‘Fixing’ North American Counter-Strike
It is no secret that North American Counter-Strike has been disappointing. The region has always been on par with the top Europeans in terms of skill but has never really been there tactically. 2016 was one of the most successful years for NA CS, but things aren’t on the upward trend for them. Here are a reshuffle of the top 4 North American rosters, in the way I think they should be. I will also be inputting my thoughts on how these teams would rank in the world.
On paper, Liquid are still the best North American roster. The org’s owner Steve “LiQuiD112” Arhancet, has also shown he isn’t afraid to open the checkbook to get good players. That is why I would project Liquid to come out on top of this NA shuffle. As for their roster, I would replace Josh “jdm64” Marzano with Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas. I would also cut Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella, and sign Will “RUSH” Wierzba. Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz will have a field day with this roster. Not only does he have the superstar Jonathan “EliGe” Jablonowski, and hybrid AWP star player mixwell to play with, but he also gets his entry man RUSH back. Moving Russel “twistzz” Van Dulken into the mid-round role would benefit him greatly, as he is very good at winning gun fights. Altogether this team would be an unstoppable force on the Terrorist side, and pretty intimidating on the defense as well. As for where they would rank, I think a spot from 4-6th in the world would suit them.
I believe in Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez as an owner, and I think he’s done a pretty good job so far in CS:GO. Thus making OpTiC come out in second place in this roster shuffle throughout NA. No player from the current four-man core will stay on OpTiC. The beginning of their roster revamp starts by poaching underrated In game Leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta from CLG, along with his teammate Ricky “Rickeh” Mulholland who shows great promise to become a superstar AWP player. I’m going to bring in Hunter “SicK” Mims from Misfits to be the entry man, who also shows great promise. To round out this roster, I will take Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and Timothy “autimatic” Ta from Cloud9. This team would also be dangerous on both sides; however, the offense would most likely be based more on leveraging the skill on the roster, creating inconsistencies. Their ranking would hover most likely around the 8-11th spot in the world, though if everything goes right this team could even win a tournament.
On paper, they currently have a better roster than OpTiC, but the org’s front office has shown time and time again that they will not do what is necessary to win. The only good signing that this organization has made, was the signing of Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham after the iBUYPOWER controversy. The first thing that needs to happen is to sign former OpTiC member Tarik “tarik” Celik. Skadoodle will be removed to make room for jdm64. Michael “shroud” Grzesiek will be relegated to streamer status, and nitr0 will take his place on the active roster. To round out this roster, the signing of Stephen “reltuC” Cutler to serve as an In-game Leader. The ranking for this team would most likely be floating around the 11-14th spot in the world.
I will predict that Misfits swoops in to steal the leftovers from perhaps more accomplished orgs like Counter-Logic Gaming, as I have lost all faith in that organization, or Team SoloMid, as they seem to have lost interest in Counter-Strike. The only current Misfits player I will keep around is David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic, as he has shown flashes of talent. I will snatch Keith “NAF” Markovic, along with Skadoodle from free agency. Next, give me Kenneth “koosta” Suen from CLG, as he has been on the up and up recently. Damian “daps” Steele is the best In game Leader left in the NA scene, so I’ll pluck him from NRG. While I doubt this team would do anything internationally, they would be a good NA team, that would probably qualify for tournaments such as the ESL Pro League finals. I would put them around the 12-16th ballpark world ranking.