What is CS:GO lacking in esports?

19:30, 22 Nov 2020

With a combination of new games, COVID restrictions, and online tournaments, multiple players made early exits from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) moving onto new careers. Alec “Noisia” Gulabovski retired after spending five years with multiple teams in the Oceania region. While he didn’t become a star player, Noisia still managed to work as a professional CS:GO player. Jesse “InfrequeNt” Barker has also decided to retire from Australian Counter-Strike after making a name for himself as an AWPer. He’s mostly known for his quadruple AWP shot which included Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill in the kill feed.

Last but not least is Josh “pwny” VanGorder and his early retirement after playing with RBG Esports in his breakout year. After placing eighth in the ESEA Season 35 Premier Division, pwny has switched titles leaving his CS:GO career in the past.


Noisia was mostly a B-Tier player who was only able to secure wins in C-Tier events. He earned roughly five thousand dollars throughout his entire career with a long list of Australian teams. Avant Garde gave Noisia a chance in his debut year after noticing his success with smaller teams. Forty percent of Noisia’s peak earnings were with Avant Garde including a first-place finish at MSI MGA PAX Australia. He followed through with Dark Sided gaming placing second at the CyberGamer Pro League, beating out Tainted Minds and Chiefs Esports Club. Noisia didn’t have the same top-notch record compared to other players making him an unwanted player transfer. While he was a great player, it was his role that set him apart from the crowd—eventually becoming one of the main reasons for his retirement.

As a lurker, Noisia didn’t sign up for a spotlight role compared to an AWPer or entry fragger. Instead, his goal was to make his way into abandoned spots on any map and secure a kill or two. Allowing his team to easily push into a site and plant the bomb. As a CT, the role as a lurker isn’t as helpful; instead, he had to depend on his skills of defence and understanding rotations. Because of this, Noisia wasn’t considered a high-level threat compared to other up and coming players known for their aggression. That doesn’t mean his kills didn’t determine the outcome of a round; instead, his role as a lurker was simply overlooked. Hoping to continue his career in esports, Noisia moved onto VALORANT. A game that rewarded him for his skills as a team lurker. He now plays for WildCard Gaming on the teams first-ever roster in VALORANT.

InfrequeNt has followed in the footsteps of Noisia but had a much bigger career in CS:GO. He played as an AWPer alongside Atheltico, Tainted Minds, Sydney Roar, and Chiefs Esports Club. From 2016 to 2018, InfrequeNt won multiple C/B-Tier events with Australia's best teams. His biggest achievement was finishing third in the ESL Pro League Season 8 finals against Grayhound Gaming. In 2019, InfrequeNt started to fall off after facing a lineup of talented AWPers. His skills as a team sniper were no longer needed which led to him riding the bench. He joined Noisia as a rifler for WildCard Gaming, leaving the role as a sniper in CS:GO.



RBG Esports signed on a player in the North American Scene known as pwny. He had no previous record with outstanding teams but made a name for himself on ESEA and FACEIT. RBG saw him as a potential threat and put him on the roster for their ESEA Premier Division season lineup. He lost his first two cash cup events but still managed to top frag in his first set with thirty-eight kills. RBG went 11-6 in the MDL Regular season earning a spot in the playoffs, that all went crashing down after losing their first two sets. With a 1.08 player rating, pwny top fragged in five matches, but also bottom fragged in the rest. He still managed to hold one of the better player ratings but had another career in mind.


After his release from RBG, pwny made a post on Twitter regarding his future and reason for retirement. He mentioned how his passion for the game has evaporated after playing it nonstop for six years. Knowing that he wants a future outside of gaming, pwny has decided to try and grow himself as a brand. As an aspiring entrepreneur and competitive gamer, pwny has made it clear that CS:GO can’t help him grow as a company in the media. Feeling that the game is underwhelming and has a lack of updates in its player base, he’s decided to move onto VALORANT knowing the game is refreshing and is exactly what he needs as a player.

Not only is VALORANT the common factor between Noisia, Infrequent, and pwny, but it’s also what lacks in CS:GO. The game has a shortage of updates, armature tournaments, and teams willing to provide basic contracts. VALORANT has a brand new player arena full of underdog orgs willing to pay top dollar for their rosters. CS:GO has an established fan base that isn’t ready for new players to enter the scene.


Images via Liquipedia | RBG Esports

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