The Counter Strike scene is starting to pick up steam once again, with several big international LANs on the horizon. As such, teams are finalizing their rosters for the run up to the Major. There have been three big impact roster changes in the last month, all of which deserve some discussion.

“Trophy" Na’Vi: -Edward +Boombl4

Na’Vi has finally made a change. For the first time since late 2017 Na’Vi will roll out a different lineup, one without CIS legend Edward. Instead, they have added Boombl4 (pronounced boomitch apparently), who was previously the in game leader of Winstrike team, a tier two CIS team, who you might know from their top eight finish at the ELEAGUE Major under the QB Fire organization.

Na’Vi has been in need of a roster shakeup for a long time. They’re largely considered a top three team in the world, but has a lot to do with s1mple being one of the best players in the world, and electronic occasionally having good games. The roster lacked consistency, especially in its role players.

Edward has been on Natus Vincere since August of 2013, which made him one of the longest tenured players in Counter Strike. While he was one of the greats in 1.6, and was part of the Na’Vi dynasties in CS:GO, he has started to decline in the last couple years. His lack of consistency is the thing that sticks out the most. Over his last 200 maps played, his best streak of matches with a rating over 1 is eight.

Boombl4, on the other hand, is an up and comer. While he was the IGL for Winstrike, his stats are certainly nothing to sneeze at. He should be able to provide, at the very least, consistent support for s1mple and electronic, which might be all Na’Vi needs to inch closer to overtaking Liquid and Astralis.

Not to mention the fact that he’s only 20. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and he’ll be playing with some of the CIS greats, which certainly won’t hurt.

What might be the sneaky most important thing about this move is that Boombl4 was the IGL of Winstrike. Na’Vi could be testing the waters for replacing Zeus as the IGL, which would mean another roster move or two might still be coming.

“Trophy" Complexity: -stanislaw +oBo

I’m usually not a fan of these kinds of moves. Replacing your IGL with a fragger is rarely the right thing to do, especially when the fragger is a 15 year old with zero tier one experience. Dephh has taken over IGL duties in the absence of Stanislaw, which is likely their best option at this point.

This squad makes less sense everytime they make a move. I was a big fan of theirs before the Katowice Major. I like the Stanislaw-ShahZam core, I thought adding n0thing was a potentially high upside move, the org looked like it had a real vision, rather than adding players haphazardly.

At this point, it’s not looking like this team has any idea what they’re doing. There’s a chance I look like a fool six months from now after oBo turns into the second coming of Stewie2k, but I really doubt it.

All in all, a confounding set of moves. I have to assume there was internal conflict or contract problems or something, because stan really did not seem like the problem here.

“Trophy" NRG: -daps +Stanislaw

The other potential reason was Stanislaw jumped ship to come play with a far more explosive core. This is an excellent move, and I am in on NRG going forward. I’ve often said that NRG is one of the highest upside teams in the world, with a talent level that, in theory at least, could go head to head with Liquid. If Stanislaw can get Tarik, Brehze, Ethan, and CeRq all playing at their peaks at the same time, this team could get very scary very fast.

This team had the talent, but they never had the championship pedigree. That changed with this move. Tarik and Stanislaw have both played in big games, taking series off of teams like FaZe and Astralis. That veterancy should go a long way in shoring up some of the weaknesses in this team.

“Trophy" Winners and Losers:

The obvious winners here are NRG, and by extension, Stanislaw. He was able to jump ship from one of the weakest relevant teams in NA and end up on NRG, who have the potential to turn into real championship contenders.

As for losers, Complexity is a confounding team at this point. No IGL, a 15 year old potential star, and a collection of misfits. I don’t see Complexity being competitive any time soon.

Na’Vi poses an interesting question. Is Boombl4 an upgrade over Edward? Yes, probably, but that doesn’t mean it solves Na’Vi’s issues. They need consistent firepower, which they aren’t getting. A replacement for Flamie would be a big help, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the horizon. But for now, I give them a win for at least shaking it up.

There will likely be more roster moves in the coming months as teams finalize their cores in preparation for the Major. If there are, you can bet that we’ll be here covering them in their entirety.

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