Dec 31 2013 - 4:27 pm

Powerhouse pro-gaming team shuts down amid industry's rising costs

The French competitive gaming team VeryGames, home to likely the greatest Counter-Strike: Source squad of all time and one of the most accomplished Global Offensive teams to ever play, is closing its doors today
Patrick Howell O'Neill
Dot Esports

The French competitive gaming team VeryGames, home to likely the greatest Counter-Strike: Source squad of all time and one of the most accomplished Global Offensive teams to ever play, is closing its doors today.

Founder Johann Thiesson cites “lack of financial means” as the reason for the shut down. When the team looked at its ambitious 2014 schedule, it saw its expenses tripling.

“Team VeryGames will not be able to cover it,” Thiesson said. “We have not been able to evolve fast enough for that.”

Founded in 2008 in Paris, Team VeryGames has always been sponsored by the French server company of the same name. The team collected 25 gold medals in Counter-Strike: Source. In 2012, they made the jump to Global Offensive, the latest incarnation of the classic shooter. There, they sparked a rivalry with Ninjas in Pyjamas, a Swedish squad made up some of the best Counter-Strike players in the world.

NiP came out on top of VeryGames every single time in 2012 to the tune of over $25,000 in prize money.

Firmly establishing themselves as the second best team in the world, VeryGames didn’t beat their Scandanavian tormentors until Oct. 2012 at the EMS One finals. VeryGames took home €12,000 and gold for their efforts.

Just a month later, the two teams faced off once again at DreamHack for a much bigger prize and NiP took the series 2-1.

The end of VeryGames raises important questions about Counter-Strike as an eSport. Although the game has reached record popularity in recent months, it has lost major teams like VeryGames and the Ukranian Astana Dragons in just the last week.

At first glance to an outsider, the closures seem to have a lot to do with the teams themselves rather than with the overall industry. But how quickly will these top players find the considerable money necessary to support them both at home and around the world? The speed with which they sign with new teams will say a lot about the eSports’ industry’s expectations for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2014.

For their part, ex-VeryGames players will continue to compete together as they seek new sponsors.

H/T ProGamingTours | Screengrab via Mrtweeday/YouTube

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Jan 17 2017 - 4:42 pm

Ambitious CS:GO mod aims to capture the spirit of the Wild West

Did someone say Classic Offensive?
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Screengrab via JarroRus/YouTube

Two ambitious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players want to take the game in a whole new direction.

Going by the names Jarro and CTX, this successful modding duo (who have released popular custom maps in the past), are looking at developing a fully functional and expansive add-on centered around the Wild West. This will be based on the foundation of Valve's extremely popular first-person shooter title CS:GO. Complete with brand new features such as combat on horseback as well as larger maps, the two developers have taken to crowdfunding in order to guarantee that CS:GO Western Add-on, as they have dubbed the mod, will be released within the next 6-8 weeks.

While the team's crowdfunding campaign is set at $1,000, Jarre and CTX have also set two other campaign goals at $400 and $700. The first two goals are centered primarily around necessary features such as dedicated servers for constant game testing, and introducing more unique assets and expansive maps to the mod.

If the two developers reach their crowdfunding goals, the mod will be completely free of charge and distributed via the Steam Workshop. Valve encourages enthusiasts and modders to produce their own custom games based off of the company's intellectual property. The most notable example being Counter-Strike itself, which started out as a mod of Valve's inaugural title in the Half-Life franchise.

For the time being, the mod is looking to feature three separate game modes: A standard player vs. player mode, team-based hostage scenarios, and finally a linear game play map featuring cut scenes and co-op game play.

If the wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 and the second season of Westworld is killing you, the Western Add-on should keep you occupied until then.