With both the BLAST.tv Paris Major and IEM Dallas completed, it’s clear that the roster shuffle season is almost upon us.
There have already been reports about OG, ranging from them signing Florian “syrsoN” Rische to them dropping almost their entire roster. At the same time, FURIA have also been reported to be tapping up the godfather of Brazilian Counter-Strike, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo.
The Major saw the rise of many tier-two talents, with the likes of Apeks and Monte making the Playoffs while GamerLegion went all the way to the Grand-final. It seems certain that many teams will struggle to hold onto their players, but where’s best for them to move to? Let's take a look.
MOUZ have had a rather disappointing first half of 2023 considering their 2022 ended with a semi-final finish at the IEM Rio Major, and it seems their team has hit something of a stumbling block in terms of their progression.
Christopher “dexter” Nong is an obvious worry with the team failing to kick on under his leadership, and Adam “torzsi” Torzsas has also failed to find the impact that many would have hoped for, considering his start to life on both MOUZ NXT and the main team.
The dream move for most would be the arrival of Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek, the GamerLegion IGL who initially made a name for himself alongside torzsi, Dorian “xertioN” Berman, and Jon “JDC” de Castro on the academy lineup. Unfortunately, we don’t think this is the best move for siuhy (even if it might be for MOUZ), and we’d quite like to see siuhy stick with Ivan “iM” Mihai. So what are the other options?
In terms of AWPers, there are a few options. Abdul “degster” Gasanov might end up teamless, while OG’s negotiations with syrsoN suggest Iulian "regali" Harjău might not be their first choice, so he too could be available.
Our pick for MOUZ, however, would be the German member of that trio. A player capable of being the third star that MOUZ have lacked with torzsi’s misfiring, syrsoN would be comfortable with putting games on his shoulders and having the system built around him. An experienced player, his skills with the big green could easily take this lineup to the next level, even with dexter.
Sadly for dexter though, the time has come for him to also lose his spot with MOUZ. As we said earlier, siuhy would be the dream on a narrative basis, but as we saw in Paris, we don’t always get the narratives we want.
Instead, our pick would be Monte’s IGL, Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev. This move would come out of nowhere, as sdy has only recently become the IGL for his team. That being said, he has bags of experience, having played in a Major playoff and having been part of a NAVI squad that came second in Cologne last year. He’s also a better fragger than dexter, and that combined with his experience will be key to bringing more consistent placings to MOUZ.
After shuffle season, we hope MOUZ will be:
- Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev
- Florian “syrsoN” Rische
- David “frozen” Cernansky
- Jon “JDC” de Castro
- Dorian “xertioN” Berman
Moving onto one of the most disappointing organizations in CS:GO, OG have never quite lived up to the billing that their successes in DOTA promised. This could finally be the time for them to build a roster capable of succeeding at the highest level.
Let’s start with the players they should keep, which, unfortunately, might be really difficult for them. There’s been plenty of reports that Shahar “flameZ” Shushan is running down his contract, and his performances in roles not typically meant for stars saw him become a star long ago. He might be deserving of a better team than OG have been before this, but OG should throw everything at him to keep him because stars like him are worth their weight in gold.
Maciej “F1KU” Miklas should also be sticking around. A player who has done very little wrong, he’s a stable figure that can keep developing in his roles in tier one.
But what about the players OG should be signing? Remember when we said siuhy and iM should stick together?
Imagine OG with a real IGL, a player like siuhy who just galaxy-brained a team like GamerLegion to a Major final. Admit it, you’re already excited.
Then factor in iM, another aggressive player who has found a way to be a true star. iM can evolve on OG and become a player that can be a consistent star for years. A reverse-NiKo effect, with a player like flameZ already on the team, iM could become a more passive player and use his great aim to better effect in late rounds.
That leaves us with the AWP position, a spot we think should be filled by GamerLegion AWPer Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand. While his first shot at tier one with MOUZ didn’t go as planned, in Paris he showed he has more than what it takes to perform at tier one. A second stint is deserved, so where better than with his current teammates?
