It’s not a secret that North American Counter-Strike struggles to hold a candle to the absolute blowtorch that is European Counter-Strike; it’s not really indicative of competence, but more so choice and preference.
North American players tend to prefer more ‘aggressively’ styled FPS titles such as Call of Duty, while Europeans have long-held an undying passion for Counter-Strike that has survived through thick and thin thanks to a massive players base that includes an entire continent.
Add onto this preference the fact that Riot’s Valorant is the young belle at the ball for the moment which has a heft of players in North America moving over to make a statement in the grassroots stage of the competitive scene, and North American Counter-Strike simply dried up; Valorant was drinking of a glass that was already half-empty.
This isn’t the first time that Counter-Strike has been announced as ‘dead’ along with every other juggernaut of a title ranging from World of Warcraft to Minecraft, and it also isn’t the first time that a new title has come along that readily drank from the cup of CS talent; Rainbow 6 Siege did much of the same.
It’s worth noting that Europeans attempting to get involved in an early level with Valorant are struggling in the exact same way that NA is struggling with Counter-Strike; two sides of the same coin.
With this in mind, it’s with a bit of skepticism and cynicism that many have taken the tweet coming from Evil Geniuses Tarik Celik; an outspoken member that notably hopped onto the bandwagon that was MIBR accusing Chaos Esports of cheating.
NA CS IS OFFICIALLY DEAD, I WENT & SAID IT.
PINGING EU CS FOR HELP, RT TO SPREAD AWARENESS.
— tarik (@tarik) October 13, 2020
Save us Moses
— Anthony (@vanitycsgo) October 13, 2020
Mythic gonna end up the #1 team on the continent at this rate
— dan (@memecabinet) October 13, 2020
With this being said, it’s accurate that the North American scene is struggling right now, but there have never been a number of fans (comparable to EU) that can even support more than two or three top-tier teams within NA; in the current climate of esports and Counter-Strike as a whole, not even mentioning the number of scandals that are currently rocking the boat at unprecedented levels, and it’s absolutely a rough patch.
But Counter-Strike as a whole is continuing to put up monumentally record-breaking numbers that have only increased due to the current pandemic, tournaments still have a wealth of viewers, and fans mostly aren’t looking to jump ship into Valorant with their sporadic tourneys.
Valve’s general incompetence with the anti-cheat, resulting in matches being an absolute nightmare for the vast majority of players above silver, is likely adding fuel to the fire.
Counter-Strike has survived far worse, and a continental disparity has always existed as far back as 1.6. Let’s not call the mortician just yet.