In the past, the nations of Sweden, France, Denmark and Brazil have all been considered the ‘best’ at CSGO, not just for the fact they have the world’s finest teams, but also based on the production of talent. When SK Gaming were the top dogs, people pointed to the likes of Luminosity and Immortals as proof there was depth to the scene, and the same goes for Sweden, with Fnatic and NIP, or France’s golden era which always seemed to have at least two viable teams.
Today, though, we have a North American mix at the top of the rankings, with 60% of Team Liquid hailing from the US of A and the other 40% very much Canadian in their making, with the northern part of the continent full of sharp young things ready to take CSGO by storm. Let’s have a look at what a ‘Team Canada’ could look like, if things were different in CSGO, to highlight just how good players from that part of the world are.
The former leader of NRG is now in place at Cloud9, and to be honest we think that might be the best move C9 has made since their Boston moment. When he was replaced in coL by stanislaw, there were people on both sides of argument, but the idea you have improved the team because the IGL has a higher HLTV rating ignores a lot of what Damien Steele brings on and off the server.
He’s a great player for a franchise, both in terms of his image and his ability to build a team, and his fragging potential was shown at EPL where he played with a coL already practicing with their new leader. And the best bit is Team Canada can’t sign Tarik because he’s American, so daps can finally rest easy and safe from the shank in the spine.
There aren’t many teams that would say not to having young Russell on their team, and for good reason. He has the sort of aim you associate with s1mple or NiKo, and he’s breaking records at age 19, with the Intel Grand Slam won in record time by his world leading Team Liquid. There is nothing to stop him being top five for the next few years, and he’s the sort of person you can market easily, making him the total package.
There have been a few questions raised about his ability to perform in the big games, but when you’re on a team with NAF, ELiGE, Stewie and nitr0 there are going to be times when the kills just don’t come your way. He has time to develop more, which is the scariest part of his talent, and would be the perfect star to build any org around.
This is the point in Team Canada most people get to and seem to give up and just with a name. You’ve had your fun with Twistzz and NAF, made your choice between stanislaw and daps (as we know you can’t have both….) and now comes that tricky four position, the guy you want to be able to rely upon, but that also isn’t going to take space away from your main men, and that is where TenZ is the perfect fit.
For those who don’t know, this kid is just 18 and has signed for Cloud 9 under daps, but he’s been around the online scene for a while, under TenZ or TenZera. His talent is not in question, and as part of the Canadian dream team we’re building he would be the perfect player to soak up the knowledge of his older compatriots while producing moments of magic when required too.
The second of the ‘really obvious Canadian players any team would need’ is obviously our man Keith, or ‘nasty NAF’ as some of the commentators have taken to calling him. Like Twistzz, he has a stupid level of natural talent, but he’s taken a touch longer to arrive at the point where the world knows exactly what he can do, and probably has a different mental profile which means he compliments his Liquid colleague very well.
Where Twistzz is a typical player, expressive, and generally positive unless things are going really badly, NAF is one of those guys who rarely, if ever shows emotion in-game. This sounds normal, until you see him mercilessly teabagging a corpse, or otherwise disrespecting his opponent with a face as black as Trump’s BAME Birthday card list, and you realise he’s terrifying. Plus, if you need to win, he just picks up and AWP and it’s over.
A year or so ago Wardell was the new hotness when it came to North American CSGO, and sniping in particular. His Ghost Gaming team was led at the time by Steel, of IBP infamy, and the famous story goes that he turned down a move to a troubled Cloud 9 at that point, such was his faith in the Ghost project. We all know how that turned out, but hindsight is 20/20 and you can hardly blame a player for his own bad luck.
The reality is that he is a very competent sniper that has shown signs of being potentially great, if he has the right leader. Steel did his best, and playing under daps could actually also be great for a player that seems to need a bit of guidance. Having a dedicated AWPer also frees up NAF and Twistzz to do their thing, and means you can go to double AWP if you need to. As a player, Wardell might not be in the same ballpark as the big names yet, but he’s still just 21 years old and has room to grow.
There you have it, then, the most dangerous and yet polite team ever to step into the server and ask if you're ready to play, eh? These five could give any team a run for their money, and we're sure there are more stars of the North waiting to burst onto the CSGO scene in the next few months and years, so it's a great time to be watching Canadian CS.
Pictures: ESL | Helena Kristiansson | StarLadder