• Ryan Friend

Ruggah: "We want to find a new home, but we want it to be the right home."

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

(Photo Credit: Dreamhack)

OpTic Gaming are looking for a new home after Immortals Gaming Club purchased OpTic’s parent company Infinite Esports and Entertainment in June of this year. They’ve yet to find that home and to make matters worse one of their more recent additions, Rene “cajunb” Borg, is reportedly on his way to Danish rivals North. We sat down with the coach of OpTic, Casper “Ruggah” Due, at ESL One: New York and discussed the team’s current situation and how potential big money tournaments and leagues have affected their contract decisions. Your current situation has to be rough. Are you content waiting out your contracts or are you actively looking for new orgs?

It is rough. Especially when it's out of your own hands with someone else deciding what's happening. Do we want to compromise or not? It's a mess pretty much. I think everything depends on the time schedule. Obviously, we want to find a new home and Immortals and OpTic want us to find a new home, but we want it to be the right home. We don't want to take the first thing that comes along. The contract situation is tough because we have two players not on contracts and obviously they want to make a living out of this. And then the three players on contracts have different contract lengths. We are trying to find the best and optimal solution in the nearest future.

And how has the support for competing at events been from Immortals?

So far everything has been working really well as if we're the only team in the org. Which is huge kudos to them. They helped us finance our bootcamp so we could prepare for the

upcoming tournaments. Everything we have wanted from their side and everything they've wanted from our side we have managed to find solutions. It's pretty smooth so far despite the dark clouds over the situation.

To switch gears a bit, there's so much money coming into esports these days with VC firms starting up organizations and buying out contracts. How much of that has affected you guys and how much do you think about what your fair market value is and what buyouts should be?

We aren't thinking about it right now, but when we sign our next contracts it's definitely something to keep in the back of our minds. Normally when we've signed our contracts we've known what's six to twelve months ahead. With all the rumors about new leagues and tournaments, it's really important you pick the best things to be a part of, but also you have to pick a contract that lets you choose what you want to do. That's something we speak internally about because if a big league comes along you want to be a part of it as competitors, but also we want what's best for the players. We have said we aren't open to fully relocate to NA, but obviously we have no problem going to NA for a few weeks or more if a tournament or league requires it. We just need more information before we make a decision.

You have organizations like 100 Thieves coming out saying they want to build a championship caliber roster and then you have Dignitas talking about bringing on a team in the next month or so. You see all these NA orgs with big money trying to potentially bring teams to NA. Do you think that it's really feasible that all these orgs can bring top teams from EU to North America?

It's really hard to keep a perspective on things when it comes to the potential big money leagues or NA orgs joining the CS:GO system. We're so used to the open-circuit system where you can build your way up the ranks and potentially earn a big contract. With potential franchising or whatever's going to happen it will change the dynamic. That's something we in the CS:GO community need to know so we know what's going to happen with us. We don’t want to join a big league and then be forced to miss big tournaments like Cologne and/or the Major for example. Everyone wants to see how everything fits together before they commit to something permanent.

Talking about Cologne, the prize pool will be $1 million moving forward and they have a points system for qualifying. What are your thoughts on that system?

I think it's a really good idea even though I haven't seen all the details yet. From our side it's really positive and it gives teams like us a chance to qualify by winning smaller tournaments like we did for Malmö. Keeping the system open, but still giving the bonus of winning smaller events is a cool idea.

What does the next month look like for you guys?

From Malmö we go directly to ESL Pro League in London so we will have had 20 straight days on the road with all the jet lag and such, but for us it's about seizing our chance instead of complaining about our situation and jet lag. We will just make the best of it. OpTic Gaming begin their ESL Pro League run with an opening match against FaZe in Group A tomorrow.


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