sign a player from their own country to solve the language differences — the issue that has seemingly always plagued the team, to a degree. Whether this is the time or not likely depends on the availability of a good enough replacement such as Josef “⁠faveN⁠” Baumann, whose three-year anniversary with Sprout is coming up in September.

Brazil FURIA

The Brazilians around Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan have been in flux for the past few months. Their surprise addition of Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson at the start of the year has gone awry, with the American AWPer stepping down in June following a string of poor performances, which has forced the team to utilize their sixth player, Lucas “⁠honda⁠” Cano, in a move that has also yet to bear fruit.

Previously their sixth player and occasional stand-in, the 21-year-old has done little to bolster the team’s firepower with an average 0.89 rating, and his addition to the active roster has only exacerbated FURIA‘s issues around the AWP. There is no denying that arT is capable enough with the weapon, but considering his role at the forefront of the team, it has always made sense for him to give up the main role to someone less aggressive and more reliable, as was the case when Henrique “⁠HEN1⁠” Teles was still part of the team and the duo had a strong dynamic. Perhaps that is something that FURIA could be considering now that they have some time off, especially with someone like paiN‘s Rafael “⁠saffee⁠” Costa being such a mouth-watering prospect in the Brazilian scene.

FURIA’s AWPing dynamic has been in flux ever since HEN1 left

Sweden fnatic

fnatic and Complexity are the only two teams who have already made official moves during the first several days of the off-season, and more updates are expected to come from at least the former over the next few weeks.

The Swedes are still missing two players following the benching of long-time members Maikil “⁠Golden⁠” Selim and Jesper “⁠JW⁠” Wecksell and look to go international, with Friday’s 1pv.fr report linking them with former Cloud9 duo Alex “⁠ALEX⁠” McMeekin and William “⁠mezii⁠” Merriman. It is also unclear if that’s where the changes will end for Freddy “⁠KRIMZ⁠” Johansson & co., as there’s an air of uncertainty around Jack “⁠Jackinho⁠” Ström Mattsson‘s future with the roster.

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Source: https://www.hltv.org/news/32095/off-season-changes-whos-next

Esports

YouTube Gaming adds Theatre Mode for mobile, Member Milestone chat

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YouTube Gaming has acquired some huge names in the streaming space lately, and the momentum continues with the platform introducing a pair of features fans have been eagerly awaiting.

YouTube Gaming head Ryan “Fwiz” Wyatt shared today that Theatre Mode for mobile users will now allow both chat and gameplay to be present at the same time. Wyatt also announced the addition of Member Milestone chat.

Theatre Mode is something that has been available on PC for YouTube Gaming, but now mobile users of YouTube Gaming will be able to read chat while watching the gameplay simultaneously. Member Milestone chat will allow fans of channels that have been paid members for months to celebrate this occasion with a notification banner in chat that announces their milestone. They can also write a unique message to display on this banner.

In the clip Wyatt shared, an example of the Valkyrae’s stream was shown. This is another feature Twitch has used for many years, be it without the messaging function, and something that fans have been requesting YouTube to implement.

YouTube continues to bolster its streaming service with the goal of attracting more content creators to take advantage of the service. One of the barriers between converting users from Twitch has been the lack of features present, but with these latest additions and likely more to come, the gap between the two services will likely begin to get smaller.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/streaming/news/youtube-gaming-adds-theatre-mode-for-mobile-member-milestone-chat

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StreamElements raises $100 million in investment funding, plans to speed up development of tools for platforms

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StreamElements is one of the leading providers in content creation and streaming engagement and monetization tools, and now, the company has raised $100 million in investment funding as it looks to accelerate development on new production, engagement, and monetization tools. 

This round of funding was led by SoftBank Vision Fund Two, with additional new investments from PayPal Ventures, MoreTech, and existing investors such as State of Mind Ventures, Pitango First, and more. 

StreamElements initiated its most recent round of funding with plans to develop new tools for streaming and on-demand VOD platforms, expanding its reach, and adding new talent to help further improve its platform. This comes after the platform experienced a 233 percent growth, with more than 1.1 million creators using the company’s tools between March 2020 and January 2021. 

StreamElements will still work to create a digital market that helps existing creators and fans “turn their passion into a profession.” Right now, one of the company’s main goals is expanding beyond Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming, opening its various production tools and services to different types of creators, like those who broadcast on newer platforms like Trovo.

Another area of focus will be on the uploaded video space, with StreamElements wanting to provide more tools to creators who don’t necessarily stream to create their content and rather specifically work in an on-demand VOD format. 

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Source: https://dotesports.com/news/streamelements-raises-100-million-in-investment-funding-plans-to-speed-up-development-of-tools-for-platforms

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Fracture removed from VALORANT competitive queue due to bug

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VALORANT players will be without the game’s newest map for a little bit due to a game-breaking bug.

Riot Games announced today that Fracture, which made its debut in Competitive mode yesterday, has been temporarily removed from the VALORANT ranked queue. The reason for this removal, according to the official VALORANT Twitter account, is because a bug has arisen where the Spike spawns underneath the map, making it impossible for the offensive team to retrieve it. The developer hopes to remedy this problem within 24 hours.

Before yesterday, Fracture could only be played in non-ranked queues. Changes had been made to the map’s B site in Patch 3.06, which aimed to protect those hiding behind crates in the site from bullets.

With Riot giving a hopeful timetable for the fix, VALORANT players should be back on Fracture soon without having to worry about the bug.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/valorant/news/fracture-removed-from-valorant-competitive-queue-due-to-bug

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All the Knives in CS:GO Operation Riptide

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Operation Riptide just went online in CS:GO, and like the previous operations, it’s filled with changes and new additions to the game. While competitive players will have their eyes on changes that can affect the competitive side of the game, skin collectors will be after the new rare pieces they can add to their collection.

Almost all Operation Riptide skins feature bright colors that go well with all the stickers that were introduced in the patch. The Operation Riptide skins are enough of a reason to unlock its cases, but no one will hardly pass on a rare knife if they ever get lucky enough to drop one.

The Operation Riptide cases have a chance of dropping one of the following 30 knives and each auction for decent prices. Knives tend to be one of the most expensive cosmetic items in CS:GO, meaning you can secure yourself a game or two in the next Steam sale if you decide to sell yours.

Here are all the knives in CS:GO’s Operation Riptide case. 

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Source: https://dotesports.com/counter-strike/news/all-the-knives-in-csgo-operation-riptide

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