Photo Credit: (Epicenter)
With rostermania ending, most teams have their lineups locked in, at least for the foreseeable future. But there are still free agents out there who didn’t get picked up. In this article we take a look at the 10 biggest free agents in CS:GO.
I have included players who have been benched from their team and look like they won’t be coming back to the starting lineup anytime soon. But the CS:GO landscape is changing quickly, so who knows if any of these players will even be free agents in a few days time.
10. Jacob “Pimp” Winneche (Denmark)
Pimp has been a free agent ever since he left the North American squad of Team Liquid. Back in 2015, Pimp was one of the main stars of Team Dignitas, before he picked up the AWP and became a much weaker player. On Team Liquid, Pimp wasn’t given much of a chance to shine. Playing a supportive role on a team full of internal issues, naturally leads to a worse performance. While it seems unlikely that Pimp can come back to his 2015 form, there are teams out there who could use an experienced, supportive rifler. Teams that come to mind are the Danish squad of Heroic, or perhaps an international squad like HellRaisers.
9. Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans (Belgium)
In what was one of the more surprising move of rostermania, LDLC removed their veteran in-game leader Ex6TenZ from the team. Judging by their performance in the ESL Pro League thus far, the move hasn’t exactly helped their situation.
Ex6TenZ is one of the most storied in-game leaders in CS:GO. Captaining teams like VeryGames and Titan, he has won a significant amount of championships throughout his career. His most recent run with LDLC didn’t lead to any titles, but considering the amount of talent in the squad, he did about as well as you would expect. With his leadership capabilities and experience, he could be a valuable addition to a team like EnVyUs if they want a different captain. The problem for Ex6TenZ when it comes to free agency is his unwillingness to speak English and be on an international lineup. While he has limited options within the French scene, going international could be exactly what Ex6TenZ needs to revive his career.
8. Sean “seangares” Gares (United States)
The status of seangares playing career is currently unknown, but if he wants to continue playing, he can still be a valuable addition to most teams in North America. His most recent stint on Misfits resulted in a good run towards the end of the year, and seangares showed that he can still lead a team to good results. His fragging abilities are not the greatest, but his leadership alone makes him a valuable addition to a lot of teams. Although Cloud9 and Team Liquid might not be the ones to come calling, North American teams below that tier could look towards seangares if they are in need of a new in-game leader.
7. Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas (Poland)
The past year in the career of TaZ has not exactly gone to plan. After a long period of internal issues and lack of results he was removed from the longest standing lineup in CS:GO, Virtus.pro. While it didn’t work out towards the end of his run in Virtus.pro, TaZ can still be a valuable player for a different team. His individual skill level has in CS:GO has never been great, but his experience and leadership qualities are worth their weight in gold. The Polish teams below Virtus.pro have never had a lot of success in CS:GO, and perhaps the leadership of TaZ is exactly what they need. Teams like AGO Gaming and Kinguin seem like the most obvious destinations for TaZ in the future. At the same time, TaZ also has the option go with an international lineup, but there aren’t any obvious teams out there for him to join at the moment.
6. Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert (United States)
While the status of n0thing is still up in the air, he still deserves a spot on this list. Being one of the most experienced players in North America, n0thing could bring a lot of experience to any team he joins. Combine that with his, at times, crazy aim and his marketability, it’s once again only Cloud9 and Team Liquid that should look past the American player. Something we haven’t seen for a long time in CS:GO is n0thing in a star role. While he can’t fulfil that role on a top team like Cloud9, he could play more of a star role on a lesser team. Just like with the other North American players on this list, it’s difficult to say where exactly n0thing would end up. There is no team in North America that looks like an obvious candidate to take the spot right behind Cloud9 and Team Liquid as the third best team in the region. With that said, the most important factor in all of this is n0thing himself. If he is willing to come back and play, there are a lot of teams that could use him.
5. Francois “AmaNEk” Delaunay (France)
AmaNEk had a breakout year in 2017. Being one of the biggest stars on the now disbanded Misfits team, he proved that he had the ability to frag against all kinds of competition. His experience playing on an international team and living in North America could also prove to be valuable in the future. On February 13th, AmaNEk tweeted that he would compete from France soon. Whether that means playing for a French team or simply living in France and playing for an international squad is unclear. His options in his home country are limited. EnVyUs and G2 Esports are unlikely to make changes in the near future, and LDLC does not seem like a desirable destination. One option could be to form a team with the other free agents in the French scene. The aforementioned Ex6TenZ and players like devoduvek and xms are all free agents that could form a solid lineup.
4. Josh “jdm64” Marzano (United States)
Although jdm’s most recent run on Team Liquid ended with him getting replaced, he is still one of the very best AWPers in North America. In his current form jdm is not a star on the world stage, but within the North American region he still has the capability of being a star player. That is especially true if he was to join a lesser team in the region. North America is lacking AWPers, so jdm shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a team. A possible destination could be compLexity Gaming, where he would play with his former CLG teammate and in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta.
3. Richard “Xizt” Landström (Sweden)
Xizt is now a free agent for the first time in his CS:GO career. The former NiP in-game leader has not been in great individual form as of late, but free agency might be a blessing in disguise for the Swede. Xizt has been an in-game leader for most of his CS:GO career despite not always exceeding at the role. With no other player in the NiP squad being able to do the role since Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson left the team in 2014, Xizt drew the short end of the stick and had to put his individual play aside for the greater good of the team. Getting away from the role and devoting his full attention to fragging on a lesser team might be what Xizt needs to rejuvenate his career. The obvious destination for Xizt would be Godsent, a team that hasn’t had much success as of late. If he doesn’t end up joining Godsent, he would have to look for an international squad, as the options within Sweden would be very limited. A team like HellRaisers could use a player with the experience of Xizt to guide their younger players and play a supportive role in the lineup.
2. Aleksi “allu” Jalli (Finland)
Allu’s latest run on OpTic Gaming was unsuccessful in terms of results, but he still showed that he had the ability to be a good fragger. Before that, he had a good run on FaZe, until he was replaced by one of the best AWPers in the world, Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs. Allu has always had the ability to put up solid numbers on the AWP no matter the opponent which could make him a valuable addition to a lot of teams. His native country of Finland has no top teams, but should he want to join a team like HAVU, he could most likely get a spot on the team tomorrow. The more likely option for allu is that he goes to an international team as he has done for most of his CS:GO career. The most prominent international rosters of FaZe Clan, Mousesports and HellRaisers all have good AWPers, so allu might have to wait a while before he can get back to the top of the CS:GO scene.
1. Oscar “Mixwell” Canellas
Mixwell is the most skilled free agent out there at the moment. His ability to be a star player on both the rifle and the AWP is a rare quality in the CS:GO scene and is something that makes him a desirable addition for many teams. One of the key aspects of Mixwell’s free agency is his announcement that he is taking French classes. If he is able to learn French well enough to communicate with a team, he could quickly become one of the top players in the French scene. A team like EnVyUs has been lacking an AWPer for a long time and adding Mixwell to fill that role would be a massive upgrade for the team. It’s unlikely that he could ever take over the AWP role from Kenny “kennyS” Schrub on G2 Esports, but joining the team as a rifler in the future, is not impossible. In terms of international squads, it’s unlikely that he would replace one of the star players on FaZe Clan or Mousesports, but any team below that tier should definitely want a player like Mixwell in their squad.
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