It’s always treated as a big risk when a Counter-Strike team opts for an unproven young talent instead of someone who’s already proven himself in the scene – but if you look at how amazing the recent newcomers are on the servers, you may start to wonder why more teams aren’t following the examples of Fnatic, mousesports and the like. We've put together a short rundown of the most exciting young talent in the CS:GO world who regularly make veterans look like Silver 1 newbs.
NRG’s growth from online-only crushers to legitimate threats at LAN playoffs had a lot to do with CeRq’s impressive rise as an AWPer. While the Bulgarian youngster can still get somewhat wobbly on the big stage – most notably in his recent showdowns with Fnatic –, it feels like it’s only a matter of time until he joins the pantheon of top-tier snipers in Counter-Strike.
Sydney turned out to be a coming-of-age story for Brollan who defied expectations on the big stage and played an integral part in Fnatic’s back-to-back LAN final appearances. He was already one of the better-performing players of the Swedish side at their catastrophic Katowice showing but he really came into his own since then, staking a real claim for a spot in a top ten team in the world.
The young Estonian famously rose through the FPL system, performing so well online that seasoned professionals accused him of cheating. Eventually, a live trial in the FACEIT studios confirmed his abilities to everyone. He made great use of the opportunity, joining mousesports soon thereafter and becoming a key part of their short title-challenging spree. With two top-tier LAN wind and a #19 spot on last year’s HLTV top 20 list already behind him, the karrigan-led project seems like the perfect place for ropz right now to continue his growth.
Of course, ropz isn’t the only young talent mousesports put their faith into: frozen is perhaps the most untested prospect of the list and with the least stable roster behind him right now. The Slovakian earned his shot at the big time by posting strong numbers with NoChance and GUNRUNNERS, and he’s been very impressive so far, posting an eye-popping +52 K/D on nine maps in Sydney and also performing well in mousesports’ Pro League group and their attempt in ECS Season 7. There’s likely much more to come from the talented rifler.
The young rifler is perhaps the poster boy of ENCE’s rise, as the hungry newcomers unburdened by expectations crushed the competition over the last six months, making it all the way to the final of the Katowice major. The fractured nature of the calendar meant that they only played at two LAN events since that insane result, but sergej, who had a fairly poor individual showing by his standards, roared back with a 1.2 and 1.15 rating against top-tier opposition.
It was the return of the French big boys that excited us initially about the Vitality project, but it’s the team’s young AWPer who really helps them shine. The organization entered the CS scene last October (though they did waste a month and a half until realizing that Happy needs to be benched), and now they’re already knocking on the door of the top ten in the world, posting a ludicrous 1.43 K/D since the turn of the year.
THIS MAN IS STILL ONLY 21 YEARS OLD!
Photo credit: HLTV