Another league announcement of course!
Well, ECS Season 3 has been announced, and whether the community and players wanted it or not, 2017 looks to be exactly the same as 2016 in terms of oversaturation of CS:GO leagues.
Now there's no doubt that CS:GO is super popular and in a place where there need to be robust, well supported leagues. But players were constantly upset with the schedule and pace of competitive games last year.
Now, some teams like No. 3 Virtus.pro in the WWG CS:GO Team Rankings have decided to just attend fewer events and even outright decline some invites to large events. While it's been expected that other teams would eventually follow suit and also decline to attend as many events, the expectation should not be put on players to compete that much.
After the break before the Major, we saw so many teams utilize the time off to develop advanced strategies needed to break through a field of so many similarly matched (mechanically speaking) teams.
Rebounds from teams like No. 7 Natus Vincere proved that teams could effectively use time off to ensure new strategy development and general improvement of the team.
And now CS:GO is in a spot where not only are the leagues back, but they're bigger and more involved than ever. Planned breaks would certainly help, but a quick glance at the upcoming calendar suggests that we haven't even heard the final plans of the year from folks like Dreamhack, Starladder, etc. where many more events are expected to be added.
Breaks are good. It's not a coincidence that the ELEAGUE Major broke the Twitch concurrent record after a break in major CS:GO competition. That break made the games that much more exciting to the audience because anticipation was built up for quite a while before games even started.
But yet, this week starts Dreamhack Masters in Las Vegas, and despite there being many of the same teams present, not all teams are going to be at 100% strength, many rosters just changed hands, and some already announced trades aren't even going through before the event (like NiKo from mousesports).
So unfortunately it isn't getting better in 2017. But maybe this will be the year teams really organize and push back against oversaturation.