Dom Discusses: NBK- & His Challengers

Ex-G2 IGL NBK- is rumoured to be back in competition soon with a new French team.

Welcome to the first installment of a new series; Dom Discusses. In this series, I’ll discuss something in the CS:GO esports scene. Firstly, the rumours of NBK’s new French team.

To give context, journalists neL and DeKay have both reported that the players Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, Vincent “Happy” Cervoni, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut are going to join forces. It has also been rumoured that the French organisation Team Vitality is going to pick them up and that they are already practicing together in anticipation of teaming up. NBK- and apEX were most recently seen together on G2, RpK and Happy standing in for Tempo Storm, and ZywOo plying his trade for aAa.

In terms of the roster, it wouldn’t be the roster I’d choose. I’d change Happy, RpK and NBK- for Alexandre “xms” Pianaro, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey. My reasons for this are that recently we’ve seen a change in CS:GO’s competitive scene where having a hardcore support player has been almost vital to be a top team. For Astralis, it’s Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth. For FaZe, it’s Havard “rain” Nygaard. For Liquid, it’s Epitacio “TACO” de Melo Pessoa. I want xms to be the hardcore support player of France’s second-best team. I think NBK- is a better player than xms, but we aren’t playing fantasy football. xms is a better player when it comes to dying for the team, making the team space, and everything else diehard support players do. Bad stats don’t mean players are bad, again look at TACO. One of the worlds’ best support players, and an HLTV rating of 0.95. Replacing Happy, I’d do that because for nV he showed his decay as a player and IGL, so replacing him with kioShiMa, who seemed a promising IGL when he took the reins, is a simple decision to me. Replacing RpK for ScreaM is just as simple because ScreaM looked in his prime while playing under kioShiMa, along with the fact that RpK has been very poor recently and blighted by illness, so to have the kioShiMa-ScreaM combination again would make the team explosive. For all the reasons I’ve stated above, I don’t think this is France’s best shot at a top team apart from G2, because I think the roster could be improved and NBK- seemed a mediocre IGL whilst IGLing for G2.

If (or seemingly when) this roster comes together, I think they’ll struggle. I think the best thing to come of this roster is that it will turn ZywOo from a rough-edged diamond into a top-tier competitor, something that any fan of CS:GO’s esports scene has been waiting for. The team will be in and out of the top 10-15, maybe have some good tournaments, but the team lacks consistent firepower in my opinion, and that will come to hurt them. Will the team make the Katowice Major 2019? No, because I think better teams such as ENCE will make it through the Minor, EU competition is very stacked currently and will only continue to go that way…therefore the team will not make the Major in my opinion.

This team is not up to scratch.

Thank you for reading the article. We hope you enjoyed it. If you want more ESN, we have a Discord server and a Twitter account, along with other articles, such as our recent interview with ESL TeaTime.


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