Your name is Roman, or Dietrich, or Steve, and you’re a phenomenally wealthy man with a portfolio that includes sports teams, private yachts and maybe a submarine. You’re also bored, as often happens to people with infinite resources, and after a quiet afternoon of solitude and reflection at your top secret volcano retreat/New York penthouse, and a bit of time spent on a new app you just found called Steam, you’ve decided what your next hobby is going to be.
Counter-Strike is the game that has attracted your attention, and you want to add the world’s greatest CSGO team to your portfolio of other expensive baubles and billion-dollar trinkets. Yes, this seems a lot like the setup to one of those ‘you have 25m to spend build a team’ tweets, but we’re going to add a few conditions, namely that this has to be able to actually operate as a team within six months, and also have potential for growth that previous such projects might not have done. So let’s jump in…
We’ll start at the top. The IGL is the most important part of the equation in modern CSGO, and possibly the rarest asset if you’re talking about world class operators. In terms of our goal here, we aren’t looking for a decent start but limited ceiling, which could rule out the likes of karrigan or stanislaw, but we are at least going to focus on one attribute that the former FaZe man made crucial in his time with the superteam, that being fluent English.
As most of you will already know, the ‘best’ IGL in the game is almost certainly Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander, and while he currently IGLs in Danish he is comfortable in English in interviews at least. We’re going to back him to at least match karrigan’s ability in English, as he has certainly at least matched his compatriot in other areas, and insert gla1ve as the leader of our team, and cornerstone of the side that will dominate CS.
The next piece of the puzzle is going to follow on a similar theme, and be our primary AWP player. There are a lot of choices here, but this is the man who will get the AWP to play the AWP as his main weapon, and for that reason we’re going to go with Gla1ve’s team-mate Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz as our main sniper. His synergy with gla1ve is crucial, as is his ability to reinvent the wheel, but it’s the sheer Ronaldo-level consistency that gives him the edge over other primary AWP players, combined with his understanding of the gun in the context of the team. And his good English of course.
One of the other great things about dev1ce is his ability to play in a team environment, and not need all the resources poured into him the way kennyS or GuardiaN used to in their pomp. That leaves space for a true star, and most fans will already know the choice we’re going to have to make, between a Ukrainian god and a French kid who looks to be at least semi-deity already, with plenty of room to grow.
Now, one advantage you’d give s1mple over his young rival here would be the fact he has already played in an English-speaking team, as it’s quite obvious at this point that our band of brothers is going to need to talk Blighty. However, the eventual conclusion to his American adventure and the fact he has a few years on his rival might count against him when our billionaire is making bids, as could his record as a team-mate and public figure...
If you’re a Roman-style, owner of Chelsea gentleman from the Siberian wastelands, that might change things, but for this team we’re taking Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut as our star man, over s1mple, so sorry if you’re a Na’Vi fan. ZywOo’s age means he has (in theory) more good years ahead of him, and while s1mple might have better English today, the amount of time it would take himto catch up probably isn’t a significant factor when balanced against the potentially toxic influence s1mple has been reported to have on his team, as well as smaller factors like marketability and culture.
That gives us three, and the last two roles are the hardest of all to fill. Position four can go either way, between support and star, but in this team we need to at least have a player that understands his role in the team is to win, and that might mean sometimes taking the short end of the deal. Guys like Stewie2k and EG’s tarik both fill that criteria but picking a dude up who has good pedigree and room to grow, as well as a record of developing into new roles.
Robin ‘ropz’ Kool has been a ‘star’ of mouseports for almost his whole career, meaning he’s also spent his entire CS life to date playing in English-speaking, mixed teams. He can adapt to multiple positions and carry the team when needed, and his disposition means he should be an asset to the team off the server as well, with the player most certainly boasting the fabled ‘old head on young shoulders’. While his star status might take a hit here, there is no doubt Gla1ve operates a five-man team, meaning no player will permanently have the ‘bitch’ roles in the way it used to be.
The obvious fifth in a lot of eyes is going to be the clutch minister, but with the talent in the team clutch probably isn’t going to be an area they lack in, and there are also considerations about having too many Danes in a mixed team. For that reason we want a guy with talent, but also plenty of experience and an iron disposition, and our choice for the last spot is Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard, currently of FaZe Clan.
It’s not been a great few years for rain since karrigan left, but he’s a guy with crazy ability that has a proven record speaking English in international teams, at the very highest level of play. He’s also shown he can work under extremely challenging conditions, and his sanguine outlook, or at least public outlook, in the face of everything FaZe have been through in recent years is something to behold, and should ensure he is comfortable flexing when ZyWoo, dev1ce or the like needs space.
As for the coach, it’s hard to say who would work best, and we’d love to hear from you guys if you have suggestions for the man (or woman) to counsel and improve our Galacticos of GO. Whether or not we ever see this sort of project in CS is another matter, with the walls closing in and the days of unlimited spending possibly fading, but in 2020 it’s still just about possible – providing the team isn’t in the US of course. Sorry Complexity.
Photo credit: HLTV