Welcome back to Under the Spotlight, my series of mini-features on a team and how I would fix it. I’m focussing on G2 in this article; the fallen titans of French Counter-Strike. Despite calls from portions of the community to leave the team alone, I will explain why change is needed.
A string of disappointing performances have marred G2’s 2018 season. At this years FACEIT Major, G2 went out in the group stages after losing the deciding BO3 to FaZe Clan. A 16-2 defeat on Mirage on FaZe’s pick, followed by a loss in overtime of 25-22 on Inferno, G2’s map choice. This was a poor showing from G2, considering the initial purpose of this team was to keep Legends status, something they have failed to do. More recently, they finished 5th-6th at ESL One New York 2018 after once again failing to close out a deciding match in the group stages but this time to NRG. These notable early exits from what should have been competitive tournaments for G2 can be attributed to two simple issues.
The first issue is firepower. G2 has two support players in SmithZz and bodyy, which leaves shox and kennyS shorthanded in the fragging department. Not having enough output in that area also makes the support players’ lives more difficult, as they are often tasked with jobs they lack the skillset to do at a competent level. The second problem in G2 is the noticeable lack of faith in leadership. The players have given up on Ex6TenZ and his organised, tactical approach. This can be linked to a lack of morale within the roster. In top-tier teams, the in-game leader is the focal point and core of the lineup, but in G2 the impression given is that de facto leadership has moved to kennyS, and he’s the figurehead of the team. When they play it’s not possible to see Ex6TenZ’s signature on the style of the team. Gone are the days when differences in the team could be patched over by an inspirational speech from shox. G2 need a solution for their issues, but what could that be?
Like restarting a buggy PC, the most reliable means of fixing a team is restarting it with a roster change. It’s time for shox and SmithZz to part ways, and SmithZz is the one on the chopping block. In general, forcing an AWPer to become a support rifler will be difficult to make work, and this is because of their lack of experience with rifles and unfamiliarity with the role. This is particularly relevant for SmithZz because he has historically been poor with rifles. Furthermore, SmithZz takes some of bodyy’s supportive roles, and this has made bodyy perform worse. This is because he has had to adapt his game for SmithZz and he has always benefited from playing a more dedicated version of the support role, which he is currently not utilising. For example, SmithZz has been providing support for the entry fraggers of G2 and it is bodyy who has stepped up for this role. In the past, bodyy has been able to rely on Dan “apeX” Madesclaire for that but now has had to learn a new role. In place of SmithZz, G2 need to add the hotshot French talent Francois “AmaNEk” Delaunay who currently plays for LDLC. He has recently won the ESL Pro European Championship and starred for LDLC with a sublime 1.31 HLTV rating. He was one of the standout riflers on the former North American Misfits lineup and his consistent fragging skills will prove crucial for G2, who are in need of more consistent fraggers. The problem with the team’s lack of faith in Ex6TenZ will largely fix itself, successful teams are cohesive teams. The new coach Malek “maleK” Bennouioua will make small tweaks to Ex6TenZ’s ideas, this will optimize the style of the team and reaffirm Ex6TenZ’s position as the in-game leader. I think that these proposed changes would pave the way for G2 to stop the bleeding and improve in the coming months.
Thank you very much for reading. This post was brought to you in affiliation with PreGameGG, you should use code “PG3DAY” for a free three-day trial. If you like it, use code “ESNESPORTS” for 20% off at checkout. This article was written by Dom “d0m^” Phillips and edited by Thomas Sweggerty.