G2 have announced that former 3DMAX pair Audric “JaCkz” Jug and Lucas “Lucky” Chastang will join the roster. They will replace Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux and Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans, a duo who lasted mere months on the outgoing iteration of G2. The move follows lacklustre online and offline performances for the team, notably a group stage exit at the FACEIT Major 2018. Swapping out SmithZz and Ex6TenZ will definitely improve G2. Whether Lucky and JaCkz will be the knights in shining armour to rescue the lineup remains to be seen.
Weakened By Support
G2’s main problem since SmithZz and Ex6TenZ joined was a lack of firepower; Richard “shox” Papillon and Kenny “kennyS” Schrub were solely relied upon to provide it. Rifler Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro made his name known through his exemplary support play in the lower echelons of the French scene. Placing him with Ex6TenZ, an old-fashioned in-game leader, meant that the team lacked firepower and needed a solid third fragger. shox irrationally opted to add his best friend SmithZz, an AWPer forced into a supportive rifling position. SmithZz himself had a pathetic average HLTV rating of 0.84 on LAN while he played in that lineup, and bodyy had a mere 0.96. That G2 had a lack of flair, style and prowess on the server which haunted their lineup during their tenures. In signing Lucky and JaCkz, they are signing more solid fraggers, something they definitely need.
Dry Powder Awaiting a Spark?
Lucky, a man of just 20 years, has only one LAN to his name. That was the EU Minor for the FACEIT Major, and he achieved a stellar 1.20 rating. Considering that was his first HLTV-recorded offline event, that is excellent. Online, he has looked solid as well. He has just two negative HLTV-rated events following the FACEIT Major, as you can see below.
Comparing his performances to the 26-year-old JaCkz proves how much resemblance there is. Only one LAN under the 3DMAX banner, that same Minor, resulted in a 1.07 HLTV rating for the respected Frenchman. His online performances since the Major have not as been as excellent as Lucky’s. Even so, like Lucky, JaCkz has only had two negative-rated HLTV events since the Major. All in all, G2’s move does add a lot of firepower to the team. That is something which the French titans have been craving, but it could not be the solution to the majority of their issues.
Maybe Not Enough
kennyS’ individual performances have fallen as of late, culminating in a shocking 0.92 HLTV rating at cs_summit3 from the AWPer. That was his lowest HLTV performance since ELEAGUE Season 2. The fact that main star, shox, will once again undertake the in-game leading role is a further cause for concern. After all, shox has always been at his best when he has been handed space to be the lone star, via highlight plays and standout performances. Whether taking the mantle of leadership will damage this, only time will tell. The team will now rely on an under-performing kennyS, and the newbies of Lucky and JaCkz to provide firepower. The latter two have only played once on LAN, at a Minor. The opposition against which the pair performed well were low-tier. This differs greatly to the seasoned international teams that G2 will compete against. This does not bode well for the new roster going into the next online season.
The Better of Two Options?
Imagine if G2 had opted for Francois “AmaNEk” Delaunay and David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic over Lucky and JaCkz. With the LDLC duo, you’d bring a consistent duo who have played together for a while. They plied their trade in North America for a while, playing under Sean “sg@res” Gares for Misfits and impressing there. They would be a stronger, more proven and more reliable duo than Lucky and JaCkz. Take this interview with Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, which clearly details how solid a fragging duo they are.
AmaNEk and devoduvek provide firepower, bags of it. Not only that, but the French duo is adept at activating each other. Both have reached their career peaks when competing together, and they have both turned heads within Europe and the Americas. For Misfits, the highlight was the ESL Pro League S6 Finals in Dallas. The team beat NRG, North and NiP to make it through the groups. They faced European/CIS mix HellRaisers in the quarter-finals and performed the upset by taking the series 2-0. devoduvek and AmaNEk were the top two on the scoreboard that match, with 1.37 and 1.36 HLTV ratings respectively. At LDLC, the main talking point is IEM Chicago 2018. They finished 5-6th at the event, after choking a series against Liquid which would have put them into the playoffs. They still triumphed over North in a BO3, as well as Renegades and NRG, which is impressive for a team of LDLC’s experience. AmaNEk stood out with a 1.17 HLTV rating at the event, and devoduvek was second on the team with a 1.04 HLTV rating.
Overall, G2’s move does not fix everything. While they are adding two fraggers in Lucky and JaCkz, the pair is yet to prove it against seasoned opposition and they are very inexperienced. Adding AmaNEk and devoduvek would be superior. Their reliability, reputation and consistency would precede that of Lucky and JaCkz’s. Even if the LDLC duo had been favoured, shox has taken the leading role once more. He will no longer be set up to step up; he will step up by setting up. This paired with kennyS’ underwhelming performances does not inspire confidence in G2’s next stab at a top-tier French team.