Could we order one French roster shuffle with Superteam on top, please?
2016 was a bad year for French Counter-Strike. Team EnVyUs was more or less irrelevant, and G2 had a couple of good showings, but that’s not good enough for a nation used to competing for gold at the majors. So even before ELEAGUE’s Major in January, rumors about a French roster shuffle were spreading. Both G2 and EnVyUs showed lackluster performances in Atlanta and neither managed to qualify for the playoffs.
So, on February the 3rd, what had to happen, happened: G2 announced its new team. A dream team. A Superteam? On paper, the answer is easy: Yes! shox, godlike rifles and pistols, insane clutching ability, secondary AWP, lurker, IGL, you name it, he does it. kennyS, arguably the best AWP in the game. apEX, the incarnation of an entry fragger. NBK, a legendary role player. bodyy, an up and coming talent with great potential and SmithZz, a true veteran, as coach.
A lot of people were upset, as they believed that the god of one-taps and fan favorite, ScreaM, deserved a spot on the new formed team after an individually outstanding year. But looking at the role distribution of G2’s squad, it is hard to see how and where he would fit in. ScreaM was relegated to the new EnVyUs roster, who seemingly drew the short straw, post-shuffle.
Initial struggles in EPL, unreal turnaround
Season 5 of the ESL Pro League kicked off in style, giving fans exactly what they wanted on the very first matchday. G2 versus EnVyUs. ScreaM versus ‘the bad guys’ and a shot at vengeance. And when G2 got 2-0’d, all the trolls came crawling out of their caves to laugh and point fingers at shox & Co.
ScreaM gets revenge. Video courteasy of SuperstituM.
To make matters worse, G2 lost eight out of their first nine EPL matches, ranked dead last in the standings. Many deemed the Superteam project a failure, but they judged too quickly, because what followed was an unreal, almost implausible turnaround. Out of the remaining 17 matches in the league, G2 won 15 (SAY WHAT?), beating teams like Astralis, FaZe and mousesports on their way to a second place finish of the fifth EPL season and a ticket to Texas. If you include the matches they played outside of EPL from that point onwards, they only lost 13 out of 51 games, which is simply incredible in such a competitive era.
Recently, they won their first LAN event, DH Tours. A must win, since the level of competition there wasn’t too difficult, but the same could be said about DH Austin one week earlier, where they were kicked out of the tournament by Gambit in the semi-finals, a loss that can, but should not happen if they want to become number one.
G2 after their victory in Tours. Will we see more of this in the future? Photo courtesy of HLTV.org
What to expect from the Superteam
So let’s ask again. G2, the French Superteam? On paper, the answer is easy. But what about off paper? Well, it’s not that easy anymore. Team chemistry isn’t a formula you simply mix in the lab. It has countless unfathomable attributes you can’t predict. The truth lies in the details, so we still have to be patient with our verdict. At the moment, one thing seems certain, G2 are beginning to get into their stride.
And out of fairness, I feel obliged to mention that the tag Superteam was never self-imposed by any of G2’s players. The scene came up with the name and put that burden on their shoulders. But, as we all know, with great power, comes great responsibility. I believe, we as fans, have the permission to expect greatness from great players, and I am quite certain internally they embrace that challenge.
Personally, I’m a believer in the Superteam. G2 will challenge the likes of SK, Astralis and FaZe at future tournaments and go for gold at the majors again. The individual skill in the team is one of the highest we’ve seen in CS:GO. Allez les baguettes (bleus)!
The ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals in Dallas, Texas
The EPL Finals in Dallas are now just around the corner. If you want to see G2 (or any other finalist) play in a city so integral to esports, be sure to follow ESL’S CS:GO YouTube channel.
And secure your tickets for the finals from June 3rd – 4th here, while they are still available (selling out quickly). For live coverage of the event and all of the latest updates on the ESL Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook.