It’s no secret that the North American region has struggled in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, never producing a team that has won a major or a best player in the world, and only one top-five ranked team (excluding Liquid with s1mple/jdm64) throughout CS:GO. The only players that I have ever had ranked in my personal top-10 best players in the world were Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham (iBUYPOWER 2014), Braxton “swag” Pierce (iBUYPOWER 2014), Spencer “Hiko” Martin (Cloud9 2014), and Mike “shroud” Grzesiek (Cloud9 2015); not to mention, one of those four (swag) is currently banned. To make matters worse, there isn’t a whole lot of signs of improvement so far. There is a flashbang at the end of the smoke though, and it’s the one and only Jake “Stewie2k” Yip.
Comparing Stewie to shoxie
shox is the most well rounded player of all-time. He can rifle, AWP, in-game lead, and pistol, and dominate in every sense in any of the positions. When he is rifling, he can entry, lurk, or play his accustomary position as the mid round player, and can dominate each of these positions. There has never been a player quite like shox, until now.
Stewie is well on his way to becoming the next shox. So far, we have mainly seen his dominance online; however, more and more this beast-mode Stew is showing up on LAN. He pretty much has every single attribute that shox does; he can AWP, lurk, entry, pistol, in-game lead, you name it. If he can show up in a big way, and lead his team to winning a big European LAN, he could cement his spot on the list of top-10 players in the world.
Even look at their names in game. Sometimes just shox/Stew, sometimes Stewie/shoxie. It’s like it is fate that this is happening.
Trust in Cloud9
While they have had the second worst history in terms of roster moves in my books (CLG being the absolute worst), they actually seem to have it right currently. I know, that there are a lot of trust issues to be had when talking about C9, but mark my words, C9 is the best North American team as of now, in light of Liquid’s absolute plummit from glory after losing s1mple to Na’Vi. With C9’s sucess in the ESL Pro League, including a 2-0 win over Liquid, C9 has claimed the spot as NA’s current best team.
Comparing C9 to G2
I think C9 is in a prime position to play just as well, if not even better, than G2 did throughout this summer. Let’s compare them player for player, and style for style and you will see why.
Stew and shox, refer to above.
I will say that I do favor shox, in the sense that we have seen many more results from him, but Stew could prove me wrong in the coming months.
Second best players
n0thing and Scream.
Since I started following the scene, and understanding pro levels of CS, I have said that n0thing and Scream are the same two players. Both are very highly skilled, but never seem to put it all together to become that top-10 player we know they could be. Scream, throughout G2’s sucess, did put it together. I believe n0thing is also figuring it out. n0thing’s ceiling is much higher than anyone in the world. He could become the best player in the server on a whim, against the best players and teams in the world. This makes him more valuable than you might think.
Third best players
shroud and RpK.
Choosing between autimatic and shroud for the third best player on C9 was a tough choice. I went with shroud purely based on how he measures up to RpK, and how autimatic measures up to bodyy. shroud and RpK both have similar roles on their teams: be good. Not fantastic, not terrible, just good. They both play that kind of NBK/Xyp9x style of support; solo bombsites and so on. The difference between these two is skill. shroud is much better than RpK and I think we can all agree on that.
Fourth best players
autimatic and bodyy.
G2, before making their run to excellence, replaced their in-game leader Ex6tenz with bodyy, someone from a lesser team. C9 has just replaced their in-game leader Slemmy, with autimatic, someone from a lesser team. Odd coincidence, huh? Also, who took over in-game leading for G2? Their best player, shox. I rest my case.
In terms of a comparison, autimatic is much better, even though they play a similar style. Okay, NEXT!
Fifth best players
Skadoodle and Smithzz.
Sorry Ska fanboys, but results don’t lie. For the latter part of 2016, Ska has been the worst player on C9. The difference here is, you guessed it, Ska is extremely better than Smithzz and much more consistent. He also has a ceiling of becoming the second best AWPer in the world, while Smithzz has never even broken the top-five.
Both G2 and C9 play the same style. They play a loose, not very tactical, style that is based on teamwork and out-skilling their opponents. They play the EnVyUs/2016 Fnatic style. So you can see why I think C9 can become not only as good as G2, but even better.
Na’Vi awaits a challenger
Right now, there are no teams in the world that can challenge Na’Vi, especially with fer sidelined by an ear injury for SK. Na’Vi plays the same style as SK, so you can see where I’m going with this. I forsee a great rivalry, between the CIS machine and this NA squad, and I forsee it happening in the very near future as well. 2017 could very well be the year where North America finally brings home that major trophy.
Photo credits – HLTV.org
Do you think Cloud9 has the potential to be one of the best CS:GO teams in the world? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.