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Credit: ESL



Heroic are easily the best team in Denmark right now. 

Casper “cadiaN” Møller spent two years in NA with Rogue, failed on North and sold his soul to the Devil and was gifted with a lineup rife with young Danish talent, mostly notably Martin “stavn” Lund.

It’s a shame the trade off was becoming the most annoying player in CS:GO.

AWPer and IGL, cadiaN has overseen this middling team’s transformation into one capable of winning championships.

The only problem? They can only win them online.

One of the stars of the online era, Heroic overachieved in every sense of the word.

It won’t go down in the same vein of history as the other victors though.

On LAN, Heroic is a different story.

While cadiaN may talk a big game on Twitter, the squad often falls flat when they’re actually next to their opponent, and even worse whilst on stage.

It’s gotten so bad – especially considering the way they lose games – that now Duncan “Thorin” Shields has said that Heroic are bigger chokers than Finn “karrigan” Andersen’s TSM/Astralis roster. 

I’d say I agree, especially now since Cloud9 have won a tournament.

They have top billing in Denmark, but neither the stars on the team nor the expectations of the fans will allow Astralis’ continued mediocrity.

With the return of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz constantly being floated around, it won’t be long before the greatest organisation in the history of CS:GO are back on top.

Neutrals won’t want to see that, but they also won’t want to see the downfall of what was once a young and exciting roster as they continue to slip out of the top 10. 

Worse still, they could lose stavn, a loss they may never recover from. 

Things have to change, so you know we’ve got a conundrum. 

Denmark is a fun place for one right now.

Heroic: The cadiaN Problem

cadiaN needs to be given credit for his role as a tactician.

His Rogue squad made it to a major with the 94 year old Spencer “Hiko” Martin, and while his North stint wasn’t great, on Heroic he has shown his ability as a top level IGL.

For all their natural talents, it can’t not be said that the younger players on the roster haven’t benefited from his stewardship. 

Stavn is incredible and has always shown potential, but he has had his best years under cadiaN, and in 2022 he has exploded into one of the best rifles in the world.

Rene “TeSeS” Madsen has improved massively since joining Heroic. A once bizarre pickup by Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen’s OpTic, TeSeS has gained a level of consistency under cadiaN that more than earns him a place on a top 10 team. 

cadiaN is also prone to coming up with a big clutch.

Who could forget his 1v4 against Gambit to win ESL Pro League Season 13?

In case you had, here it is, made even better by an incredible bit of casting by Alex “Machine” Richardson and Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill.

Unfortunately, cadiaN doesn’t come without his drawbacks.

Despite being okay in the late round, something that Helvijs “broky” Saukants and Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov ensured would be important for a while, cadiaN is in no way a remarkable AWPer.

Despite being his regen, he’s barely ever experienced anything close to Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s level.

If you want to hear something frightening, for as washed as FalleN is considered to be – he’s having a slightly better 2022 than his Danish counterpart.

Now.. that’s a problem.

If you want to be the best team, you need a qualified AWPer, and they come at a premium.

Both broky and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev are at the top of their games for FaZe Clan and NAVI.

sh1ro is great for Cloud9.

Aleksander “hades” Miskiewicz is starting to find his feet for ENCE.

Do you see why now?

PGL

It’s not his only problem either.

Another thing Thorin highlights on Revenge of By the Numbers is that cadiaN’s personality seems to be contradictory to the personalities of his teammates, and therefore applies unnecessary pressure to them.

It should be a quick fix for the IGL if it is a problem, and I don’t doubt that it is too.

How would you feel if your captain was serving up embarrassment on a platter?

So what do you possibly do when your AWP IGL is too good at IGLing to be dropped entirely, but not good enough at AWPing to justify giving it to him? 

Isn’t it simple?

Heroic: The Obvious Solution

cadiaN’s AWPing is a relic of a bygone era, a time when the AWP could be afforded to be relegated to a less mechanically gifted player in hope for added individual impact.

While his IGLing is one of the main reasons they’re good, his AWPing is one of the main things holding them back.

These days, you need a star on the AWP.

cadiaN is never going to be that, so it’s foolish to pretend he will.

He’s not going to be great on a rifle either, and it might take him a while to adjust to new roles, but cadiaN is a man who has climbed to the top already.

A little further won’t hurt him.  

But what if we do take the AWP away from him? Who do we give it to? 

We could look internally, stavn has proved himself a capable AWPer as the secondary on CT sides, he could more than likely do a decent job as an AWPer.

However, I really don’t think he should.

It can’t be stated enough how much of a falsehood secondary AWPing is.

How rare is it that a secondary transitions to the primary and is actually what was promised? 

He might look as acceptable as he can now, but let’s not let Patrick “es3tag” Hansen’s past attempts at AWPing slip from our minds.

He was once a reasonable secondary AWP on Heroic.

Even the great Nikola “NiKo” Kovac couldn’t handle that step up.

G2 Esports

The most obvious answer would have been Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjid; the young sniper has seen a huge upsurge in popularity because of his achievements at the last two Majors with Copenhagen Flames. 

Nicoodoz has established himself as being able to tangle with the big boys of CS:GO already, with impressive performances against the likes of ENCE, Astralis and FaZe. 

