The CS:GO community has been waiting with bated breath for Mousesports to make a roster change. After bombing out of the qualifiers for the Major, it was clear that a shake up was imminent. With several of the highest value players in the scene, there were a multitude of options available to them. Who would they build around, who would they drop, what would the new identity of the team be?

We now know the answer to at least some of these questions. Mousesports has released Oskar and benched suNny and STYKO, and brought in karrigan, woxic, and frozen. This move has changed the tone and style of their roster, and they’ll likely look unrecognizable with this new group.

“Trophy" They Went Young, but Kept the Veterancy

One of Mousesports’ biggest strengths as a team was their excellent roster construction, which I’ve talked about before. ChrisJ and oskar provided consistency and experience, which the younger players on the roster were able to build off of. It seems as though mouz has rebuilt with this philosophy in mind, picking up a veteran of the game in Karrigan, as well as a 20-year-old, woxic, and a 16-year-old frozen. Of course, Karrigan is by all accounts a better leader than oskar, which isn’t surprising seeing as how he’s one of the most respected IGLs in CS history. He and ChrisJ should be able to form an even better version of what ChrisJ and oskar were, especially seeing as how both players have experience IGLing at the highest level.

In this roster, woxic and frozen should operate in a similar way to styko and suNny, although with an added bonus of extra firepower. When players get older they start to have more real life responsibilities, their competitive drive can start to slow, and the fire that all competitive players has can start to die out. Having young, hungry players with limited success in their careers can be a kick to the system of someone like ChrisJ and Karrigan and should help propel this lineup.

The relationship between the younger and older players should be symbiotic, sometimes even parental. Frozen for sure is going to need to lean on the experience and veterancy of the rest of his team as he enters tier one competition for the first time.

“Trophy" Chrisj Has to Readjust

ChrisJ has been one of the quietest, most impressive players in CS history. He’s been playing for mousesports since 2013, and has filled ever relevant role for the team at some time in his tenure. He was the team’s AWPer until the addition of oskar, he has been their IGL for most of their recent history as a team, and has been playing a supportive, secondary AWPing style since they replenished their roster with the additions of styko and suNny.

Now, he will be asked to give the IGL reins to Karrigan, one of the five best IGLs of the last couple of years. I can’t imagine this will generate any internal problems, as ChrisJ had the IGL role thrust upon him, and he is clearly willing to give this team whatever it needs. But giving up that kind of responsibility is never easy, and it could create a bumpy adjustment period for ChrisJ as he acclimates to his new role.

If Karrigan is smart, which I like to think he is, he will utilize ChrisJ’s diverse skill set and flexibility to the team’s advantage. Using him as a secondary caller to mix up T sides and their CT setups could give them an edge over teams like Astralis, and help to keep them unpredictable. Karrigan’s T sides have suffered from some predictability in years past, and ChrisJ might be able to help mitigate that moving forward.

ChrisJ’s IGL experience will also make him more effective as a support player, as a secondary AWPer, and as a player in general. A broader understanding of how the game works is rarely a bad thing, and he could end up looking like a superstar in the coming months.

“Trophy" Frozen and Woxic Need to Step Up

Frozen is one of the more attractive young talents in the scene, but he still has plenty to prove. His experience is limited, and he doesn’t have much experience against tier two teams, much less tier one. It will be up to him and Karrigan to whip him into shape, and hold his hand as he starts to play against higher level competition.

The jump from tier three to tier one is a sizable jump, and one that some players can’t make. Frozen has had some pretty gaudy stats in his rode to tier one competition, so it isn’t a major concern that he won’t be able to make the leap. But it is something to keep on the radar. He is one of their most important win conditions, and if he can’t perform Mouz will be in big trouble.

Woxic is a far less volatile prospect, but one that is no less important to the team. He has already played in tier one events, on a team led by ANGE1, who is a well respected, experienced IGL. The odds of woxic not playing up to the standard Mouz needs are much lower, and I’m far less worried about him. In fact, pairing him with Karrigan and the rest of this team is pretty much a guarantee that he’ll take a big step up.

“Trophy" What Happens to Ropz?

It’s looking like Ropz’s time as the centerpiece of this roster is coming to a close. Frozen and woxic are likely to get resources poured into them from the rest of the team, which will likely mean Ropz is moved down to the third option on this team.

As long as Ropz can handle that mentally, it could actually end up being good for his game. He has never really played like how most people think a “superstar” should, as his game is slow and mid round focused, taking advantage of his excellent CSIQ. On the last iteration of mousesports,  he played off the aggression and flashiness of oskar, acting as the other half of an incredibly effective pincer. Ropz should be able to continue that method, except now working off of frozen and woxic, two players who should end up as all star caliber AWPers and entry fragger respectively.

Mousesports new roster looks scary, on paper at least. This experiment will likely take a little time, for Karrigan to install his system, for everyone to get used to communicating and working together. Frozen and woxic will have to acclimate to tier one competition, Karrigan will have to shake the rust off, ChrisJ will have to adapt. If given the time, and the right resources, this team could be a legitimate contender for tier one events, and should be a threat come Major time.

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