Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans is one of the greatest leaders in CS:GO history. Known for being one of the tactical masterminds of the game, it’s easy to see what kind of value Ex6TenZ can bring to a team. Back in 2013, his VeryGames lineup became the first team to definitively dethrone Ninjas in Pyjamas, and take the title of best team in the world. But unfortunately for Ex6TenZ, his career has been all downhill ever since his rise to the top. With the rumoured roster changes to G2 Esports, he has been left out in the cold once again.
Not the best, but better than all the rest
Ex6TenZ is a player that by all means should still play an important role in the French scene to this day. At least in theory. The scene already has plenty of firepower from the likes of Richard “shox” Papillon and Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, as well as good role players like Dan “apEX” Madesclaire and Nathan “NBK” Schmitt. But what the French scene severely lacks is a leadership figure that can make all the pieces work together.
Being a leader is becoming more and more difficult in modern CS:GO. Not only are you expected to be perfect when it comes to the tactical side of the game, but many people also expect you to frag at a high level. But the players in CS:GO history who have been able to do both at a high level are very few and far between. In fact, you can probably count them on one hand.
Instead, when you look at what the French scene has to offer, nobody has been able to lead the same way as Ex6TenZ in the entire history of the scene. Back in 2014 and 2015, the LDLC/EnVyUs lineups lead by Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer were able to make their very loose style work, but ever since then, it has been a struggle for the French to reach the top. Both shox, Happy, and even NBK have had several opportunities to lead teams, but have had limited success in doing so.
During that same time, Ex6TenZ was stuck in LDLC working with very little talent. Keep in mind that this was the LDLC without Francois “AmaNEk” Delauney and David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic. Instead, Ex6TenZ was working with the likes of Mathieu “Maniac” Quiquerez and Timothee “DEVIL” Demolon. Despite the severe lack of firepower, they managed to avoid relegation in ESL Pro League on several occasions. As soon as they removed Ex6TenZ from the team, LDLC were immediately relegated from ESL Pro League in the following season.
A lacklustre return to the top
When G2 Esports recruited Ex6TenZ in 2018, it was supposed to be his glorious return to the top. Shox wanted to get away from the role of in-game leader, as the team hadn’t achieved the results they wanted. At the same time, shox himself hadn’t been able to frag at a high level like you would expect from a player of his caliber. In theory, Ex6TenZ would implement a tactical style with support from Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux and Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro. Perhaps more importantly, he was supposed to be the one who could make shox and kennyS play at a superstar level on the same team at the same time. Unfortunately, none of this became reality.
The reality was that the squad was severely lacking in several areas. Firepower became a massive issue as neither bodyy nor SmithZz had the capability of being the third star and giving shox and kennyS the proper aid in the fragging department. At the same time, kennyS performed below expectations, leaving the team to be entirely reliant on shox. G2’s map pool was almost nonexistent, and their terrorist sides left a lot to be desired from a tactical perspective. In fact, the team looked nothing like Ex6TenZ teams of the past.
One can only speculate as to why G2 looked the way they did. Has Ex6TenZ lost his ability to lead a team? Did he allow other members in the team to have too much influence and freedom? While it’s a big disappointment regardless of the reason, one has to seriously doubt that it’s because of the former.
This is not the end
If Ex6TenZ did indeed not get to implement his own style in its entirety on G2, he should not let this be the end of his career. It’s inevitable that another French team will fall apart, more than likely due to leadership issues. Shox has shown throughout 2017 that he doesn’t have the ability to be an in-game leader long term. NBK has never been able to lead a team at a high level and has quit the role on multiple occasions. Happy has not adapted his style to the modern meta-game in CS:GO, resulting in the disastrous EnVyUs towards the end of 2017. The only other options for the French scene is to gamble on a name like Alex “ALEX” McMeekin or Engin “MAJ3R” Kupeli. Something they haven’t been willing to do thus far.
The other option for Ex6TenZ is to leave the French scene entirely. Despite not doing many interviews, Ex6TenZ can speak English, and joining an international team would be a good opportunity for him to hit the reset button. Perhaps going overseas to a North American team could even be an option if he is willing to do so.
The key is that we need to see the old Ex6TenZ. Not the guy in G2 who could barely make the team play more than two maps. We need to see the tactical mastermind. The guy that took VeryGames to the top in 2013. The guy that consistently lead Titan to take Fnatic to the limit in 2015 despite a significant firepower disadvantage. The guy that has allowed both shox and kennyS to play at the highest level we have ever seen from either of them.
If his career ends with this disaster of a team, it would be one of the biggest shames in the game's history. It’s time for Ex6TenZ to start his redemption arc, there is still a great leader left in there somewhere.
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