The end of the unofficial free agency period in CS:GO is coming to an end, so the most important question now is how are the teams faring? Here we give an update on all the most important CS:GO roster moves.
The great roster shuffle of 2019 is just about over. Most of the big name free agents have settled in with their new teams, and we are starting to get some tier one LANs at which to see these rosters for the first time. Now that ESL One New York is over and DreamHack Malmo’s group stage has come to a close, we can talk a little bit about which of these roster moves have turned out well, and which moves teams might be regretting, as well as talking about any teams I didn’t get to in my Free Agency Preview [LINK].
Teams We’ve Talked About
Here we are going to check in on some teams we’ve talked about already over the course of the shuffle, to see how well they’re doing.
Things are not looking good for the Finns. Anyone interested in CS:GO betting is surely aware of the run that ENCE had been on leading up to the Berlin Major. Several Grand Finals appearances, taking series off of Astralis and Liquid, things were looking up. Unfortunately, it seemed like they didn’t have enough to get over the hump, and so they kicked their IGL Aleksib and replaced him with suNny, one of the best Finnish players of the last couple years, who was benched on Mousesports. Even more unfortunately, ENCE ended up making the playoffs in Berlin, their last tournament with Aleksib. That can be a tough act to follow for a team that has just replaced their IGL.
As it turns out, ENCE haven’t been good with suNny. Not underperforming, or disappointing, just not good. Fifth at BLAST Pro Moscow, 5-6th at ESL One New York, and 9-12th in Malmo are all terrible placings, not what we might have expected from the “new and improved” ENCE.
On the bright side, there’s plenty of room to improve. Playing this many events so soon after a roster change surely puts them in a tough spot, as they haven’t had much time to integrate suNny into the lineup. It’s even more difficult as they kicked Aleksib intending to replace his system in the team. It’s not like suNny is just playing Aleksib’s spots but better, everyone on the team needs to essentially relearn the game, which is a contributing factor in sergej’s and, to a lesser extent, allu’s dip in performance.
Looking back on what I said about Fnatic, I probably should have been more positive. Looking back at Fnatic over the past three years, their time with Golden in the lineup was easily their most productive, winning their only tournament since losing olofmeister. While Golden has been up and down since then, largely due to injury and sickness, it seems as though he hasn’t lost a step.
At Malmo so far he’s posted a 0.99 Rating, which admittedly isn’t amazing. Despite his poor performance, he was able to guide Fnatic to a playoff spot, albeit through the lower bracket. By the time you read this you’ll know how they performed in the playoffs, but just appearing is huge for a team that’s been a mess for years.
I haven’t even mentioned how great the rest of the team is playing yet. The mark of a good IGL is a measurable increase in the performance of his team and his teammates, and so far it looks like Golden is an excellent IGL. While they’ve only played eight maps together, the whole team seems revitalized, especially KRIMZ. Over eight maps he has a 1.36 Rating, which is good enough to put him in the top five, beating out electronic handily.
I would argue that Na’Vi made the biggest change of pretty much any team over the break. While yes, they did only change one player, they changed their IGL and reassigned the main AWP role in doing so, which means Na’Vi look all but unrecognizable now.
Honestly, I may be a little biased here. I haven’t always been the biggest s1mple fan, but I’ve been advocating to take him off the AWP role for a long time. While I don’t know if I would have advocated for the addition of GuardiaN, especially considering his form over recent months with Fnatic, putting s1mple back on the rifle will do wonders for this team. While s1mple was still able to have an impact while wielding the Big Green Gun, his impact will be felt even harder by the other team now that he’s on the rifle.
Allow me to digress for a moment. The AWP is one of the strangest parts of CS:GO, that much should be obvious to seasoned CS:GO bettors. While it can be the most powerful gun on the server at any one time, it can also be mitigated rather easily by competent teams. Good utility usage, smart game planning, and avoiding long site lines can all mitigate the damage that a player, like s1mple, can do with the AWP.
Give an equally skilled player a rifle, like s1mple for example, and they become much more difficult to handle. Now, s1mple can move around the battlefield unfettered, especially in Boombl4’s more relaxed system. Playing near smokes, rotating freely, taking aggressive aim duels, those are all things that he can do now that he’s been freed up.
Anyway, that’s a very verbose way of saying that this is a good change. Assuming GuardiaN can continue to play at a tier one level, this team could get way scarier really fast, which should be evident given their success at Malmo thus far.
Teams We Haven’t Talked About
Now, for some teams we haven’t talked about yet in this shuffle period.
Furia were one of the hottest teams in CS:GO, at least for a little while. Some among us, who are into CS:GO betting, may have even made some money on them in the aftermath of the Katowice Major. Unfortunately, since their breakout, they have fallen off hard. Losses to the dredges of the NA scene started to stack up until they had no choice but to make a change. Just months after signing their team to five year deals, Furia picked up star AWPer HEN1 from Luminosity Gaming.
I’ve been a big proponent of HEN1’s for a while now. While he may not be the best guy on a championship team, he’s certainly a lot of fun to watch, and he knows how to AWP. At this point it’s clear that he’s the black sheep of the Brazilian CS scene, having never received a callup to MIBR.
He was probably the best get possible for Furia, and he’s one that I would be happy with if I were a Furia fan. He’s an electrifying player to watch, and while he doesn’t offer much in the way of depth or alternative styles of play (as Furia was already one of the most aggressive teams in CS), he’ll certainly augment their already aggro play.
As much as I hate to say it, I might be a G2 fan now. Anyone who follows along with my writing knows that I haven’t always been a big shox fan. And by that, of course, I mean I’ve been advocating for his removal from G2 since like 2016. Now that he’s gone, and has been replaced by nexa, a tier one (?) IGL, and hunter, the better Kovac sibling, this team could get much better.
KennyS, despite his results over the past two years, is still a championship caliber player. With shox out of the way, hopefully nexa will start to gear the team more towards putting him in a position to succeed, which could elevate G2 to at least a playoff team.
The scene has been shaken up a lot in the past month. Several prominent players have switched teams, and we likely won’t have a real idea of how good these teams are for a little while longer. But, like I always say, getting a read on these teams early is key if you want to make money CS:GO betting.