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We’re back! To kick things back into gear, this edition will give you the tl;dr on all the roster moves that happened over the break. And boy did things change.
Illustration by Crash_ Source: PGL& Midjourney
It is always a sad day when one of the game’s great rosters breaks up.
And so it was, when NAVI announced the departure of electroNic and Perfecto, ending the core of the team that broke their Major drought without even dropping a map. Oh, and npl got benched too. We’re shocked!
Why they let those two players go is hard to know exactly, with the (unreliable) harumi suggesting it was a decision that did not come from the management.
However it happened, it left NAVI at a crossroads. They could not turn East to Russia for replacements for obvious reasons, so they had to turn West, to Europe and an English-speaking lineup.
Romanian Rifler iM, the reason GamerLegion got to the Major final, was a good start. Then came jL from Apeks, a good character even if he’s less of a marquee signing.
The last piece was the IGL. And they plucked for….. Aleksib! Yes, really. Cue the “failed upwards” Twitter comments.
But let’s play devil’s advocate. NIP and OG never had anywhere near the firepower to compete for titles, and G2 went wrong for plenty of reasons that weren’t blonde and Finnish.
Any IGL that b1ad3 and s1mple rate must know something about the game. So let’s give Aleksib one more chance, shall we?
NAVI going international has felt inevitable since the War in Ukraine began, and so it has proved. They now have a clear runway to the Copenhagen Major, a good few months to get b1t’s English up to scratch and ramp up to become a properly dangerous prospect.
electroNic and Perfecto, meanwhile, should be aiming for success on a far shorter time frame.
Make no mistake, this is a Russian superteam. sh1ro and Ax1Le are joined by the region’s best player of the last six years in electroNic and its best support player in Perfecto.
If Cloud9 can’t win with this roster, we’re not sure they ever will…
NAVI’s new roster:
Cloud9‘s rumoured roster:
Vitality is in flames! Oh wait hold on, they’re “All in ON flameZ” Our apologies.
No one would’ve batted an eye if the Major Champions stuck with their current roster. Instead, Vitality said goodbye to someone’s GOAT dupreeh, and picked up flameZ. This is an excellent move for Vitality’s chances to stay competitive in the future. Sure, they lose a bucket load of experience, but they replaced it with raw mechanics. When you look at the other moves being made right now, it’s easy to see why that’s enticing.
It even works on a tactical level for team Vitality’s updated roles. The last few months have seen Dupreeh be the rosters hard entry, a role you’d expect apEX to be taking if past teams are something to go by.
This raises the question: Did apEX have a strategic plan in place, anticipating flameZ's contract expiration and aligning the roles accordingly? Perhaps the French 'mastermind' has outplayed us all, and his post-major statement was made with a keen eye on the future. Or, maybe he simply got lucky with FlameZ becoming available and saw it as an easy upgrade. Only time will tell if the French-owned organization can follow the three-star players trend pioneered by FalleN (foreshadowing) and surpass the likes of Na'Vi and FaZe in their own game.
The Israeli fans probably don't care about all that. They just need one more player to create their own superteam with ZywOo. Maybe if we ask nicely, Endpoint will find the Israeli version of karrigan, and Vitality can finally have a dominant era.
Our eyes are now peeled to see how Vitality evolves with this move. Maybe we’ll have to apologise to apEX after all.
Vitality are now:
🇪🇺 Was ist passiert in Europa?
🇬🇧 Rule Brittania, Brittania rules the roster wave
🇺🇸🇨🇦 Fourth of July isn’t the biggest news
🇷🇺 From Russia, with lo- eh, roster moves?
Brazil has a team again.
Well, they always had one, but this is the team to unite everyone in Brazil under one team, under one flag.
And the Godfather has risen once more: FURIA, with FalleN and chelo.
The player who birthed the rise of Brazil in the first place is back at his rightful throne; the only Brazilian IGL to ever truly build a legendary team has one last shot at glory.
We thought that before Rio, too. Yet him and Imperial were knocked out on Day 1.
FalleN’s last dance has become neverending, a swansong with more ‘movements’ than Jesus of Surburbia. What was meant to be his last chance has been the springboard for his biggest move yet - if not conceptually, it certainly is financially. $700,000 is the reported contract buyout from Imperial.
Yeah. We don’t know either.
But it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Love or hate Brazilian Counter-Strike, it feels right to see FalleN at the summit once again.
To dissect whether or not this is a good move is to miss the point. The vibes on it are immaculate.
Immaculate, and expensive.
FURIA’s new roster:
Team Liquid, the only North American team that actually did well in top tier CS, is no longer NA.
With nitr0’s retirement, we (and everyone else) expected the team to find his replacement on home soil. But maybe we were silly to assume as much? After all, their last signing was YEKINDAR.
During the break Dust2 crushed our assumptions with a report on a rumoured sale of EliGE and a transition from a mostly NA to European roster. And to make the shock worse, nitr0’s rumoured replacement was to be 22-year old Rainwaker, a rifler from Bulgaria who isn’t exactly a household name. Nonetheless, a few days went by and the report turned out to be true: In with Rainwaker and Patsi, out with EliGE.
But lets evaluate this move on merit, not outcry:
Liquid has picked up two new players and kept a core in NAF, oSee as well as YEKINDAR who continues in the IGL role that he took on during the Paris Major. He must’ve done a good job since these signings feel like they’re tailored to his system: Patsi is a hyper-aggressive entry who loves to take space. And Rainwaker shines in clutch scenarios where he rarely loses. I mean, just check this 1v5 versus ITB.
That said, you might be wondering whether it’s really worth losing a chunk of your loyal NA fanbase for these players? Time will tell.
So did anything good happen for NA during the break? Well yes, actually.
Elsewhere on the continent, Complexity benefited from Liquid’s switch-up as they moved in quick to pick up EliGE – a move that makes complete sense. He replaces FaNg, who basically had a perfect role overlap with EliGE, making it a powerful upgrade with no strings attached. Besides some rumours of EliGE’s poor sportsmanship, but other than that… no strings.
Finally, it wouldn’t be roster mania without a few changes on at least one EG roster.
Instead of any rumoured signings like electroNic or zorte, EG made the sensible decision to give EG Black a real chance. For the uninitiated, EG Black was the Evil Geniuses version of an Academy team with NA talent Waclo, junior, HexT and the highly rated Jeorge. As for their fifth, it’s the only player left from the old EG main roster: autimatic.
At risk of jinxing it, this EG team might actually be an NA roster that works. And a fully NA roster at that. Ex-Liquid fans, what say you?
Big changes in the NA scene during this break but maybe that’s exactly what needed to happen to Bring NA CS back. TL;DR makes no claims and is not liable for any hopium use.
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