World Esports Games 2016 Grand Final, taking place in 2017, has been positioned as a big world-class event for months. With a prize pool of $1,500,000 for the CS:GO tournament, which actually trumped the prize pool of the upcoming Valve-sponsored ELEAGUE Major, it was clear that in the beginning, Alisports, a division of business giant Alibaba Group, meant business.
The Swedish team GODSENT wasn’t impressed. Less than a day before the tournament was to begin, they informed the organizers that they won’t be there, making finding a replacement on a day’s notice practically impossible. As a result, GODSENT were awarded five losses, guaranteeing them the last place in the tournament. The other 23 teams are battling to make it into the Round of 12 and keep their chance to win the first place prize of $800,000 USD.
There’s no excuse for what GODSENT did; it was completely unprofessional. It would have been fine if the team warned the organizers a week in advance, for example. But now, a day before… It’s ridiculous. Of course, the organizers are not faultless in this either. Information about the event was scarce, the date it was supposed to take place changed a lot, the event’s website wasn’t really friendly to non-Chinese speakers. There is still no excuse for what GODSENT did.
With that said, a question remains, why would they have done it? The simplest reason is that the tournament takes place in China. Travelling there would be a tiring venture, the team would need to acclimate themselves to the new time zone, figure out their surroundings. Was it worth it for them? Probably not. Yes, the winner gets $800,000 USD, however, let’s look at the teams playing in the tournament. Team EnVyUs and Virtus.pro are the only world class teams playing. Of course, there is also TyLoo and Selfless Gaming, but TyLoo was massively weakened just days ago and Selfless Gaming is… Selfless Gaming. So, GODSENT would have had to play against V.p and nV. Could they win against either? Well, probably not. That would leave them with $200,000 USD for third place. Is it worth it when the ELEAGUE Major is taking place next week? No. Spending four days playing against third rate teams to win $200,000 while also wasting time on travelling to China and acclimatization before a tournament which could really put GODSENT on the map if it went well, however unlikely that was, is folly.
EnVyUs and Virtus.pro have a great chance to win $800,000 and $400,000 USD respectively, while also having a much better chance to make it into the Top 8 of the ELEAGUE Major. They will get money from stickers even if they fuck up in the Major. What would GODSENT sacrifice for the 200k? A week of practice they sorely need. Even when they skipped the tournament, the chances of them making it into the Top 8 of the Major are slim to none. If they didn’t? They would be nonexistent.
Another thing — it’s been said that WESG 2016 Global Finals were supposed to take place in December. With that assumption, it’s understandable why GODSENT even tried to qualify. The prize pool is insane. There would have been plenty of time to prepare for the Major. As things stand now, however… The Swedes had to make a decision. They made it. It was unprofessional to warn the organizers so late, but the decision itself is right. But sooooooo freaking unprofessional.