The Dire Wolves CSGO team is set to part with the organisation at the end of the month, with neither party reportedly able to agree on a contract extension.
According to RushBMedia, who first reported the news, the current roster will stick together in their search for a new home. Coach Matthew “dayV1D” David will also depart to pursue alternate opportunities.
In a statement, Dire Wolves general manager Craig Nimmo cited a “lack of opportunity in the current climate that CSGO does not provide in the region” as the major reason behind the exit from the top level of the esport.
While not ruling out a return to CS:GO, Nimmo said Dire Wolves’ focus would be on a developmental capacity, and that, “comparatively to other esports in Oceania, CSGO simply does not deliver eyeballs, have consistent coverage, nor [have a] want for content.”
“The tournament structures, organizers, and the wider scene do not provide the opportunities [that] organizations need to build audiences and partner opportunities for exposure at the cost for which a team of players expects.”
He added: “CS:GO is still an esport we would like to… have a foothold in, however, at the top level with a team that perceives their value to be what current players are expecting is just not sustainable.”
One source close to the contract negotiations indicated they fell apart as players had felt that the organisation “lacked commitment” to the team and esport.
Dire Wolves re-entered Counter-Strike following their merger with Avant Gaming in February, acquiring the core lineup of Mike “ap0c” Aliferis, Jared “HaZR” O’Bree and Euan “sterling” Moore.
The core, alongside young recruits James “SaVage” Savage and Benson “Liki” Niuila, have remained consistent in 2021 and currently sit just outside the top two in Renegades and Order. Dire Wolves’ accolades include wins at both seasons of LPL Pro League, as well as runners-up at ESL ANZ Champs Season 10.
Dire Wolves has already qualified for stage two of ESL ANZ Champs Season 11, with the team also securing an invitation to the closed qualifier of IEM Fall 2021 — OCE’s final qualifier for the Stockholm Major in October.