It shouldn’t be news to anyone who follows the Counter-Strike scene that NA CS is often ridiculed for being home to some of the worst players in the world. Recently, the same type of ridicule has fallen upon ESEA’s Rank S league.
The latest “scandal” rose from this Rank S clip taken from Mohamad “m0E” Assad’s stream. In the clip, Jason “JasonR” Ruchelski can be seen rage-quitting the match followed by Omar “MarkE” Jimenez because his team is losing 12-0 on Dust 2. Many people, including esports analyst Jason “Moses” O’Toole and OpTic player Will “RUSH” Wierzba have argued that Rank S has gone down the toilet and has “no benefit” at all.
I, for one, seem to have a fairly unpopular opinion: players don’t need to act like they do at Major LANs in Rank S. Rank S is a PUG service for professional players to use between practices and tournaments and enjoy themselves however they see fit. The mentality that professional players need to play with high-level strats and act super serious in every game they ever play is frankly ridiculous.
If players wanted serious games, they could play scrims. Players in Rank S usually queue with friends and stream their games for fun and they should be able to act however they want to. They’re not in an official tournament environment.
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People have complaining that “[i]t’s hard to incorporate strats when a lot of the players have not played competitive cs [sic] at a high level.” What they’re failing to understand, however, is that even players who are relatively unknown, like the current #1 Rank S player Leonardo “Laski” Arroyo, have gotten there “deservedly.” They’ve worked their way up the ladder and are now playing in an environment alongside their peers.
If these players “have no clue how to function within a team” like RUSH states, why not teach them how to do that instead of complaining about it? For all one knows, these players could end up overtaking the current pros and becoming the next CS:GO stars.
Reddit user papillon8 argues that “[the new players] got there through pugging, so of course they are not going to be as good/experienced in team-play, but instead of acting like entitled jerks, why don’t you give those players time to learn and be patient with them?” And he’s right. If these players can make it to #1, players like steel and m0E have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for not climbing to the top themselves.
All in all, Rank S should be seen as a playground for pro players where they can play however they want. If somebody really cared about the Counter-Strike scene, they wouldn’t be so superficial and judge the talent of NA CS simply from the way the region’s players behave during downtime. At the same time, professional players should help those who are new to Rank S because, despite being new, they’ve made it to the highest level of ESEA and deserve a warm welcome.