Selfless Gaming are an active participant in the ESL Pro League, currently situated in Brazil due to a recent LAN tournament. With no European replacements for Fnatic, who recently withdrew their roster from the competition, ESL has moved forward with only five teams remaining in Group A. Every other European team appears to have declined their invitations for the event, provided that the only teams given invites were non-relegated European teams. Since the finals are taking place in Brazil anyway, would it not have made sense for Selfless to be invited given the current situation?
Selfless Gaming, founded by the CS:GO team’s coach, Steve “Ryu” Rattacassa, currently boast a formidable roster containing five of North America’s young talents. Having recently won the WESG American Finals and taking home $30k, Selfless remained in Brazil amidst the news of Fnatic’s dropout. The withdrawal of the European giants came as a shock to the community as Fnatic would be debuting their new lineup, following the recent roster swap with GODSENT.
Personal commitments would ultimately have blocked Fnatic from attending either way, following suit with many other top teams who similarly declined invites due to time constraints or difficulties. It’s odd to think that Selfless may never have been considered as Fnatic’s natural replacement.
I wonder if we could’ve attended since we were already in Brazil with visas. No one ever reached out though https://t.co/RZJuFNGtB7
— Ryu (@SelflessRyu) 24 October 2016
In ESL’s initial announcement, it clearly stated that the organisers had only contacted European participants who had not been relegated or were not currently participating in relegation matches. This is where Selfless may have encountered issues – Selfless placed 12th with a 7-19 record. In accordance with ESL’s conditions, Selfless should not participate due to being a potentially relegated team in their current situation. The issue of relegation does seem to be the only factor preventing the squad from taking part – could the rules not be bent given the circumstances?
FYI: We believe our visas will allow us to play in the @ESLCS Finals in Brazil, and are working to contact them to explore the option.
— Selfless Gaming (@SelflessGG) 24 October 2016
If Selfless are not invited to participate, the finals would continue with an uneven number of teams in Group A. Group B would have their 6 confirmed teams, but Group A would only pitch 5 confirmed teams. If Selfless Gaming filled the vacant slot, the balance would be restored.
Critics of the potential move could certainly argue that Selfless are inferior to the competition at the ESL LAN Finals. Considering that Selfless’ roster is stacked with budding young stars with little-to-no experience, it’s understandable to believe that that they’d be crushed easily, given the stiff competition. However, Selfless have already proved that theory wrong during their appearances at ELEAGUE. The majority of their matches at ELEAGUE were highly contested matches against their competition in Group B.
With the possible opportunity to gain experience and prove their critics wrong at the ESL LAN Finals, Selfless would jump at the opportunity to participate in a heartbeat. The ESL LAN Finals will attract a substantial number of viewers, with estimates ranging up to 500,ooo.
From ESL’s perspective, should Selfless not participate, their sponsors would be provided with less airtime to show off their commercials pertaining to their products. Contrastively, if Selfless participate, ESL have the opportunity to broadcast more games – returning the original amount of airtime promised to the sponsors – a win-win situation surely? It seems illogical to stick to the rule book so stringently when a simple solution would be so beneficial for both parties.