Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey and Richard “shox” Papillon are reportedly two of the top candidates to replace Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, who was benched by Vitality last week. But kioShiMa would be a better choice for the team.
Vitality said that NBK-‘s benching was because the team allegedly reached its limits with two in-game leaders, NBK- and Alex McMeekin. This is likely true since Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, one of Vitality’s riflers, told HLTV during the Major that he didn’t feel comfortable in this tactical system anymore.
KioShiMa has never been the in-game leader for any of the teams he’s played on throughout his career, while shox has been G2’s captain for more than two years except when the team added Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans on June 18. That’s why kioShiMa would be a good fit for Vitality since he’d only focus on his individual play.
Shox, on the other hand, might be tempted to offer his input more often after a few months, especially if things don’t click in the server. Several in-game leaders have said that it’s difficult to play in another system than your own once you’ve previously led a squad.
Aside from their roles, both players should provide an upgrade in terms of firepower compared to NBK-. KioShiMa has better numbers in terms of rating, according to HLTV. He has a 1.12 in LAN tournaments played in 2019. But he’s only played 25 maps on LAN this year. Shox is right behind him with a 1.11 across 110 maps played. NBK- is sitting at a 1.03, but he wasn’t put in positions to frag a lot during the matches.
But it’s unclear how Vitality is going to select its next player. The French scene is usually surrounded by drama involving its players and some of them don’t get along. KioShiMa, for example, has been kept off of top French teams since he left Team Envy in 2016. He played for FaZe Clan and Cloud9—both international rosters—aside from a stint with Envy again in 2018 on a much weaker team.
There have been rumors that kioShiMa is a toxic player since Kenny “kennyS” Schrub said that he was the problem on Envy in 2016, but those rumors have never been publicly confirmed by any player. So, in theory, shox has a better relationship with some of the Vitality players, like apEX and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, who he’s played with in the past.
Vitality have a few weeks to decide their fifth player since they’re one of the teams attending DreamHack Masters Malmö, starting on Oct. 1.