French curse: why SmithZz isn’t the problem for G2

G2 lacks firepower and have failed to impress much thus far, but the problem is not a single player's performance.


Photo Credit: (DreamHack)

G2 Esports has problems. That statement isn’t a revelation. Those searching for something or someone to blame might point towards SmithZz as the source. While SmithZz has under-performed, it would be impossible to say otherwise, G2’s issues go far deeper than one player’s individual level.

Flown the sniper’s nest

G2’s firepower must come from shox and kennyS consistently fragging and while shox has been stepping up recently in this new roster, kennyS looks a shadow of his former self. While his LAN results are consistent, kennyS has seen a drop in stats compared to last year. While the old lineup was more successful and relied less on Kenny for firepower, the 1.18 rating of 2017 compared to 1.09 for this year so far shows a drop in performance for the star AWPer who now has less competition on his team when hunting for frags.

Whether it is a matter of motivation or the way he is playing, kennyS needs to shine again for G2 to challenge the teams around them as, without him, the firepower is simply not there. The likes of SIXER are unlikely to challenge Kenny for his spot on the best French team right now, but after the brief trial with mixwell, G2 may consider international options in the future if the team fails to find success.

No third star

Bodyy has only gone positive in one LAN event this year since ELEAGUE Boston in January and that was at DreamHack Open Valencia where G2 were unexpectedly eliminated in the group stage. He has consistently been the third best performing player for the team, but he has been far from a third star.

A reliable third star fragger is needed for when shox and/or kennyS are not in peak form and bodyy is not fulfilling that role right now. Ex6TenZ and SmithZz will rarely be the topfraggers for this roster, but they do have a purpose within the team. They were the two people shox and kenny wanted to play with. bodyy was the one member who was not initially backing the project and feels increasingly like a Major spot securer who could be upgraded.

A king with no crown

By the end of the superteam, it was clear that no amount of big names and French talent could survive long term without clear leadership. It was shox who wanted to bring back Ex6TenZ, the leader he spurned for bodyy in April 2016 and who subsequently spent two years in Team LDLC. 

Ex6TenZ is the best IGL in the French scene. With Happy now playing under NBK making far from his debut as a leader, there is no real challenger to the title. What made Ex6TenZ legendary was his strict, stern calling and strong tactical mindset. This is what many imagined he would be bringing to the lineup as he has brought to countless lineups in the past across Source and GO.

Now, G2 looks unstructured and unruly on the server. The Ex6TenZ of old would have not allowed this to happen and would have brought the discipline needed to stop the volume of panicked plays or foolish errors the team produces. Ex6TenZ is the second member of G2 not expected to frag, but in order to justify his return, he needs to find a way to be an invaluable IGL rather than simply a name in the server with a lack of impactful frags or strats.

‘The problem’

Not kioShima this time, but SmithZz. The player being thrown to the wolves as G2’s crux. shox’s benching from the ‘superteam’ came after he expressed a desire to bring back SmithZz and Ex6TenZ, wanting to play with his best friend and old leader over NBK and apEX. 

Shox has been able to come alive more often since SmithZz’ return, with some glimmers of the old monster shox is capable of still becoming in the server online and at LAN tournaments. While SmithZz has had far less incredible performances, he is a key motivating factor for shox and no one in the French scene seems to have a bad word to say about him on a personal level. Cramming superstars into a team hasn’t worked in the past for France and SmithZz’ presence brings team chemistry in and out of the server. 

It is easy to look towards SmithZz as G2’s biggest problem, but it would be a mistake of the past repeated to try pin all of the blame on a single member of the team, failing to acknowledge a plethora of other factors that all need to be addressed.

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Phoebe Dua

I'm a UK-based student who enjoys sports of multiple varieties, but has a soft spot for esports.

I used to co-host the Clucking Karambit podcast, now podcastless.

Follow me on Twitter - @Dualism97!

 

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