The Next Shuffle? Hypothetical Outside Of the Box Roster Swaps
Could any of these French take their talents to North America?
After many prominent teams within the scene failed quite miserably at MLG Columbus, the 8th CS:GO major, many are expecting there to be shuffles of some sort. Here are some possible shuffles that might/could/should happen, although each of these are very unlikely.
Faze: -Fox +pimp
This is something that has gone largely undetected due to even larger falloffs by the French, but Faze has had some serious issues. The team once heralded as the “superstar team,” with lots of aimers and stars, they have taken a steep falloff recently. They have struggled a lot online, being 3-9 thus far in the ESL pro league, and they failed to make it out of groups at MLG Columbus. Granted, they were entirely screwed over by Liquid’s upset over Fnatic, but Liquid was only allowed to make that upset because Faze could not beat them on day 1.
It has long been assumed that if Faze were to kick a player, Fox would be the first to go. And this would be the correct move to make. Kicking Fox, the AWP only player, would allow for Maikelele to make a return to the AWP. Maikelele struggles with rifles, and it is very apparent that Maikelele is much more comfortable with the sniper. But since Fox is a one trick warrior, Maikelele rifles the majority of the time on this team, even though Maikelele is a better AWPer than Fox, and certainly has a higher skill ceiling, which is what this team was built around.
My replacement for this team would be Pimp. In my opinion, the addition of Pimp would help complete this team. In my opinion, this team doesn’t need another pure aimer. That experiment failed. The highest it was ever going to get happened at Cluj-Napoca, when they lost in a nail biter to eventual champs, nV, in the semi-finals. This team needs a player who will put his teammates in front of them . The best player who fits this mark that is available to Faze is Pimp. Even though Pimp is in a contract with SK, Faze has the money to buy out that contract. Pimp is reliable, consistent, and as stated by Thoorin, “Yet there's no player you can rely on in the Danish scene like Pimp. Don't tell him it's impossible to win, he won't believe you. Don't tell him his team isn't good enough to make it, he won't stop. Don't tell him the opponent is better, he knows it doesn't matter. His heart cannot be defeated” That is exactly what Faze need. They need the player who will drive them to win those close games that they always seemingly lose. Pimp is the player who would put Faze back somewhere around the top-6, and they could be poised to make a run deep into some large tournament.
Although unlikely to happen, as for whatever reason Faze seems highly infatuated with Fox, this change would improve Faze’s teamwork, drive to win, and would allow for Maikelele to return to the AWP.
Cloud9: -Freakazoid/Stewie/N0thing +Shox/Happy/Ex6tenz/Kioshima
This one is slightly more complicated, and even more unlikely to happen. Nobody can deny that Cloud9 has issues, and nobody can deny that the French scene has issues. While the French scene is almost definitely going to shuffle, I believe cloud9 should as well. Cloud9 does not have the firepower to simply run over the European teams, and they are nowhere close to having the strats to grind through the Europeans. On top of that, having Freakazoid and Stewie2k on the same team is literally pointless. They are both primary entry fraggers, and do not fit in any other roles. So one of, if not both, would have to go. Then there is still also the problem of n0thing being IGL. While they did recently add a coach, I do not believe he is going to IGL, or even be that committed to the team. Some interesting possible options would be to try to snag some of the French players during their shuffle. Any of these French players could help make the difference in c9, as they would add needed experience, extra skill, winning mentalities, and depending on who they snag, re-add the tactics into their game that have been missing since Seangares left Cloud9.
The easiest of these available options, at least from the ORG’s P.O.V, would be kioshima. Kioshima is currently not on a roster, so cloud9 would not have to pay a buyout fee. While kioshima wouldn’t necessarily solve all of the problems I mentioned, I believe Kioshima could still be a solid pickup. With his former teammates bashing his work ethic and commitment, Kio could be on a mission to prove he is still a top level player. Kioshima has much more skill than that of Stewie or Freakazoid, so picking him up could help close the gap between teams such as Liquid and Luminosity, in terms of skill. In this scenario, I would prefer to see Kioshima replace Stewie, as Kio fits much better in a bit slower paced team (hence his struggles in nV version 2), so Stewie and Kio would have contrasting play styles. Add in that Freakazoid, known team motivator, could help Kio rediscover the will to win.
My next scenario would be for c9 to cut Freakazoid, and woefully part ways with n0thing. Unfortunately, he would be the man left out of my next team, which would be -Freak -n0thing +shox +ex6tence. I am not sure if this lineup is even feasible, as I am not quite sure as to the level of ex6tenz’s english. But for the sake of this article, let's pretend his english is good enough. This proposed lineup, would have the hypothetical possibility to be a superteam in the future. The addition of ex6tenz would replace the void left when seangares left. Shox would add huge amounts of firepower by replacing Freakazoid. Added on top of that, ex6tenz and Shox could be incredible tutors to stewie2k. They could very effectively teach him about the way CS should be played. Stewie has tons of raw skill, and growing behind a veteran like Shoxie could help him grow tremendously. If everything worked in this team, meaning ex6tenz could train Stewie, and the language barriers weren’t a factor, this team would be very interesting to watch.
My 3rd and last scenario would be -Freak/stewie +Happy. This is my personal favorite and would be the best fit for this cloud9 team. Happy’s style would fit incredibly well into this lineup. Cloud9 has no proven IGL, Happy is one of the best IGL’s in the world. Cloud9 has no Lurker, Happy is one of the best in the world. Cloud9 lacks the skill to compete with the best in the world. One does not simply become a top 10 player in the world back to back years, (#10 of 2014, and #8 of 2015, per hltv.org) without being incredibly skilled. Happy is known for putting skilled players in a very good position to succeed, and cloud9 would largely benefit from his presence. Adding Happy would also allow for n0thing to move back to a more supportive role, which obviously suits him better than lurking. Happy would just simply fit into this lineup. The playstyles match, and I would actually be really excited if this lineup was created.
All of these proposed cloud9/French mergers are extremely unlikely to happen, which is unfortunate for a fan of North American CS, as it would be very exciting if the likes of Shox or Happy packed their bags and moved to America. In the Kioshima lineup, Kio has a girlfriend, who he is apparently very serious with. I believe he also might not solve enough problems to make signing him worth it. As for the 2nd lineup, buyout fees, language barriers, and much more plausible French teams would likely stop this team from being created. The Happy to Cloud9 version could actually be feasible. I believe the French scene may lean towards building a tactically based team, and Happy could get left out. If that does happen, the only thing that could hold back Happy from going across the sea would be the cost for c9 to buyout Happy’s contract, as it could be well over c9’s limit. Happy is one of the world’s best players, and would likely cost an arm and a leg to get nV to sell that contract. Still though, even if c9 had the money and were willing to buyout the contract, it is still highly unlikely that this would happen.
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