OpTic gaming, after being stripped of arguably their best player, Will ‘RUSH’ Wierzba, and in-game leader Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik, has decided to follow in the footsteps of their rival ‘clan’ FaZe, and pick up a European roster. Their new look roster includes the likes of legendary Swede, Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, Finnish star AWPer Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli and a kid from Denmark you’ve probably heard of, Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif. This roster, on paper, looks pretty convincing, especially playing in the North American region. So, let’s take a look at the potential strengths/weaknesses of this roster, and see if they are going to turn some heads.
No, this team isn’t as loaded as teams like SK, FaZe or even Astralis, but in comparison to the teams in North America, they have an abundance in firepower. Magisk will easily be the best player in the region. When he was ‘the guy’ in North (formerly Dignitas), Magisk had some of the best tournament performances we have ever seen. One such performance being a monstrous 1.26 HLTV rating at EPICENTER Moscow across 15 maps; Moscow is the only $250k+ tournament he has won. When his former teammate Kristian ‘k0nfig’ Wienecke began to take the spotlight from him, he began to fall off. On this new OpTic team, I expect him to be the focal point, so, in theory, he could return to peak form.
Oh, did I mention the Spanish star Óscar ‘mixwell’ Cañellas? On top of this massive big three, they also have the up-and-comer from Estonia, Kevin ‘HS’ Tarn. HS is coming off of a decent performance at the PGL major, which saw him at a 1.02 HLTV rating, and an incredible major qualifier performance, where he was tied for seventh highest rated player at the tournament. This team will have no trouble putting frags on the board. All that said, this team won’t be the best in North America. Quite frankly, I think Cloud9 have more proven firepower. Though I do see them in the second to third best spot, depending on if Liquid ever decides they want to do anything. If you’re including the Brazilian teams, OpTic move down two spots but could prove to be better than Immortals. Of course, that is if Immortals even stay together.
Is there a catch?
For almost every wonderful thing in life, there comes a catch. With tasty food, comes a not so great receipt. With dank memes, comes crippling depression. You get the idea, so what’s the catch with all this firepower OpTic obtained? Well actually, multiple things.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room, friberg is not an in-game leader. For all I know, he could become a great leader, he has the experience; however, he could also fail in his endeavor, and end up being back in free agency. One thing friberg has going for him, is one of the best coaches in the world, Chet ‘ImAPet’ Singh. ImAPet will help friberg massively, just as he did CLG; for example, one notable win I happen to remember was when CLG ended Gambit’s 10 map win streak on Cobblestone when the CIS squad looked untouchable on the map. Even when taking that into account, I’d say the odds are about 60-40 against him, so it is a gamble, but will be massively beneficial if it works out.
You also have to look at the way they’ll gel on the CT side, which could also be a problem. I don’t see a clear bomb site anchor here, who can consistently delay enemy pushes on the smaller bomb sites on maps. I suppose you’d have to give the nod to friberg; although HS could fit into this role, once he gets some experience under his belt. To make matters even worse, there will be growing pains in communication. In high-pressure situations, speaking your first language can be difficult, much less your second language.
Will they succeed?
In the short term, they will probably dominate smaller, North American LANs, but in long term, I don’t foresee this team breaking the top 10 in the world, but could potentially make top 15. While I’d love to believe in this team, there are just too many question marks right now to tell; if one of you OpTic members are out there reading this, I challenge you to prove me wrong and do something incredible.
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