Chris Higgins, February 3, 2017

The Post-Major CS:GO Shuffle is Shaking Up Europe

The CS:GO post-Major roster shuffle has finally kicked off in the last 24 hours, with a long-awaited French super team formation, the conclusion of the Swedish swap meet and quick NA like-for-like changes.

There’s a decent chance the aftershocks of these big changes will continue to ripple through rosters as everyone scrambles to pick up the pieces and field a more competitive team for the next $1m Major. Anything to tempt your CS:GO bets away from the established legends.

G2 announced today that the rumors circulating at the end of 2016 about a French super team were true and that they would be the sole benefactors of the merging. Three from EnVyUs (Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, and Nathan “NBK” Schmitt) will join Richard “shox” Papillon and Alexandre “bodyyPianaro under the G2 banner, hoping to create the strongest line-up since France’s brief dominant spell in 2015.

With a strategically sound but underperforming Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux moving to a coaching role for the G2 team, they very well could have something special on the hands. Certainly something to challenge the Danish Major victors Astralis, and with the Swedish scene in something of a tizz themselves this could be their chance to challenge for the EU throne.

Fnatic and GODSENT’s back and forth swapping affair has reached its inevitable conclusion now as both teams are basically back to where they started. Jesper “JW” Wecksell and Robin “flusha” Rönnquist will be rejoining the Fnatic squad while Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun and Simon “twist” Eliasson are heading over to GODSENT. Yep. That's the 2015/16 Fnatic Classic back together at last.

Fnatic’s performance in the ELEAGUE Major was enough to let them shine in the semi-finals suggesting they’d finally hit upon a winning formula after months of trading with GODSENT, but the teams apparently had other thoughts. "Looking back we realize we've caused a lot of confusion and unnecessary drama amongst Fnatic fans," the announcement admits. "Everyone involved is hugely apologetic for how the last few months unfolded, but sometimes it takes a period of time apart to realize how special a bond was."

With G2 and EnVyUs’ merging, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, and Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom have been left out in the cold, while not-so-happy Vincent “Happy” Cervoni and Christophe “SIXER” Xia mirror them on the EnVyUs side of the divide. What becomes of these four is yet undecided, though there were whispers around the same time of the French super team formation that ScreaM would be forming his own team.

Since then, things have become murky, with FaZe allegedly stepping into talks with the rifler, with the potential for him to replace Aizy as North has expressed an interest on that front. The knock-on effect of these swaps would create spaces and opportunities for further shuffles but most would be trading like-for-like skilled players as is the case across the Atlantic, with no major coups for any teams aside from G2.

Liquid and Optic’s trade, of Spencer “Hiko” Martin for Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz is a much more impactful swap, however. Hiko’s leadership of Liquid over the past 18 months has seen them make huge strides at Majors, but despite coming desperately close to that top spot on several occasions they’ve failed to make that final hurdle to greatness.

For both teams, Atlanta’s Major will have been a wake-up call that changes are needed having failed to make secure their Legends status once more. A changing of the IGL guard could be all that’s required to get them back on the right side of the group stages, but don’t be surprised to see more radical movements taking place before the next million-dollar event.

Chris Higgins

Chris is the silent solo support.