It’s official: Team Liquid is fucking terrible.
After crashing out 0-3 at PGL Antwerp, I would say that this roster is at absolute rock bottom, but at least they’re not Astralis.
When this roster was put together, everyone raised their eyebrows. The inclusions of Richard “shox” Papillon and Nick “nitr0” Canella summed up perfectly the desolation the last two years have had on NA CS.
Frankly, those eyebrows were right to be raised. This roster hasn’t performed, and while it’s sweet that Jonathan “EliGE.”
Jablonowski wants to play with his friend - this is Captain America at the end of Avengers: Endgame. He ain’t pretty no more.
Changes have to be made. EliGE and Keith “NAF-FLY” Markovic are too good to be languishing in the anchor that is this team…
I guess we have a conundrum. Let’s fix it:
Who Calls the Shots?
Presumably, it would be nitr0. It was under his leadership that Liquid won their intel Grand Slam. We were at least under the impression this was the case.
However, some people can’t help but relapse. Jaxon’s connection to the algorithm tells him that shox might, in fact, be calling the shots. It seems nitr0 is starting to admit to it, too, if this interview is anything to go by:
🧠 @shoxCSGO is @TeamLiquidCS' go-to guy when they need some macro management@nitr0 praised the French veteran for his way of thinking and the ideas he gives that in turn improve the team's calls#PGLMajor pic.twitter.com/K0Ehu2Usce
— HLTV.org (@HLTVorg) May 14, 2022
This is unsurprising. The Frenchman has a habit of taking the reins, even if this tweet by neL from a 2019 interview with Remy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam suggests he doesn’t want to:
About the critics on picking shox: "shox will never be leader, he will never be captain. That's what I told him. And it's now 2 years that he doesn't want to lead anymore. He didn't impose anything. "
— neL (@neLendirekt) September 29, 2019
I want to be clear here: this is horrible for the team. Shox has never been a good IGL, and to suggest by some miracle this has changed in 2022 is ridiculous.
This means nitr0 is now pointless in the team, and he’s not good enough to justify his place by other means. First up? Finding a new IGL.
NA is remarkably short in this sense, Complexity has Johnny “JT” Theodosiou, and we know how well that’s going. He’s not even technically NA.
Liquid isn’t going to elevate someone from within North America. It would be suicidal to the new team before it even begins.
One potential option is Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer if we're looking toward Europe. The veteran Dane has built an ENCE squad on the verge of greatness, but it’s hard to argue that Liquid wouldn’t be an upgrade.
Or we could look to South America and call on former Liquid player Epitacio “TACO” de Melo. The Brazilian is making a name for himself with a young and exciting GODSENT roster.
I’m sure he’d have a lot of fun with EliGE, too, whose attitude to the game NEROcs summed up perfectly:
"Surviving is for pussies" - @EliGE, probably pic.twitter.com/2sLAdC7Myp
— Harry Richards (@NER0cs) May 13, 2022
However, my pick is Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek, the MOUZ NXT in-game leader who has dominated the academy leagues since their inception. An entry fragger with impressive stats for an IGL, he led his roster to a point where they would have surpassed their main roster - well, if half of them hadn’t been promoted anyway.
MOUZ will likely be looking to promote siuhy soon too, their roster suffers from similar leadership issues, and so far, the promotions have gone well. But Liquid is a big fish, and I’m sure they could poach him if they tried.
Image: Beyond the Summit
Let’s round out this roster with some firepower, a more stable element to tie out the rosters and provide consistency alongside its Titans.
A supportive option like Andreas “xyp9x” Hølsjeth isn’t a bad option, but that’s only if you gamble that his recent performances are a blip and not just a new norm.
But staying in Denmark isn’t a bad idea. Heroic are the best team, and Rasmus “sjuush” Beck certainly fits the bill. His 0.64 deaths per round are the lowest on the team, and with 0.69 kills per round, he provides stability in the backline.
However, while sjuush is good, there’s no reason to leave Heroic.
Well, other than Cadian being really annoying.
So instead, I’ll go for the obvious option, recently benched Valdemar Valde Bjorn Vangsa is a sure-fire option to take Liquid back to the summit.
The forgotten man of Danish CS, Liquid could be a last chance at the big time for him, something he only scratched with North and failed to ever really beat at the door of with OG.
His playstyle would perfectly offset ElIGE and provide balance to the team and give siuhy yet another top 20 caliber player to cause devastation across the map.
Make America Great Again
Okay, this might be a bit antithetical to that whole movement, but I’m not sure that's exactly a bad thing. With some European influence, this team could be winning once again:
- 🇺🇸 Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
- 🇨🇦 Keith “NAF-FLY” Markovic
- 🇺🇸 Joshua “oSee” Ohm
- 🇩🇰 Valdemar “valde” Bjorn Vangsa
- 🇵🇱 Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek
"This Liquid roster isn’t a guaranteed success, a lot lies in the ability of siuhy to make the step up to tier 1 CS, but I back him to do so.
Anything is better than shox IGLing anyway."