Photo Credit (Mustafa Aren)
On the 3rd of February it was announced that Fabien “kioShiMa” Frey was joining EnVyUs, replacing Alexandre “xms” Forte. Prior to joining EnVyUs, kioShiMa had been stuck on the FaZe Clan bench, after they brought in Olof “Olofmeister” Kajbjer and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs. While the move is an upgrade on paper, and kioShiMa can be a valuable player, it doesn’t tackle the many issues that EnVyUs have had.
Ever since the French “superteam” G2 Esports formed in early 2017, EnVyUs were stuck with the leftovers of the French scene. Although they were a team of leftovers, there were still some good pieces available that EnVyUs did not pursue. Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer had been one of the star players of EnVyUs in 2014 and 2015, and an experienced in game leader. Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom had a great individual year in 2016 and Cedric “RpK” Guipouy has had his best individual year in CS:GO in 2017. Despite these good pieces, EnVyUs had a terrible year in terms of results. Their best result was a victory at DreamHack Open Atlanta, but they beat mostly Tier 2 NA and EU teams and could not replicate that form at larger events such as ESL One NYC.
The AWP issue
Outside of Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, the French scene has never been full of truly talented AWPers. The teams that did not have kennyS in their squad would mainly use the current coach of G2 Esports, Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux as their main AWPer, but seeing players like Richard “shox” Papillon and Happy picking up the boom stick is not uncommon. While both players are proficient with the weapon, neither are meant to be world class main AWPers and generally use it as a secondary AWP on the CT side of maps such as Cobblestone.
Due to the lack of good AWP talent in the French scene, EnVyUs have opted to use Christophe “SIXER” Xia in the role. Although SIXER was a good AWPer in 1.6, he hasn’t had the same individual success in CS:GO. If you compare SIXER to other AWPers on similar teams to EnVyUs, his statistics aren’t looking good.
AWP kills per round on LAN, since August 2017
The statistic doesn’t include top AWPers like GuardiaN and kennyS, but SIXER still comes in last place by a good margin. It has to be said that EnVyUs doesn’t put as much emphasis on getting the AWP in the hands of SIXER, but the amount of money you have to invest to buy an AWP makes it crucial that your primary AWPer is at least somewhat impactful.
Map pool and leadership problems
EnVyUs has not had a lot of success when it comes to defeating teams on different maps. If you look at the amount of wins they have against top 20 teams with their current lineup (including xms) it tells the entire story.
LAN wins vs top 20 teams
While they’ve been somewhat successful on Cobblestone and Inferno, the rest of the map pool leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of the two previously mentioned maps, they don’t have positive win records on LAN on any other map. Despite picking Nuke on multiple occasions, they’ve only ever had 1 LAN win on the map throughout their time as a team.
Combining that with an in-game leader who seems to be stuck in his own ways, there aren’t a lot of signs that the team will make a radical change to their approach in the near future. Happy has built his teams around his own lurking style ever since the first French shuffle in 2014. While it had a lot of success at first, teams have eventually figured it out and the impact of Happy as an individual player and his teams as a whole has dwindled.
Are there any solutions?
Adding kioShiMa to the team does look like a slight improvement. With his experience and his past success under the leadership of Happy, it looks have EnVyUs have made an individual upgrade. But without addressing the more pressing issues in the team, their ceiling still looks to be outside the top 10. To the credit of EnVyUs, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of solutions in the French scene. As far as AWPers go, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut is a player to look out for in the future, but EnVyUs have been unable to recruit him due to his desire to finish school.
Regarding their leadership, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of natural leaders in their current squad outside of Happy. One option would be to recruit the former in-game leader of VeryGames and Titan, Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans. Ex6TenZ has had limited success on his current team, LDLC, but considering the individual talent he has to work with, he has done about as well as you would expect. Due to the internal politics in the French scene of certain players not wanting to play with one another, it’s difficult to say if it’s a legitimate option for EnVyUs to recruit Ex6TenZ. But considering the issues that EnVyUs have failed to address for nearly a year, it’s certainly worth a try if the option to recruit Ex6TenZ is open.
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