Str8 Rippin ended their HWC 2017 season with a 4th place finish. They also ended their Fall Season in the same position. The trio of Aaron “Ace” Elam, Bradley “APG” Laws and Richie “Heinz” Heinz have consistently fought to break into the top three since forming but have always fallen short. Going into the Summer 2017 Season, after the loss of Jonathan “Renegade” Willette, the squad picked up Dan “Danoxide” Terlizzi. Unfortunately, they haven’t had the start they hoped for.
At UMG, Str8 had an inconsistent start. In their group, they fell 3-0 to Luminosity Gaming. Str8 swept EG and then had to face LG again. This series went all the way to game five, with Str8 narrowly edging out LG the second time around. Str8 then went on to sweep BtH in bracket play, only to be swept in return by a rampaging Oxygen Supremacy. In the loser’s bracket, Str8 did manage to defeat Ronin but was sent home by Team Liquid with a top six finish. This was the first time that Str8 had placed outside of the top four since forming.
Is Danoxide the Problem?
In the Fall Season, Str8 now sits at 0-3. The squad has lost to Ronin in game five, Liquid in game four and were
swept by a resurgent OpTic Gaming. Their game win percentage is sitting at only 25%, putting Danoxide’s new squad at the bottom of the league. Str8’s next match is against a very hot Splyce roster. Considering how well Splyce have been playing, it’s hard to have Str8 winning this.
Str8 has had several games be very close with Danoxide. This issue isn’t necessarily that Danoxide is a bad player however; While on Crowd Pleasers, he put up huge numbers at HWC 2017. Like many other team issues, it’s more a matter of play-style than individual skill. Danoxide’s skill is on par with Renegade but he is a different kind of player. Whereas Renegade was a much more focused power-slayer, Danoxide is a more aggressive damage-dealer.
Str8’s close games have shown that this squad has potential bu they are currently struggling to adjust from playing around Renegade, to coordinating and playing with Danoxide. The question isn’t whether Str8 can be good with Danoxide, it’s whether they want to put in the time to return to the top four.
With the mid-season transfer period currently open, Str8 may be looking to replace Danoxide. It is also sensible to think that they would be searching for players who are similar to Renegade. There are a few players that could fit this mold.
Tyler “Spartan” Ganza or Ayden “Suspector” Hill, both with Ronin as of now, are examples of players who could very well take this position. Str8 could also possible benefit from bringing back a former player in Ezekiel “Prototype” Martinez. A slightly more “out-of-left-field” pick would be Tommy “Saiyan” Wilson. Saiyan is similar to Danoxide in some respects but is also somewhat more well-rounded. Either way, Str8 already has not practiced for over a week. Regardless of their choices regarding their roster, they’ll need to start grinding again soon if they want to rebound in the league.
Do you think Str8 Rippin will drop Danoxide? If so, who will they replace him with? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments or on Twitter!
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Header image by Str8 Rippin