Jason “JasonR” Ruchelski, former in-game leader of OpTic Gaming, revealed his full reasoning for leaving the team in a monologue on his stream yesterday.
JasonR decided to depart from the OpTic organization last week for the sake of his Twitch stream’s survival. James “hazed” Cobb will fill in as the new in-game leader for OpTic at the ECS Season 3 Finals and onward, while JasonR will continue to stream CS:GO and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
JasonR used Cloud9’s Mike “shroud” Grzesiek as a comparison regarding his streaming situation. He noted that shroud’s competitive drive for the game is what keeps him in the professional scene and that shroud’s stream doesn’t need as much maintenance as his own. This is due to shroud being on a team first and then streaming second, while JasonR’s situation is the opposite.
“I’ve built a community that I want to keep no matter what. I won’t take what I have for granted. If I go and join a pro team and leave for 25 to 30 days at a time, there’s a chance that I lose my community. There’s a chance that I may not have what I have right now,” Jason said. “Even though some of you guys may think, ‘Oh, he only gets 800-1,000,’ that is worth so much more to me than playing at a pro level. That is a risk that I am not willing to take.”
He believes that shroud could be making 20 times more money if he prioritized streaming over his professional career.
JasonR also theorized that financing professional players could face a decline, especially considering the rocky state of North American Counter-Strike–or “NA CS,” the meme name for it.
“The CS:GO pro scene is a bubble. Nobody is making money except the leagues. All these organizations are paying salaries to these players and making nothing off of them or making not as much,” he continued. “Salaries will eventually go down, and that’s not because viewership is down, that’s mostly because all these leagues are making high prize pools.”
Toward the end of his discussion, Jason even brought up his fears of being replaced by new and young talent. This was particularly evident in Cloud9’s 2016 acquisition of Jake “Stewie2k” Yip, who replaced in-game leader Sean “sgares” Gares at the time. “Some 18-year-old fucking prodigy can randomly come up into the scene and your whole team can instantly cut you just like that,” he speculated.
At the end of the day, Jason felt bad about leaving OpTic in a tough situation before ECS Finals, ESL Cologne, and the Krakow Major. “But trust me, it was a super hard decision. I’ve loved playing with OpTic, and I think they’re the best team in North America,” he concluded.
With hazed at the helm on such short notice, OpTic could be en route for some rough waters without JasonR.