He fits the bill for Heroic too – a young, Danish talent that was likely available for a reasonable fee and salary.

It’s unfortunate then, that the Danes have already missed their opportunity to upgrade the big green with nicoodoz, as he and Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen were snapped up by fnatic.

That leaves us with one option, he’s a tad more expensive, but he’s worth it.

You already know who I mean:

Dev1ce.

NIP

Dev1ce is now reportedly wantaway, and while there are constant rumours of his return to Astralis – and boy, do they need him – I can’t help but feel like Heroic would be a better fit for him. 

Heroic are much better than their counterparts right now, and unless Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander accepts Benjamin “blameF” Bremmer is better than him, dev1ce’s return isn’t going to fix any of the real problems there.

Especially if gla1ve continues his recent AWP-stealing antics with him too.

A move to Heroic could also bring about an interesting change within the Danish esports scene.

When Astralis first came into existence and found success, they were huge on PR within the Danish public to establish themselves as Denmark’s premium esports organisation. 

It’s not uncommon to see kids running around in an Astralis jersey the same way most others would with their favourite football team.

I guess North and FC København really let them down there, huh. 

Would dev1ce signing for a rival team change all of that?

He was without a doubt the star of the Astralis roster that holds the title of ‘The Greatest Lineup in CS:GO History’ and before that he was consistently a top five player in the world. 

Even after tanking a year of his career, he’s still tied with s1mple for the most HLTV MVP medals with 19.

If he could bring some fans with him, even after his absence and time on NIP, that alone might just be enough to justify the huge sum of money it will take to prise him away from Hicham Chahine’s grubby little fingers.

PGL

A Team in Need of a Refresh

Heroic is a team in need of a refresh. A team that has gone stale. Its biggest problem: Ismail “refrezh” Ali. Ironic, right?

I’ve never been too convinced by refrezh, he looked okay in tier 3 on Fragsters but was disappointing on my beloved OpTic.

Maybe I’m biased, I just don’t think he ever deserved to be on this team in the first place.

His 2022 form is by far the worst on the team too, and his 0.82 rating at PGL Antwerp 2022 is abysmal – especially when you consider Heroic made top 8.

If someone would have to make room for an incoming cadiaN rifle/dev1ce AWP change, refrezh would be the most obvious choice.

But what if Heroic can’t get dev1ce? If his return home is inevitable and they are stuck with the AWP on cadiaN?

The most obvious choice would be Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså. Recently benched star of OG, valde earned his stripes on Heroic before becoming one of MSL’s top graduates at North.

Beyond the Summit

Valde is a true star, and one with the necessary big stage experience to anchor this team when times get tough.

However, with Astralis looking poor and being much more attractive should they come knocking, valde might also be too far out of Heroic’s reach. 

If they could sign both, they boot Rasmus “sjuush” Beck and laugh all the way to their number one ranking.

But just for a bit of fun, let’s pretend they sign neither. Who else is available? 

After fnatic saw fit to decimate Copenhagen Flame’s roster, the most obvious choice would be one of the remainders there.

Both Rasmus “Zyphon” Nordfoss and Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard have a 1.07 rating at the two Majors they’ve attended, which is impressive considering their rookie status.

Both fitting the Heroic bill of signing young talents and developing them, they’re the prime options.

Jabbi is the one with the slightly higher impact rating, while Zyphon has an ever so slightly higher ADR.

There’s very little between the two.

So why not sign both? You have to feel bad for poor old Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen, but this might actually be the best option.

IEM

Let’s face it, stavn isn’t going to stick around forever.

It’s only a matter of time with an organisation willing to pay more gives him a call, especially with so many of the top teams slipping so far in 2022.

Signing both allows you to have a trial period to see if anyone else’s removal could improve the team, as well as securing a strong replacement for stavn in the future with whoever doesn’t make the cut the first time.

Heroic: Hanging on to the Top

Success isn’t guaranteed, especially with so many variables in play.

One thing is guaranteed though, Astralis won’t allow Heroic to hang onto the top spot in Denmark for much longer, not without Heroic having to fight for it.

This calls for a change, and this time, I’ll present you with two options.

The first, is the prime roster.

The roster that would eliminate Astralis’ chances from ever reaching the top again and potentially fire Heroic to being the best team in the world:

  • Casper “cadiaN” Møller
  • Martin “stavn” Lund
  • Rene “TeSeS” Madsen
  • Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz
  • Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså

The second option, is the realistic roster, the one that secures Heroic’s future and that is most fitting to the organisation as we know it.

It’s a six-man roster – which I for one am actually an advocate of – but it works, and most importantly, it’s smart.

  • Casper “cadiaN” Møller
  • Martin “stavn” Lund
  • Rene “TeSeS” Madsen
  • Rasmus “sjussh” Beck
  • Rasmus “Zyphon” Nordfoss
  • Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard
“I like both of these rosters, but I’d like it more if cadiaN stopped talking and just played the game”
Jaxon

Sam McKenzie covers a variety of competitive first-person shooters, with an emphasis on Valorant and Counter-Strike esports. He also has a passion for football in both the real and virtual worlds, and contributes his expertise in FIFA esports.