One of the recurring themes on the StarSeries S7 analyst desk was the resurgence of Swedish Counter-Strike and what a potential roster mashup of Fnatic and NiP could potentially look like. Of course, the former made it all the way to the finals of the tournament with an ex-Ninja in the in-game leader role, making such speculation all the more tantalizing. What would a team of Sweden’s best and brightest look like – and could it stand up to the mighty Astralis?
From historic rivals atop the CS:GO world to stable top ten contenders with little potential at the business end of tournaments, the story of Sweden’s two best Counter-Strike teams charts out a zigzagging path from the summit to seemingly bottomless pits and beyond. Currently, both teams are on an upward trajectory, though it’s basically impossible to discern how much of their improved standing is simply due to the decline of FaZe Clan and MiBR, the usual teams fighting for those top-tier spots. Did the desk hosts’ idea have some merit? What kind of a roster would come out of a mishmash of the strongest Ninjas and the most Fnatic-al players on the other side? We’ve stitched together one potential lineup:
The most logical link between the two rosters, and despite many subpar in-game performances and the occasional questionable vetos, still by far the most decorated dedicated IGL available in this little mental exercise.
By far the best individual performer available to us, his inclusion is a no-brainer. KRIMZ has managed to cling onto high HLTV rankings even when Fnatic was at its lowest, his consistent top-tier fragging power is a must-have for our imaginary side.
It’s either him, GeT_RiGhT or JW when it comes to X-factor on this side, and we couldn’t quite commit to including two of these mercurial players on this team. In terms of recent performances and impact, f0rest is still above the other two, and neither the reduced if stable impact of GeT_RiGhT’s lurks or JW’s revitalized hybrid role seems stable enough to warrant a spot on this Swedish superteam.
It therefore follows that Fnatic’s sort-of-dedicated-AWPer deserves a spot in our little enterprise to make sure someone’s always ready to handle the big green gun: twist’s recent performances were just as up-and-down as his team’s, recently dipping below 1.0 rating territory for the first time since the summer of 2017, butt he’s nevertheless one of the better-performing players on the current Fnatic sides with an important role to fill in our Swedish superteam.
Realistically, it’s either him or Lekr0 fighting for our last spot, and if you consider that Lekr0’s slightly worse stats are at least partially due to his in-game leading responsibilities – something which wouldn’t be an issue here with Xizt’s presence –, you could make a convincing argument for him. However, REZ’s current better stats and the lesser role-related disruption tilts the scales in his favor.
History, branding and the harsh realities of business interests make it seem quite unlikely that we’ll ever see this kind of a team in the CS:GO servers, but this nonetheless remains an instructive mental exercise: just like the French scene’s disintegration, multiple teams of a similar stature swapping unwanted players back and forth has rarely led to the creation of top-tier sides, and with so many questions of consistency and the potential skill ceiling of both Fnatic and NiP, perhaps it’s worth shedding a tear or two for such prospects that will likely never become a reality.