Regarding TL CS:GO upcoming schedule
After much consideration, and thanks to a changing schedule for us this year, I’m happy to announce we will be attending the GG.BET Cologne Invitational which will award an invitation to ESL One Cologne for the winner. We understand that this announcement comes quite late, and we would like to apologize to fans who may be affected by our delayed notice of attendance. In this post, I also want to give some context as to our decision making process and the things we keep in mind when we’re lining up events for the year.
One of our priorities as a team this year is to manage our playing schedule better, in order to avoid burnout and mental fatigue. As much as we value stage experience, we attempted the strategy of accepting the majority of invitations that came our way last year, and it came at a significant cost.
First, last year’s schedule left us constantly fatigued and emotionally drained. Being able to come home, reset ourselves, and have lives outside the tournament circuit has been a real boost to our team’s mental state and morale.
Second, last year’s grueling schedule left us with no time to study and revise our strategies, which meant that we had no choice but to reuse the same strats between tournaments. This is not how professional Counter-Strike should be played, and it affected the quality of our performances. We’re proud of our improved recent performance, and it’s a result of our more mindful approach to Counter-Strike’s continually evolving meta. Our best chance to win is to enter each tournament with a ready mind and a ready playbook
When we looked at our current commitments and traveling schedule, attending ESL One Cologne would have meant an extra two weeks in Europe — more time on the road and less time to train or to revisit any strategies.
If we are to attend every tournament as scheduled, we would be on the road for 2 consecutive months without a break, living from our suitcases and hopping from one tournament to the next. First, we have cs_summit in LA, then DreamHack Dallas immediately after that. Should we qualify for ECS, we then need to fly to London for the event, and stay in EU to bootcamp in Malta for ESL Pro League Finals in Montpellier a week later. ESL One Cologne would be our final tournament in Europe before returning to the US for BLAST LA and, should we be invited, IEM Chicago.
On the other hand, if we do not qualify for ECS and do not attend ESL One Cologne, then that would then result in significant downtime — and missed opportunities. Plus, it would mean sacrificing the opportunity to play at one of our favorite tournaments for limited return.
With our qualification for ECS Finals still uncertain, we reassessed our plans for the upcoming two months and decided to take the risk and accept our invitation to the Cologne Invitational. We would like to thank everyone — from our fans to ESL — for being patient with us as we try to find the right balance between competing, preparing, and resting.
Finally, we would like to make it clear that we do not take tournament invitations for granted. We appreciate every opportunity to play in the biggest tournaments in the world, especially in storied venues like Cologne. However, the reality of being a professional player includes time management, prioritization, and of course, sacrifices. The next two months will be exhausting, but we hope to come home with a couple of new trophies in our suitcases.