The Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team that currently represents TSM is regarded by many as one of the best in world. Ahead of their attendance at the latest Valve endorsed CS:GO major, they were on a hot run, and many felt they were all but guaranteed a place in the finals.
What happened instead was they were comprehensively beaten by a Ninjas in Pyjamas line-up that many felt were engaged in their farewell tour.
The result left many scratching their heads, most concluding that the Danish team “choked” when it came to the big stage. Their manager, Frederik Byskov, seemed to be made something of a scapegoat when he announced on Twitter that he was no longer working for TSM shortly after their defeat. However, sources close to the TSM organisation have explained that this was part of a long-running battle between Byskov and TSM and that it had already been confirmed before the major that regardless of results he would be removed from his position.
According to sources close to the organisation, Byskov had signed on a “trial” contract to work as a salaried team manager and coach in May, with the initial expiration date being in August. After what could only be described as a successful period, with the team winning season 4 of the Fragbite Masters and the stage 2 finals of the FACEIT league in Valencia, Byskov expected a renegotiation. That never came, and neither did any communication that he was to be dismissed. The organisation kept paying his salary. “Freddy thought everything was going well,” one source told us.
Then, prior to the latest DreamHack-ran CS:GO major in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, Byskov tried to find out what was happening with his contract, only to be told that he was surplus to requirements from an organisational perspective. The team owner, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, stated that he no longer wanted to pay Byskov for doing his job.
“Freddy was told in no uncertain terms that Regi didn’t think he was worth the money,” the source continued. “The same was repeated for the potential hiring of an analyst. They didn’t want to invest the money in the team. He was told he wouldn’t be kept on as part of TSM whatever happened at the major. This really upset the team as they all feel that Freddy is a big part of the squad and looks after them all well.”
The official termination date for Byskov was October 20. The players believed that Byskov was so vital to their success they agreed to pay him a salary out of their own income in order to keep him on board. He now works as the team’s agent.
Why the sudden turnaround in treatment towards a team that caused much jealousy when it was heralded as the highest paid back when they signed in January? The source says that the issues arose when Byskov was lobbying for his players ahead of their contract negotiations. The TSM players’ contracts expire in January, and naturally the TSM organisation were keen to have them re-sign.
“It’s obvious that TSM feel the negotiations would be easier with Freddy out the picture,” the source continued, “but it has backfired now with the players paying to keep him on as an agent. All he wants is the best deal for his players, who he has known many years before they were in TSM. Now he can talk to anyone.”
The source adds that these tensions “undoubtedly” contributed to the team’s poor showing at the major, where they were knocked out by Ninjas in Pyjamas, which Breitbart revealed were having their own internal issues.
We have reached out to TSM for comment on this story and will update our reporting when they are forthcoming with a respons.
You can follow Richard Lewis on Twitter at @RLewisReports.