Duncan “Thorin” Shields, a popular Counter-Strike analyst, has held no punches in sharing his thoughts about the recent announcement from ESL Pro League regarding its format change. The format change has resulted in half of the Pro League teams being dropped into the Mountain Dew League as the league moves from 48 teams to just 24.
He opens up his series of tweets by calling the decision of ESL “unethical and unprofessional behaviour” before explicitly stating he “won’t be working with their org under any circumstances until the people responsible are named and fired or leave the company.”
In case you thought he was only talking about the league itself, he makes it very clear that’s not the case as he went on to add “that goes for majors, Cologne, and content.”
This directly impacts a deal already in the works between himself and ESL he explains as he’ll be notifying the company of his decision to back out of an agreement to do “shoulder content creation.”
He hasn’t been anti-ESL all around, though. Just days ago he posted a video explaining his part in the upcoming “B Site” league and stated that he still believed at that time that ESL was the best in the space. He references that in his tweet when he says “On Wednesday you were the best TO in esports. Today that legacy means nothing and you are trash on the level of the way you have treated others in our community, including those you promised futures to, as said trash.”
He posted a follow-up video explaining how the league he’s working directly with on the creative will be seizing the opportunity to help some of these teams get another opportunity via expanded qualifies and a higher prize pool.
He would post another follow-up to this video clarifying that this additional prize money would be “six figures in USD.”
Whether or not you agree with Thorin’s stance, this is a wild time to be a CS fan, player, organization, and talent. With the closure of ECS, format change for BLAST, ESL Pro League, and the upcoming B Site league, things are getting a little more interesting than I think people had expected and it doesn’t appear everyone will come out happy at all.