KRIMZ’s Revival

The return of KRIMZ to elite level form and his mastery of the fundamentals

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Photo Credit: (DreamHack)

From Heaton and Potti’s pioneering squads to f0rest and GeT_RiGhT’s tyrannous entrance to Global Offensive, Sweden is widely regarded as Counter-Strike’s greatest nation. With Olofmeister’s wrist injury reaching fruition during 2016’s Columbus major, this ultimately marked the demise of Sweden’s last truly esteemed lineup, alongside the significant downswing of this region’s superstar player.

Since such a juncture, the greatest country of all has remained unable to produce a squad commensurate to the elite precedent set across years gone past. However, within Counter-Strike every great team is constructed about a sublime player and for the first time since Olof’s post-Columbus absence, 2018 has unveiled Sweden’s next superstar. Emerging from the shadows of eternal characterisation as Olofmeister’s partner in crime, this seasoned stalwart of old has rekindled his career into unseen heights. Burgeoning on a consistent level of brilliance only trumped by Global Offensive’s modern prodigies, welcome to the coronation of Sweden’s new king: Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson.

Phenomenal fundamentals

 In contrast to how many historically portray him, KRIMZ is no longer a traditional anchor on any map. Occupying Counter-Terrorist spots which allow plenty of freedom this Swede showcases his proficiency at juggling multiple directions of pressure, being well suited to defending from Train’s A bombsite and toilets on Overpass. On Fnatic’s well-versed maps KRIMZ and his respective site partners exhibit a wide variety of setups, keeping his opponents on the edge of their toes. Leaning ever so slightly towards the more passive end of the spectrum on the CT side, KRIMZ is extremely methodical in his approach and will consequently almost never give up a cheap opening kill.

It is a rarity for KRIMZ to play entry whilst taking map control or during executes, tending nearer the back of the pack you’ll often find him throwing the nades into trading out his teammates, or trusted with lurking whilst the bulk of forces collapse on the opposing site. À la coldzera, fnatic is justified in playing around KRIMZ in such a fashion because his decision making and mechanical ability grants the Swede incredible consistency at scoring the trade kills. KRIMZ is especially strong at anticipating and exploiting CT players peeking out, whether that be during executes, letting his teammates advance first and capitalising upon CT’s swinging out to ambush entry players, or throughout late round scenarios in which the Swede is impeccable at punishing CT’s scouting for information.

Across both sides KRIMZ is systematic in man up situations, after finding an opening kill – particularly on CT – from an aggressive stance or setup he is very disciplined in falling back when safe to do so, denying his opponents the opportunity to trade out their teammate’s death. Meanwhile, in man disadvantages the Swede is proactive in evening up the odds, correctly playing off his teammates he looks to make information plays on CT, whilst over on the Terrorist side fully utilising his gamesense to seek out a reply. Within KRIMZ’s shrewd decision making he is not scared to take forward angles and pounce upon openings, although at all times remaining well aware of his bounds. On rare occasion you will see the Swede breaking his mould on the T-side by seeking out an early aggressive entry, a change of heart likely brought on through frustration.

A particular strength for KRIMZ is an aptitude for correctly predicting Counter-Terrorist rotations: possessing an exceptional comprehension of how pressure and kills across the map causes the CT’s to rotate. KRIMZ is calculated in applying this suspected knowledge, yet confident in making high percentage plays with the information, even in man up situations. This ability commonly materialises on Inferno’s boiler area and palace/ramp on Mirage, as these positions allow him to punish rotations and on occasion break open the map. Similarly, KRIMZ understands using utility and pressure to draw specific rotations, making certain executes considerably more viable.  

Through reading the economy of his opponents, KRIMZ preemptively adjusts his approach. Recognising that their low economy buys makes certain plays more probable, CT Mirage has KRIMZ redirecting utility and attention towards palace and ramp since the opposition’s lack of utility makes an execute from these locations much more likely. On the Terrorist side KRIMZ adjusts well to having little to no resistance applied to his default spots by dropping fewer nades early and seizing upon map control more quickly. Although he takes liberties using these presumptions KRIMZ remains methodical, scarcely becoming reckless.

Due to many of the reasons already outlined, KRIMZ is tremendous in late round scenarios and afterplants. When retaking as CT his experience is obvious, recognising both when he should be pressuring or remaining passive letting his teammates take the brunt. Through understanding the goals intrinsic the executes of his opponents KRIMZ positions accordingly to punish, alongside his brilliance at playing the clock and patiently waiting out flanking players to reveal themselves this Swede is a frequent thorn in the side of Terrorist opponents. Harnessing a similarly strong grasp of pressure whilst playing T, applying his awareness and wisdom KRIMZ thrives once his teammates plant, winning out in a disproportionate number of cases.

KRIMZ’s second coming

 Following the unfortunate collapse of LGB’s Swedish lineup entering the summer of 2014, KRIMZ and Olof soon found themselves amidst the fnatic ranks, unbeknownst to the incredible success that lay ahead. To the surprise of the community, initially KRIMZ exhibited himself as the revelation of the pairing. Quickly becoming renowned for his Counter-Terrorist excellence KRIMZ helped establish fnatic as the team to beat, in tandem with a brief stint amongst the discussion for the world’s best player.

Wind forward to 2016 and following the tribulations of Fnatic post Columbus, KRIMZ entered the lows of his modern career, enduring a short spell with GODSENT into playing out fnatic’s underwhelming reunited roster from a year prior. Personally, during this period I wrote off KRIMZ as a world class player, suspecting that – in a similar vein to his team as a whole – the game had evolved from the era in which he found great success, with an unwillingness to reinvent his play causing him to drift further into mediocrity.

After the dust had settled from Golden’s arrival KRIMZ went from strength to strength, proving myself and fellow critics starkly wrong. Now prevailing as undoubtedly the de facto star player within fnatic; the first half of 2018 has seen KRIMZ playing the best Counter-Strike of his career and in a world without s1mple he would have been at minimum in contention for the number one spot on the planet. The fundamental prowess showcased in KRIMZ’s revival has brought to an end Sweden’s search for its next superstar, all that remains is for the appropriate teammates to unite around him, culminating in a crusade towards Global Offensive’s top step.

Thanks for reading, follow and tweet me @LynxxCS

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