One of France’s most tenured names in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will have a long path back to the game’s upcoming world championship.
On Feb. 4, the two top-rated teams from France in EnVyUs and G2 Esports made dramatic changes. Dubbed “the French shuffle,” EnVyUs saw three of its players depart for G2 Esports, putting an end to one of French CS:GO’s most successful rosters.
The departure of the three players also means that EnVyUs will not be awarded a spot at the upcoming offline qualifiers for the Kraków Major. The rules for Valve Majors dictate that teams must retain at least three players in the event that they have secured spots in either the offline qualifiers for the next Valve Major, or if they’ve placed top eight at the previous Major.
With the majority of the EnVyUs roster that competed at ESL One Cologne last year no longer on the team, the new roster will have to battle their way through the European Minor, an offline event that acts as a sort of regional qualifier. In total, three teams will be advancing to the final offline qualifier for the Kraków Major, and while EnVyUs will more than likely be one of the strongest teams in attendance, upsets seem incredibly likely due to the list of teams that will be attending.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Dignitas, and Heroic are all teams consisting of world class players that will be in attendance at the European Minor. No matter the strength of EnVyUs as a team, the possibility of getting eliminated in an upset is a very real risk for the French team.
EnVyUs was previously considered one of the best teams in the world, and featured many of France’s strongest and most revered players. This made shuffle earlier of Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, and Nathan “NBK” Schmitt all the more dramatic, as the roster had widespread success prior to 2016.
The European Minor runs from June 15 to 19, in which three teams will advance to the Kraków Major’s offline qualifiers between June 29 to July 2.
Given the list of teams competing in the European Minor, we will more than likely see a number of upsets heading into the first Valve Major of 2017.