After the roster mania, we propose OG should be:
- Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek
- Ivan “iM” Mihai
- Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand
- Shahar “flameZ” Shushan
- Maciej “F1KU” Miklas
Fnatic are an organization that have spent years trying to build a great roster once more, so it’s a shame that this one just isn’t working out. Playoffs at ESL Pro League Season 16 and the IEM Rio Major offered a promising beginning, but months later, it’s hard to see this roster repeating those feats in the long run.
To start, Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi has failed to kick on like his former teammates Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen and Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard. Like torzsi, he had previously shown potential, but a year on, it doesn’t look like that potential will ever materialize into anything.
Dion “FASHR” Derksen has also struggled. The lowest-rated player on fnatic, the Dutchman has also failed to make the step up to tier one following his strong form on ECSTATIC.
When looking for replacements, nicoodoz’s is relatively obvious. regali could have easily been chosen for either of the two previous teams we’ve discussed, but as a former fnatic Rising player, it makes sense for him to return to the organization for a shot in tier one.
As for FASHR, an aggressive and selfless player is required. With Fredrik “roeJ” Jorgensen operating in a lot of the good CT rotator roles, it somewhat eliminates Mohammad “BOROS” Malhas as an option, so instead, we would suggest that Into the Breach’s Cai “CYPHER” Watson could be the answer. It’s a big step up, and there’s something to be said as to whether CYPHER could perform to the same level he did at the Major and the RMR consistently, but with fnatic being a UK organization, it has to be worth a shot.
After the shuffles, our dream fnatic lineup would be:
- William “mezii” Merriman
- Cai “CYPHER” Watson
- Fredrik “roeJ” Jorgensen
- Iulian "regali" Harjău
- Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson
A team many expect better from, like MOUZ, FURIA have had a horrid beginning to 2023 following a semi-finals run at the Rio Major. A team that seems out of sorts, a lot has been said about them switching up their style to try to find consistency.
A lot can be said about whether the stylistic change is the issue, and many would point fingers towards the performances and individual style of IGL Andrei “arT” Piovezan, but let’s try to find a fix for that.
Unfortunately for Andre “drop” Abreu, arT’s role and selflessness would make him a valid piece even without being an IGL, and a better leader might be able to temper some of arT’s over aggressiveness, it’s just a case of finding one.
Fortunately for FURIA, that new IGL has become obvious in recent months. While reports have surfaced they have enquired about the availability of FalleN; they should instead be looking towards paiN IGL Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt.
Let’s face it, FalleN is washed up. While he might be statistically similar to Rafael “saffee” Costa, he hasn’t been a good leader for years. Biguzera on the other hand has quickly developed his paiN team into a roster that looks a threat on the international stage, comfortably second in the national rankings to FURIA.
If he can do that with paiN, what can he do with the top dogs of Brazil?
After the roster shuffles, we’d like FURIA to be:
- Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato
- Yuri “yuurih” Boian
- Rafael “saffee” Costa
- Andrei “arT” Piovezan
- Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt
Last but not least, Team Liquid. The North American favorites, Team Liquid seem to have gone off the boil following a string of playoff runs and top-four finishes since the arrival of Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis.
While YEKINDAR was originally credited as bringing a lot to the team, especially in terms of catching them back up to speed with the European meta post-COVID, the team now runs the danger of him becoming too important as he takes over the IGL duties from a retiring Nick “nitr0” Canella.
YEKINDAR IGLing, in the long run, is a bad idea. As seen countless times before, it’s never good when a star takes over the role, and unless they’re going to sacrifice everything in order to become an IGL, it’s very clear they only intend to do it as a stopgap anyway.
Liquid may have had firepower issues recently, but there’s not really an IGL in the world that can help that without creating role clashes, so instead, we propose they just sign an IGL with the potential to lead them into the future. Following his success with Apeks in Paris, we’d like that to be Damjan "kyxsan" Stoilkovski.
Following the roster mania, we hope Liquid is:
- Joshua “oSee” Ohm
- Damjan "kyxsan" Stoilkovski
- Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
- Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis
- Keith “NAF” Markovic