Another major has come and gone and the post-major shuffle dust seems to have finally settled or at least slowed down. Some teams have stayed with what they have and some have replaced multiple players or left the scene altogether. Now that we’ve had some time to digest the moves, let’s take a look at some teams who seemingly improved and some who were left wondering where it all went wrong.
– Miikka “suNny” Kempp, Martin “STYKO” Styk, Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný
+ Finn “karrigan” Andersen, David “frozen” Čerňanský, Özgür “woxic” Eker
Mousesports added legendary in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen, young FPL star David “frozen” Čerňanský, and awper Özgür “woxic” Eker to the lineup after crashing out of the EU Minor in January. To make room, Mousesports benched Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, Martin “STYKO” Styk, and Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný from the starting lineup. The community must have been expecting a change from Mouz after not qualifying for the IEM Katowice Major, but I don’t think many were expecting such drastic one. Adding Karrigan is a big statement of intent from Mouz going forward as the veteran has shown an ability to draw and cultivate talent. If you have been paying attention to HellRaisers then you know how strong w0xic can be on the AWP or rifle. Even if you have been paying attention this is his first big chance in one of the bigger teams in Counter-Strike so it will be interesting to see how the star play with an ultra talented lineup. I’m most interested in Ropz and Frozen’s development as riflers. I think both have insane potential and I’m hoping Frozen can meet it and Ropz can once again rise to his top form. I must say, I didn’t expect Chris “chrisJ” de Jong to survive this latest lineup shake up. Somehow he’s held onto his spot again and I think, with his veteran presence and leadership qualities, Mouz are better off for it.
– Jacob “FugLy” Medina
+ Tarik “tarik” Celik
NRG only made a single change after a disappointing showing at the major, but it’s the quality of the change that puts them in the winners category for me. I think a player like Fugly was underrated by nearly all of the community because he’s a player who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and enables the other players around him to shine and it’s yet to be seen if NRG will miss that type of player down the line. However, when you get a chance to add a major winner like Tarik to your lineup you can’t let that opportunity pass you by. I think this move puts NRG in a great position to challenge Liquid at the top of NA and long-term maybe even surpass them and challenge the best in the world.
– Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro,
+ François “AmaNEk” Delaunay.
The seemingly never ending French shuffle claimed another victim in the form of bodyy being cut by G2 after a 12th-14th placing at the IEM Katowice Major. As a fan of AmaNEK going all the way back to Misfits day it’s great to see him break through finally and be part of the big two of French CS. So far so good for AmaNEK who hasn’t had a negative series yet, but I can’t help but wonder how long the Shox IGL experiment will last this time for G2. Regardless what I think, Amanek will be one of the mainstays of French CS for the next few years at least. For bodyy it’s hard to tell what the future holds. Maybe some time out of the spotlight will help him regain his form on a smaller stage, but his recent performances are not encouraging. He is only 22 years of age so he has time to make a comeback on an international team or smaller French project.
– Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist
+ Maikil “Golden” Kunda Selim, Daniel “vice” Kim (Trial)
Cloud9 appear in the losers category not just for the moves that were made, but for the overall mess they are in terms of trying to field a stable roster. With Golden thankfully past his medical issues and ready to return to competing, this gave Cloud9 a chance to add to the core of Golden, Rush, and Autimatic and build a roster that could give C9 fans something to cheer for long-term. The rumor mill started off so well for them too. It was reported by Dust2.dk that Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke and Jakob “JUGi” Hansen were set to join the North American organization from OpTic Gaming.
Unfortunately for C9, neither of those moves panned out and Cloud9 were left scrambling close to roster lock for ESL Pro League. In the end, C9 settled for Daniel “vice” Kim from the now defunct Rogue lineup. Vice has the potential to be great in this lineup, but he’s been trying to meet his potential for what seems like years. I still believe C9 is one or two solid moves away from competing as a top dog in North America, but the roster has been in perpetual flux since the departure of Jakey “Stewie2k” Yip and Tarik “tarik” Celik.
– Entire organization from Counter-Strike
It was the same old story for Rogue’s CS:GO division as they lost Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen and Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen to OpTic Gaming in what seemed to be the straw that broke the camels back for them. It was reported by DeKay that both Asger “AcilioN” Larsen and Niels Christian “NaToSaphiX” Sillassen had accepted short notice deals to come to NA to compete under the Rogue banner, but in the end, Rogue decided to close shop completely. Rogue also lost IGL and awper Casper “cadiaN” Møller to North in September of last year, so part of me understands where they are coming from. Unfortunately, losing your best players to better teams or better paying organizations is a fact of life for teams not on top. I don’t think Rogue should return to CS:GO unless they are willing to deal with that fact long-term or are willing to buy a top roster immediately.
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