Photo Credit: (WESG)
Once the best
Team EnVyUs was once the best team in the world, with a Major title under their belt from Cluj-Napoca. Now it is not even the best team in France . Following the third French shuffle of players at the start of 2017, Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer lost three teammates to G2 Esports, with only Christophe "SIXER" Xia remaining. The team formulated from the scraps of the French scene.
Four of G2 have worn nV jerseys in their careers, with Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro having been a stand-in during a best-of-three at Fragbite Masters Season 4 and against PENTA at Counter Pit League. The organisation is iconic across all esports, not just Counter Strike. But what level is the CS:GO team right now?
EnVyUs were semifinalists at DreamHack Valencia, losing to NiP and were the winners at DreamHack Atlanta 2017, beating Heroic in the final. Despite this, the team has not been successful at high-tier events. At DreamHack Masters Malmo, EnVyUs finished bottom of their group without a single match win. This feat was repeated at ESG Tour Mykonos and ESL One: New York. The latter being particularly frustrating for fans as the team had knocked out Krakow champions Gambit Esports, G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas from the qualifier, only to finish last in the event.
ELEAGUE was a chance for EnVyUs to prove themselves and prove they were worthy of holding a place among the top teams in the world. Even though they were the underdog of Group C, they were not the only team hoping to recapture former glory by making it to the playoffs. Cloud9 were the first North American team to win a premier international event in ten years, but that event was back in 2016. NiP were the dominant team when CS:GO was released as the successor to Counter Strike: Source, at one point, going on a now legendary winning map streak of 87-0. Virtus.Pro were also once the best team in the world, but their recent slump has lasted almost a year, with a win at Adrenaline Cyber League 2017 against Natus Vincere and a semifinal finish at PGL Major Krakow being the only highlights since February.
EnVyUs had to take the scenic route to make the playoffs at ELEAGUE. In their opening match against Virtus.Pro, various anti-eco plays, ScreaM's signature one-taps and RpK's consistent fragging won them the match. A hard loss to Cloud9 on Train, with only two rounds won, meant a best-of-three against Ninjas in Pyjamas. While it was not the cleanest of routes, EnVyUs' performance showed the strengths and weaknesses of the roster.
RpK has become a reliable powerhouse for EnVyUs after taking time out from CS when he retired in 2013. He managed a strong 31 kills with 139.2 as his average damage per round and a KAST of 95.5% against Virtus.Pro. Despite the heavy loss against C9, RpK got 12 frags. Across the three maps against NiP, RpK had 20 more kills than his closest teammate, with 72 top fragging on every single map. The clear issue is RpK's fragging ability not being enough alone to carry EnVyUs to victory every time when his teammates cannot always match his ability nor the competition.
An ensemble of talent
SIXER, the holder of the legendary Dragon Lore AWP ‘Magic Stick’ previously owned by Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, is seen as an inconsistent sniper. Group C has far more impressive and infamous AWP talent: Cloud9’s Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham, one of NA’s best AWP players and NiP’s William "draken" Sundin, whose infamous flicks make up for some of the more straightforward shots he misses in matches. The major gap left by kennyS on the team makes it hard for any player to fill the role, especially when there is not a large pool of French-speaking AWPers out there.
When ScreaM left G2 Esports, many fans believed the 'headshot machine' with his signature one-taps was worth keeping. Richard "shox" Papillon explained that it was ScreaM's lack of versatility and the need for players to adapt on the fly that meant he didn't stay with the team. With a rating of 1.10, he is the highest rated player on EnVyUs right now.
xms is to Team EnVyUs what bodyy is to G2 Esports. Sharing more than a first name, both 20-year-old talents having played under Platinum-Servers and LDLC before finding a place in their current rosters. As the most inexperienced member of EnVyUs, his own experiences against top-level teams have often been limited to disappointing losses.
When looking at the rest of the qualified teams in Group A and B, you have the reborn FaZe Clan, French superteam G2, the rising Danish squad of North and the legendary Fnatic infused with new blood on the roster. Group D will play this weekend, with the best team in the world SK Gaming, former best team in the world Astralis, North America’s best Team Liquid who have been in incredible form in recent tournaments and Heroic, a team that beat North despite losing rising star Valde to them only a month ago.
EnVyUs have already done better than many expected, making it out of the groups for the first time in three events, but with rumors circulating of roster changes, players under-performing and French player and former member of EnVyUs Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey recently being benched from the FaZe Clan roster, Team EnVyUs' ELEAGUE group stage tour de force seems unlikely to bring the team back to their old form when competition is just too strong.
Do you see Team EnVyUs making top placements in the future? Comment below!