Yesterday it was announced that G2 esports will be the organization behind the new French "super team." Rumors have been going around for a few weeks now that Richard "shox" Papillon and Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro will be joining forces with Nathan "NBK" Schmitt, Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, and Dan "apEX" Madesclaire. This meant that the other G2 players would be dropped with the exception of Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux who would step down as a player and enter into the coaching role. With so much firepower on a single team, one has to wonder if it is even possible to keep it under control.
Who plays what?
It is very easy to distinguish the roles of each player considering what they've done for their past teams. ApEX has always been known for his ability to entry onto any sites providing he is on form. NBK has been more of a role player for the entirety of his time on EnVyUs, but we all know he is capable of much more. Bodyy has been consistent since joining G2 ten months ago so we know he can frag. KennyS is still one of the best AWPers in the world. Last but definitely not least, you have shox's incredible skill and will to be a leader.
When it comes to entry roles there's no player known for it more than apEX. It is famously believed that if he is at the top of his game then you are going to have a tough time against him on the CT side. He alone could win you games which is an incredible ability for someone who plays a role known for always dying when making an offensive move. However, his abilities aren't something you want to rely on one hundred percent of the time. Fortunately, this new lineup won't have to rely on any one player completely. ApEX should at least make enough space for players like KennyS and bodyy to shine.
NBK is a highly experienced player of CS and he knows a lot about the game so I could think of no one better to be a role player. Not to mention that he has fit into this role well on his former team. I see NBK being able to set things up for the rest of his comrades, but his capabilities don't just stop there. He was a top tier fragger back when he played on VeryGames and more recently on LDLC. You cannot underestimate his firepower. He is definitely one of the most clutch players in CSGO and if I had to pick a player to say he is similar to than it would be Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth. To sum it up he will be more of a team player on the lineup, but he is a good safety net in case one of the star players goes missing.
Since joining G2 last April, bodyy has proved his worth as a player and there is no better reason that he was chosen for this team than his consistent performances. It should be said though that Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom would be a better fit for this job, but there are rumors that one of the other four players didn't want to play with him. If that is true then, bodyy would be the best second choice. He is still quite young and not as experienced as the rest, but he is someone that I see being able to play the second man in role and assist apEX to entry sites.
KennyS is the obvious choice as an AWPer for any team. He may not be the best at the moment, but he is one of the best. Even throughout 2016, when EnVyUs wasn't in form, Kenny was able to still pull his own weight and even made it to HLTV's top twenty players of 2016. If this team is to succeed I'd imagine that they'll build around Kenny. He is an S-tier star and there is no doubt that he will finally become a true king on this lineup. Sure he has won tournaments and even a major, but he has never been on a team that had its own era or period of dominance. Now is the time.
The talk around shox through 2016 was that he is one of the best players of the year. He did indeed led G2 to four finals and even took the trophy at one of them against Luminosity/SK Gaming. There is no doubt about his skill, but the real question will lie around his IGL abilities. Will he find an efficient way to build around his AWPer? Will he be able to take the pressure of mid round calling at the biggest of tournaments? The answers should come to us sooner than later and then we will know how legendary this guy really is. For now I predict that he will take a more passive role and play to set up his teammates like Kenny and apEX.
Is the firepower enough?
The question in the title of this section has a very easy answer for almost any other team, no. Firepower should never be enough and we have seen examples of it time and time again. The more recent showing would be Na'Vi before the major. Bringing in Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev wasn't enough. They needed to build a system to have the stars of the team shine and that was what they aimed for going into the major. I assume the same will be for this lineup. Having the name "super team" won't get you what you need to actually win tournaments. Shox and SmithZz have big jobs ahead of them.
It's up to SmithZz to lay the foundation of what this team will play in. Although they are very skilled, just letting them loose won't get you the wanted results and so as the coach he needs to find what's right. There needs to be a set playing style and a common mentality going into any maps. Fortunately, EnVyUs and G2 have had a very similar style for a while now. They relied on skill a lot coming out from apEX, Kenny, shox, and ScreaM. However, I don't think that style will be viable anymore. With tactics being a vital aspect of teams nowadays like in SK and Astralis, G2 needs to change up how they play the game as a whole.
Mid round calling will be shox's job. In his personal statement he said, "myself as captain and leader." This is the clear confirmation that everyone was looking for. Others might have speculated that NBK would call, but I wasn't confident in that since EnVyUs didn't do so well when he took up the reigns. Shox is the best choice here. We've seen that he can still perform well despite being the leader so maybe we will still see him in god mode. However, as I mentioned before, he will most likely take a more passive role unless his skill is badly needed.
With an analyst, a coach, and a fairly experienced in-game leader, it is expected that this lineup won't just be all about firepower. The fact that they brought in all these resources tells us that they are looking to really build on their team more besides just the individual skill. It is very possible that they will go back to a loose style that we've seen on G2 or EnVyUs considering that's how shox will call, but hopefully that won't happen. I expect a different approach to the game than the French teams we've seen in the past.
With the "super team" being made it left out a few French players from the top teams. This includes Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer, ScreaM, and Cedríc "Rpk" Guipouy. Many people speculated what the second French team will be and today EnVyUs made the announcement of the roster.
The second team that was made by Happy will have Christophe "SIXER" Xia, Rpk, former LDLC player, Alexandre "xms" Forté, and former Vexed player, David "devoduvek" Dobrosavljevic. Many questions revolve around this lineup. Where's ScreaM? Who are these guys? Will this even be a top contender?
ScreaM has been rumored that he will make a move to play on FaZe and although it isn't confirmed many people still think he will venture off from the French teams. As for the newer players joining EnVyUs, they are second tier French players. Xms was the best player on Kevin "Ex6tenz" Droolan's LDLC for the past couple months and devoduvek has been playing for Vexed for about two months. I don't see anyway that this team will find any kind of success. Happy's leadership has been lacking lately and none of these players have been extraordinary. The scraps will stay as scraps while the stars will rise from the ashes they will stay will in the rubble.
Photo Credit: HLTV.org