Kids in America: NA's hottest CSGO prospects

The talent production line in North America has quietly been chugging along for some time now, and it seems like there's no end in sight. Where once people would have told you Scandinavia or South America was the hotbed of CSGO, now it seems like the NA scene is catching up, with a selection of exciting young talents coming into our eyeline as 2019 unfolds.

There is some scepticism, of course, which is no surprise for a scene that hung onto players like DaZeD and Freakazoid for so long, but gradually the old views are dying out as they get shot in the face by some of the new stars of NA. Let’s have a look at a few of the players seeking to follow in the footsteps of Twistzz, Stewie and autimatic, as world beaters from the North American continent (or nearby).

1. Tyson ‘Tenz’ Ngo

You might have first heard of this guy under the name Tenzera, but apparently he’s decided to drop that reference for some reason, and hasn’t yet moved on to call himself Tenz1mple, or maybe Tev1ce. Jokes aside, rumours have it that he’s on the verge of joining Cloud9 and taking the team back toward an all-NA five, and the stats at least suggest he’s got every chance of being a success.

Rocking a 1.19 rating and .78 kpr, at 18 years old, young Tyson Ngo is the sort of player a more developed scene would be fighting over, as we see in traditional sport where the battle for the stars of tomorrow is as intense as the one to get the stars of today. It wouldn’t be the first time C9 picked up a kid from relative obscurity, and their fans can only hope this one isn’t sold to Brazil if he wins the org a major.

2. Owen ‘oBo’ Schlatter

When oBo was signed to Complexity, a lot of people on social media were very doubtful, stating that they had no idea who this kid even was, which just goes to show how many tweets about CSGO come from people who don’t really watch the game. If you were in NA, you’ll know a fair few orgs were battling over his signature, and rightly so as it turned out, with the kid proving he is mustard in his first outing at ECS Season 7 in London, where coL finished sixth after losing to Team Vitality.

The French side is very much still focused around their star man ZywOo, and have shown the power of getting a team that works around such a talented player, so there is hope for compLexity in oBo’s case. Could this be the first player they find AND take to the top of the game, rather than having to sell him on when he gets really good? Time will tell, but the org has a real prospect on their hands, and the facilities to help oBo go right to the top.

3. Ricky ‘floppy’ Kemery

Team Singularity probably won’t have crossed your radar that regularly, and that’s ok. Online CS is a bit of a slog, and they don’t play at the highest level, with NRG the biggest team they’ve faced of late and such luminaries as Bad News Bears in their recent conquests. This level is tough as old boots, but young floppy is already showing what he can do at just 19 years of age, and could be set for a decent career if he can find the right home.

He’s German/American, and has actually been around since 2015, and at this point it’s clear he can hang with the likes of Envy and eUnited. If a bigger team decides to take a chance he could be the next player to break out, and his dual nationality means it's possible we see him in a European org in the future too if the NA scene doesn’t want him.

4. Ignacio ‘meyern’ Meyer

This one is a bit of a dodgy choice, as meyern is Argentine, which as some of you may know is not actually in North America, although the lines between south and north are blurred a bit in CSGO. This kid is already a key player for Isarus, the best side in his home nation, and he’s only 16 years old, with a wealth of playing experience going back to 1.6, reminiscent of swag or some other prodigious talent of CS generally.

Learning English would help his cause, and the ideal scenario would be Argentinian CSGO developing to the point where he doesn’t have to leave, but there is no reason we shouldn’t see players like meyern in NA if that is not the case. Leagues like the NBA, MLB and MLS all benefit hugely from aggressive recruitment in South America, and there are many organisations that would gain a lot from the signing of a talent like this.

5. Sam ‘s0m’ Oh

It’s hard to believe s0m is only 17 years old, as it feels like he’s been around the NA scene forever, but it’s true and he’s not even eligible to have a pint in the States yet. Waves were made when he signed for the compLexity stream team last year, but that org never decided to take a chance on him in the team proper, and eventually passed him over for obo, which didn’t work out too badly.

Not to be deterred, s0m has gone away and pursued his dream of being a pro player with Team Envy, which isn’t a bad thing at all when you consider their funding and profile in esports. At his age, there's a lot of time to develop, and the experience he already has of top level CSGO is massively valuable to a person who might have more than a decade ahead of him as a pro.

More best boys

There you have it then, although of course there are more names than we could profile. Shouts must also go out to the likes of Jason ‘neptune’ Tran, who had a rocky start to his pro career but still has a future in the game, Ryan 'ryann' Welsh and Collin 'wrath' McSweegan, both of whom are doing very well and just 17 and 18 respectively.

It’s clear now there is a lot of talent in CS wherever you look, and NA is no exception, so next time you see someone tweet about how ‘compLexity aren’t spending their money’ remember that he probably wants players who haven’t been good since 2017, when the future is already here and clicking on faces.

Image: obo