ELEAGUE commissioner Min-Sik Ko announced Wednesday that the players who previously formed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams Luminosity Gaming and SK Gaming were no longer eligible to compete in the league’s first season for making roster changes that did not comply with league rules.
The suspensions of both sets of players follows a protracted contract dispute between both clubs in which SK attempted to sign all of Luminosity’s players to its roster.
The reshuffling of some of CS:GO’s most popular brands and iconic players could potentially effect ELEAGUE skin betting volumes during its penultimate matches later this month.
The recent chain of events
SK’s roster started to unravel on June 15, when former player Jacob “Pimp” Winneche signed with another CS:GO team, Team Liquid.
On June 22, SK SK announced its remaining four players would leave the team after the expiration of their contracts on June 30.
On June 24, it was reported that Luminosity and SK ended their contract dispute and that Luminosity’s roster would join SK.
As the winners of one of the league’s round-robin groups, Luminosity’s former players (who now play under the SK Gaming banner) would have automatically qualified as SK for the ELEAGUE’s quarterfinal round, which begins later this month.
Meanwhile, some of SK Gaming’s former players have since formed a new CS:GO team called Team X. Those players would have qualified for the ELEAGUE’s last-chance qualifier round next week under the Team X name.
An ESPN report in late May suggested Luminosity players had decided to continue playing under the Luminosity banner, despite signing contracts earlier this year to play under the SK banner.
A follow-up report from ESPN Wednesday night, however, suggested that seven other ELEAGUE teams threatened to back out of participation in the league if the league only punished Luminosity the organization, and not the former players who played for it.
Luminosity responsible for high skin gambling volumes
Although its CS:GO team only existed for 16 months after its February 2015 formation, Luminosity was regarded by analysts and ratings alike as one of the best, if not the best, CS:GO team in the world.
The group also won MLG Major in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this year over Natus Vincere, and was associated in the past 12 months with some of the largest CS:GO skin betting handles on record.
The ex-Luminosity players, Brazilians ‘FalleN,’ ‘coldzera,’ ‘TACO,’ ‘fer,’ and ‘fnx,’ played in nine separate matches with more than 200,000 skins wagered on CS:GO Lounge, and its Columbus championship win alone saw 307,000 skins wagered, according to Lounge data.
The players are also competing this week under the SK team name at CS:GO major ESL One Cologne.
More than 188,000 skins were wagered on the Lounge on the team’s win over G2 eSports on the tournament’s first day.
By comparison, an ESBR analysis found that the average amount of skins wagered on a given CS:GO match on the Lounge in the past 12 months is just under 44,000.