Photo by: WESG
WESG announced today the group drawings for the WESG 2018 Global Finals for CS:GO and the community is in uproar. The uneven power balance of the pools has led to prominent figures labeling the group draw as an illogical joke.
The WESG groups
WESG is nations-based competition, which means no mixed stacks are allowed. As a result, the competition is always below what you’d expect from a tier 1 CS:GO tournament. Traditionally, WESG fields only a handful of consistent teams so the logic would dictate they be spread across different groups.
That’s not the case with 2018 WESG Global Finals, whose groups are:
Group E immediately draws attention, featuring two of the strongest sides in the tournament. Fnatic hail as one of the four direct invites and tournament favorites, only to meet ENCE: the Finnish side who just qualified for the IEM Katowice playoffs. The Spaniards of Movistar are also in the same pool, featuring such talent as Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho and Christian “loWel” Garcia Antoran.
Group A is also stacked, with Ninjas in Pyjamas and G2 Esports in the same pool. A and E, at the same time, stand in stark contrast to pools such as D, G and H, which lack even one serious title contender.
To see the CS:GO community then slam this drawing comes as no surprise. Journalists, players and talent alike have spoken out against the absolute lack of any seeding to the tournament.
$890,000 gone to waste
WESG has one of the largest prize pools in CS:GO. With $890,000, it’s only $110k below the Majors — the pinnacle of Counter-Strike competition.
What’s more, this is a decrease from previous years. In 2016 and 2017, WESG out-prized event the Majors, giving away $1.5 million, with $800,000 going to the first place. On the back of WESG alone, Team EnVyUs — a side which barely achieved anything else for the remainder of the year — ranked as the fourth highest-earning team in 2017.
It’s not the first year WESG is wasting its prize pool on uneven competition and discrediting its own status. In the 2017 Global Finals, it placed BIG, Sk Gaming and Team Russia (which fielded seized, electronic and Dosia) in the same group. Another one placed Fnatic together with Major winners Cloud9.
It thus becomes more and more difficult to take WESG serious. For the majority of players, it is likely nothing more than an opportunity for a decent payday and a trip to China, rather than a tournament which carries any prestige.