At this point of the year, mid-December, we have reached an all-time high of brain drain from Counter-Strike: we’re something around 200 players that have retired this year alone, from the average of 30 in years past.
For the past eight years, the professional scene of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has defied the odds time and again, deftly sidestepping a few catastrophes while catching others with their face. Now, it teeters on what many call the possible brink of existence as we know it: cheating is rampant, scenes are drying up, organizations appear clueless on how to display any modicum of competence, and it feels like the same matches are being played every single day.
It’s, overall, not that great of a look.
More than a few greats have made their way from Counter-Strike, leaving the scene with all of its blemishes for others to dote upon while looking towards greener pastures, with Riot’s new team-based shooter Valorant being the prettiest girl at the ball by far.
Overwatch League has had a brain drain as well, with multiple players leaving teams halfway through the competitive 2020 season to opt into the grassroots of Valorant, and Counter-Strike players were interestingly not too far behind.
Leaf recently made waves, as Chaos EC disbanded their CS roster after a fantastic season, as joining Cloud9 in a streamed leak from C9 player Mitch.
Now, it appears that Timothy ‘Automatic’ Ta, of Gen.G, is very much considering the same, as he states that 2020 coming to an end has allowed him to look at his ‘options for the 2021 season’.
Considering the current climate, it bodes ill for many fans of the young rifler turned AWPer after the retirement of Skadoodle within Cloud9; then Autimatic directly stated that he’s going to spend the next few weeks taking a closer look at Valorant and seeing if that’s something he wants to move towards.
Just to clear some things up, for the time being, I'm looking to stay in CSGO. I've loved and played this game for more than half of my life and want to continue if I can. However, I'll be playing some Valorant in the next coming weeks to try it out and make my decision then.
— Timothy Ta (@autimaticTV) December 15, 2020
So we could be losing the twenty-four-year-old that, like many others within the esport world, are simply looking for more promising pastures without the threat of crumpling scenes and organizations occurring on all fronts.
Again, the story appears to be revolving around the instability of the Counter-Strike scene resulting in the possible loss of young talent. Valve is still nowhere to be found.
If nothing else, fans can put weight into Tim stating outright that he wants to stay in Counter-Strike, but a forward-leaning organization within Valorant looking for a jack-of-all-trades with some star-power heft could well spoil the dreams for NA fans.