Opinion: Online Leagues Aren't Fun for Top Level CS:GO Play

by Kevin Knocke

Online matches should be reserved for small qualifiers and minor leagues in CS:GO and should never be used for any major league or tournament match of any significance.

Love or hate the League of Legends LCS, one thing Riot understands is that the major leagues of an esport need to be played in a LAN environment for purposes of game integrity and excitement. Offline matches give a much higher chance of a game being fair and, at the very least, will be played on equal, low latency connections.

This is not a condemnation of any one league, but a plea to all major online CS:GO leagues to reconsider their format.

Take the match between No. 3 SK Gaming on the WWG CS:GO Team Rankings and Rush in the North American ESL Pro League Week 2 action. SK won as anticipated, but it was a surprisingly close set with SK even being pushed to overtime in game number 2 before finally winning 19-17.

Wow, Rush must be really stepping up their game, right!?!?

Well, not to take away from their play entirely, but SK was playing from overseas with super high latency in the middle of the night.

So Rush's close fought match seems a lot less impressive now, but yet it still remains an official match in the ESL Pro League with implications at the end of the year's offline playoffs.

This of course follows on the heels of several rescheduled matches on the European side of the league, along with one stopped due to technical difficulties.

That's not to say that there should never ever be online matches in CS:GO. Obviously not every competitive game can be played in a perfect studio environment, so leagues should be weighted in importance according to the amount of offline play necessary to win.

A league that uses online matches for, say, a developmental league or regional qualifiers to a main qualifier is fine. At this stage in professional CS:GO, though, no major leagues should use online matches to fill their regular season games. If that means changing the league to a shorter format, or less teams, then good, do it.

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