On-paper, ChrisJ has had a relatively ok Summer. He is the in-game leader, entry-fragger, and secondary AWPer for the team, and in many ways, this is reflected statistically. He’s averaged a 1.04 rating over the last three months with Mousesports, and given the turmoil the side has experience since their fall from grace, this is an admirable number. He has to do many jobs that aren’t conducive to high stat-lines, and glancing at his teammates, it would appear that he doesn’t need to post big frag counts anyway.
As anyone who has watched ChrisJ will attest to though, the ‘on-paper’ approach to ChrisJ is a fallacy.
Digging into his numbers starts to slowly reveal the true nature of ChrisJ as a player. In 30 percent of Mousesports LAN rounds over the last three months, he is involved in the opening kill or death. Of that 30 percent, he finds the entrying kill nearly 60 percent of the time. Anchorman implications aside, that makes him by-far one of the most aggressive, but also one of the most successfully aggressive players in the world.
The 1.04 rating is a front to keep you from experiencing the absurd reality of ChrisJ’s real game.
Unfortunately in CS:GO stats keeping, there are only measurements for the size of players frag counts and not genitalia. For if there were, based on his in-game decision making, ChrisJ would surely leave even the likes of fer in the dust. ChrisJ isn’t just looking to catch enemies off-guard with forward pushes and wide-swinging duels, he’s relentlessly doing so.
Mousesports do not really have a map pool. They do not bring a unique approach on any specific map outside of a generally ‘looser-than-most’ philosophy with their style. A lot of their win conditions into a round hinge on being able to constrict with pressure and dominate individual duels or find picks with orthodox timings. ChrisJ spearheads the team in this sense.
While Mousesports results have plummeted around the removal of STYKO, ChrisJ’s aggressive furor has doubled down. With a shifting structure and often collapsing mid-round, ChrisJ, as his adoption of the IGL role in the teams inception implies, took it on himself to win rounds for the mix-team. On maps like Inferno, he redefines top banana with early duels and bringing the secondary AWP around in explosive fashion. On Mirage he looks for pick and rolls off mid control and to take sites via sweeping momentum. He is one of those rare breed of entries who can carry the pace of finding an opening pick into his consecutive duels, being able to trade off his teammates just as well as he can bait for them.
All of this feverish aggression is laid on his responsibilities as the caller for the team. Fortunately, he is gifted an independently inclined set of teammates who will never seem totally lost on their own. This facilitates a looser structure which is Mouz’s modus operandi for upsetting teams above them like FaZe. The willingness of his teammates to play without structure mixed with his own inclination to make loose plays feeds off each other. The leader is often fragging from the front but not preventing others from doing the same.
This way of conceptualising ChrisJ’s style also reveals that while he takes much of the spot-light being at the front, it’s not out of vanity. ChrisJ’s aggression is very much a supportive element in Mousesports game to buy space and time for the main killers of Mouz in ropz and oskar to close the round. This philosophy of playing can be clearly shown in his interview with hltv where he mentions giving up positions to give space to Oskar:
Snax is basically playing STYKO's position, while oskar is playing where I played, then I'm doing what oskar did before. We switched things up in that sense because, for example, oskar didn't really like playing window/A because he felt like he didn't have much of an impact or room to play. Now I feel like he can do more of what he wants to do and he has that freedom in the team. We created something new because our old-style seemed a bit overused.
This style of play culminated at ESL One Belo Horiozonte earlier in the year, where ChrisJ posted a ludicrous 1.29 rating over 11 maps. With his specific style in-use, this 1.29 rating felt far more impactful than when someone like Coldzera or Niko has a similarly high score. It wasn’t as though he was baiting off of teammates or throwing flashes and coming into sites late. ChrisJ was forcing multi-kills dry with nothing but raw talent and mid-tournament form.
Equally, ChrisJ rises to the moment in big games for Mouseports, having pulled them over the line in multiple games at ELEAGUE Premier, and even ESL One Cologne 2018. Without his presence and impact, the expectantly shaky results of this Mousesports results could’ve been even worse.
For even in-spite of ChrisJ’s vanilla, on-paper numbers, make no mistake, this Dutchman is a, if not the, crucial element for Mousesports occasional moments of clarity.
Do not fall for his front.