It looks as though Team Envy’s international experiment has come to an end. The North American organization has announced that it will be parting ways with its CS:GO lineup.
Today we bid farewell to Envy CS:GO.
Thank you to all of our players & staff for your time and dedication while on Envy. We wish you all the best in the future.
— Envy (@Envy) January 11, 2021
It has been a turmulous past season for many CS:GO organizations worldwide. Although the worldwide CS:GO ecosystem has been severely impacted by the ongoing covid epidemic, no region has been impacted more than North America.
With almost all of the region’s top teams moving to Europe and some of the region’s top CS:GO players moving to Valorant in search of greener pastures, the NA competitive scene is facing a crisis like never before.
Team Envy is yet another NA organization that has decided to part ways with its CS:GO roster. Although the team’s squad has been comprised out of international players for a good part of last year, its roots are still deeply embedded in North America.
After a fairly lackluster 2019 season, during which Envy struggled to obtain a spot among NA’s finest, the team took a different route for 2020. The team replaced the bulk of its core with Turkish prodigy Buğra “Calyx” Arkın, Polish entry fragger Michał “MICHU” Müller, and Canadian hopeful Kaleb “moose” Jayne, also adding longtime veteran Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninic as the team’s head coach.
After failing to make an impact in the first half of the covid-stricken season, further changes were made with LEGIJA transitioning back to a player position and the addition of British rifler Thomas “Thomas” Utting. The roster overhaul left Noah “Nifty” Francis as the only North American player on Envy’s roster.
Envy’s final roster competed at only one event together, Flashpoint Season 2, where the team finished in a solid 7-8th place despite winning only one series during the entire tournament.
What does the future hold for Envy?
Although down, Team Envy is seemingly not out. Back in November, Envy’s owner Mike “hastr0” Rufail stated that the organization will be sporting a larger budget in 2021 than the previous three years.
After being quoted on his statement by Jarek “DeKay” Lewis, hastro stated that:
“We are evaluating all of our options at the moment. Things change. Lots of variables heading into 2021. We have allocated budget, but that doesn’t mean we should spend it if we don’t feel like there is opportunity for return.”
When confronted about his intentions for the team heading forward, Rufail added:
“Actually, operating almost any CS team is lighting money on fire right now. There are no underlying assets that support the spend where top player salaries are. I’m sure you could run a fantastic team if you had unlimited cash, but what happens when you can’t cover your cost?…We are still willing to apply a good budget to CS for the right opportunity in the future. No one would be happier than me if that comes in 2021.”
As it stands, it looks as though Envy will be waiting for the CS:GO scene to stabilize in the future before reinvesting in Valve’s FPS. With the current state of the North American CS:GO scene and the pure competitiveness of EU, new teams will most certainly find it very hard to break out into the game’s limelight in the near future.