Valve Major over ESL Pro League
Another Tweetlonger to give you some transparency over our choice to pick the Valve Major (PGL Minor) over the EPL (ESL Pro League) finals in Brazil.
Before I get into it, I would also like to point out this is now the second time this has happened. In 2014 we qualified for the Faceit World Finals but had to decline because of the Cologne Asian Qualifier being on the same day in Malaysia. Two and a bit years later the system has still not been fixed. The Majors are the most important thing and I think the dates of the Major and the Qualifiers should be known at least 6 months in advance. They don't need to announce the location or even the production company who won the bid, just the dates.
Now to the main part...
Although it only got announced recently, the decision was made about two weeks ago. We obviously had to confirm our "invite" for the Minor as it was used in the press releases and to decide slot distribution for regions.
At that time, we were likely to make the EPL Finals but it definitely wasn't set in stone. The first gamble we looked at was if we decided to skip PGL and play EPL and then don't qualify for EPL (essentially missing both). We evaluated this wasn't overly likely to occur but still held some weight in the final decision.
The second thing we looked at was repercussions. We consulted EPL and PGL and the relevant rules and previous precedence. Skipping the Minor would result in us having to re-qualify through Australia for the next Minor (assuming the system doesn't change). With the way the scheduling is heading, we didn't like the chances of things not clashing again but this time for an extra qualifier.
Just to put it into perspective,
NA > AUS to play AUS qualifier
NA > Asia to play Asian qualifier
NA > to Major Qualifier
Major Qualifier to Major.
If the next Major and Qualifier were in EU, that would be 160 hours of travel to play qualifiers and the Major itself. It would be likely something decent would clash.
At no point did we consider "what if we don't qualify in Asia" or "what if we go to Brazil and don't win a game". We are playing pretty good at the moment and think we can win matches regardless of what event we chose. The added bonus of winning in Asia is it leads to another event. EPL does not.
The final thing we looked at was desire. Regardless of how big the prize pools are or exotic the location, the Majors is where it's at. We were fortunate enough to play in 3 Majors so far but have missed the last 3. We want to get back and stay back. This was our goal from the moment we signed a pro contract and will be our goal until we retire. Sure it's going to hard and at times may even look impossible but that's life. We going in and giving it everything we got. I guess we living like Renegades.
Why do you qualify in Asia if you live in NA?
Valve have expressly dictated that teams MUST qualify in the majority of their citizenship. We are all Australian, so that means Oceanic Region and therefore Asian Qualifier.
You chose to live in NA you cannot expect things to not clash?
Yes we did choose, but the issue is not just with us, EU teams have similar issues with Epicenter and the EU qualifications. in 2014 we lived in Australia and qualified as the Oceanic representative for Faceit and it still clashed with the Major. Obviously some things will clash (and have already) but it's getting worse and worse each year.
Hope that clears up some questions and gives you insight into our choice. Let me know if you have further questions.