The French scene has had a tough go of things in the past few years. While the region was a heavyweight for the early years of the game, its teams have been on a steady decline ever since 2016. After a slow and painful death for the G2 superteam of 2017, owner ocelote decided to buy into a new project: the Ex6tenz experiment.

Ex6tenz hadn’t played at the top level for several years. Despite this, G2 brought him in as a legacy in-game leader in French (and Belgian) CS. The organization have a three-headed hydra with Ex6tenz leading kennyS and shox, far and away the two best French players in CS:GO history. And while some certainly found this exciting, the supporting cast of bodyy and Smithzz lead most to feel apathetic about the new roster, and for good reason. Neither played is a proven fragger and smithzz hadn’t played in over a year. Not an ideal circumstance. Considering the general indifference about this roster, I feel compelled to defend the project based on their first LAN showing at ECS, where they were eliminated in the group-stage by FaZe.

Without further ado, here are the reasons to be optimistic about this G2 roster.

kennyS shows promise of a return to superstar status

He’s back. At least it seems that way. While Ex6tenz noted that limited practice time forced G2 to play loose, their play at ECS hinted at a collective emphasis on playing around kenny’s AWP in the early-round. Sometimes it’s shox throwing a smoke on a molotov under kenny’s feet early enough to save his life but late enough to let him get a shot off; sometimes it’s smithzz double-holding apartments and baiting for him. This is great news, because teamplay gives kennyS opportunities he wouldn’t be able to capitalize on alone. History tells us that few AWPers can match the french superstar when he’s on form, and he’s heating up.

kennyS Kenny Schrub Envyus G2 Esports AWP

Shox is the secondary AWPer, not smithzz

At least on Inferno. Look, shox isn’t a ridiculously talented AWPer, but allowing him to pick up the AWP over smithzz proves G2 are setting up shox for success by giving him the capital to succeed. Although he hasn’t yet unleashed his peak form, shox can be one of the best players in the world; in order for this lineup to succeed, he will need to be. Pandering to star power is priority number one for Ex6tenz, and he’s done a great job of it so far with both of his superstars.It’s up kennyS and shox to take advantage of it.

shox CS:GO Richard Papillon G2 Esports

Ex6tenz can frag

In fact, he’s the second-highest rated player on the team so far, far behind kennyS. HLTV Rating doesn’t do Ex6tenz any favours though, since his (and every other player’s) rating took a nosedive in a 4-16 loss to NRG.  Albeit with one bad game under his belt, the new in-game leader has looked great on an individual level. A fragging in-game leader is good news for any team, but especially G2, because of their lack of firepower depth suggests that a poor fragger couldn’t be sheltered. Ex6tenz plays some pivotal CT positions for G2 and his individual performance thus far bodes well for a team that desperately needs for fragging.

Ex6TenZ Kévin Droolans G2 Esports

G2 are explosive early on

As previously mentioned. G2 played looser than usual at this tournament due to a shortage of practice time. Fair due, but the explosivity we saw on G2’s Inferno CT side seemed to dial in kennyS by getting him involved and feeding him kills early. Beyond that, one always worries with tactical in-game leaders that safety will cripple their play, and Astralis has proven that aggressive tactics are just effective as passive ones. Luckily, much of the (humble) success G2 had at this event came from assertive play, which should seduce Ex6tenz into adopting aggression as a key part of his playbook.

Whether or not these positive trends continue, we’ll find out at G2’s next event, ESL One Cologne.