4 Roster Moves That Would Shake Up The Top 10
Let's be honest, Astralis might be an amazing team but thing's need to change... here's Aizyesque's 4 roster moves that will shake up the top 10 in 2020.
Captain, Leader, Lauridsen
FaZe have been, by and large, pretty rubbish in the last few months. The reign of Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen was a pseudo-successful one - on the one hand, they won plenty of tournaments; but it was marred by some high-profile grand final losses. Poor performances against Virtus.pro, NiP and famously Cloud9 sowed a seed of doubt in the minds of many; not least Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač.
The Bosnian took over the leadership of FaZe Clan, and despite some early flashes of good performance, they’ve been plateauing around a pretty poor level. The addition of Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David hasn’t been the galvanising force they had hoped, while the removal of Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács has meant that AWPing duties has been put mostly on the shoulders of Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer. Whilst the Swede is a talented AWPer, somebody has to make way for a real leader at this point.
Someone can get the best out of this talent - and in my completely unbiased opinion, that man might be Mathias ‘MSL’ Lauridsen.
MSL has nearly always been able to get his teams into the top 10, and then lose some of his players. That is unlikely to be an issue on FaZe, where MSL can actually lead some of the most talented individuals in the world. The leader can also be a sniper, making him the perfect foil for the stars of the team. He can take on a passive AWPing role and allow NiKo and coldzera space, while taking away leading duties from NiKo.
MSL is a strong-willed guy who would relish the challenge of managing the egos, and I think might be a good fit for FaZe Clan.
The Art of the Deal
Americans love big deals. That’s why the man of big deals, Donald Trump, is their leader. That’s also why I’m proposing a big American deal - Russel ‘Twistzz’ van Dulken for Ethan ‘Ethan’ Arnold.
I know, I know. Crazy, right? Why would you mess with two of the best teams in the world? My answer to that, is that if you want to be the best, you have to take big risks.
Twistzz has the ability to be one of the best in the world, but with the star power that Liquid have, he’s been taking more of a backseat role in recent times. Put him in Ethan’s positions and he might be able to really take over the game, just like he used to. His first bullet aim is ludicrously accurate, and he’s too good to be in a supportive role.
Ethan, on the other hand, could potentially be a great foil for Liquid’s other stars. He has the ability to be a bit more passive and calm than Twistzz, and potentially be a better anchor due to his cerebral play. Maybe adding an EG player might make them finally able to take down Astralis.
Liquid and EG could maybe use some oiling of the machine, and this would be one of the most interesting, scene-defining and excitement-building moves of all time.
Richard ‘shox’ Papillon joined Vitality under the guise of giving Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut a hand in dragging a sinking ship along the sea. Sadly, ZywOo now has to drag an anchor along with the ship - and not the B site kind.
The shox experiment has been a flop. Replacing him is tough, though - the French scene isn’t awash with loads of talent - that’s kind of why we’re at this impasse in the first place - so you need to find a talented, French-speaking player. If only there was someone who spoke French on an international team… or even a semi-international one.
Audric ‘JaCKz’ Jug is an interesting fit for this roster. He’s stuck learning English, and if that experiment doesn’t go too well, he may be available for a French speaking team. He’s a really gifted, aggressive fragger, which should be the perfect type of player to allow ZywOo the space to do ZywOo things.
Another option to add JaCKz to this team is to replace Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire, if they still believe in shox. JaCKz has shown himself to be a more than capable entry fragger, while apEX has struggled to capture the heights of his previous successes.
Oh GuardiaN, bye bye
The GuardiaN of bombsites we knew and loved is gone, and replaced by a bystander to site takes. A name that once struck fear into the hearts of Counter-Strike teams everywhere now only strikes fear into the hearts of his teammates.
Despite him being replaced on FaZe, Natus Vincere decided to pick him up for the departing Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko. Maybe Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev signed a deal with the devil where he has to have some deadweight on his team in exchange for his ability. Who knows?
If you want to replace him like-for-like, with another AWPer, Bogdan ‘xsepower’ Chernikov seems to be a perfect fit. He’s got insane ratings, and passes the eye-test too. He has the notorious CIS Major buff too, it seems, as he went berserk to get forZe to a Major.
Viktor ‘somedieyoung’ Orudjev and Alexey ‘qikert’ Golubev are two players who are pretty well-known, and both would likely be pretty expensive, but they’re both extremely talented players. sdy is a big fragger, while qikert is a more explosive aggressive player, but either would be a huge upgrade, leaving NaVi with a mega stacked line-up.
The final move that I like the look of is Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Galinskis. He’s Latvian, but spent lots of time in CIS teams, so language doesn’t seem to be an issue. His buyout would likely be the cheapest of all four, by some margin, and he’s been rapidly improving.
I watched him play a year and a half ago and was impressed by his mechanics, but he seems to have added some consistency and become an all-round player rather than an aimstar only. With Andrey ‘B1ad3’ Gorodenskiy at the helm, YEKINDAR could be moulded into a serious gem, and personally I think he’d be a great fit for NaVi.
Images via ESL