CSGO teams' Christmas wish list
Mariah Carey famously sang that she didn’t want a lot for Christmas, which just goes to prove you can’t trust musicians but, in the world of CSGO, 2018 is going to be a very important holiday indeed. Almost everyone needs a shiny new part to take them back to the top, where five Danish dudes currently sit looking down on the pro scene like gods from on high.
With Astralis light years ahead of the rest and winning even when they don’t play well, there are going to be big roster moves afoot, and the top six are going to be involved. But what do they want and what should they be asking for? Let’s cut to the chase then, with our 2018 CSGO Christmas wish list.
Astralis want peace on earth and everything to stay the same. With the holiday period not the healthiest time of year, it’ll be important for the team to stay in shape mentally and physically, but all is well in the red and black world and for the Danish kings things are just peachy right now.
Good health and luck going into IEM Katowice is all they should put on their note to Santa and, to be honest, they deserve that, after all they’ve done for the game in CSGO.
Black and gold are not particularly festive colours, but for the CIS region Na’Vi are pretty much the only glimmer of hope in this cold time and it’s not entirely clear what they are planning. There are rumours that it could be the end of s1mple’s time with the team, and zeus is apparently in the last 12 months of his professional career, but there is equally a chance that with the right signings, they could be in pole position to challenge the Danes in Katowice.
If Adren, of ex-Gambit, were to appear under the tree, many feel the team would be in a better place, but it seem most likely they’ll ride or die with this line-up at least until the end of their glorious leader’s reign. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but, even with s1mple and electronic going off, they’ve struggled to beat the Danes and it’ll take a drop-off from the numbers one side for that to change.
Team Liquid seemed to be in a decent place at the end of November, with the number two spot probably theirs and a bit of progress on their journey to number one, but then everything went wrong. A massive pile of money from Immortals has apparently persuaded their coach zews and arguably most important player TACO to leave for MIBR, who are ranked below them, and means they need a new coach and maybe player.
Stewie2k would be a better signing than some are suggesting, with the culture change and leadership he’d bring, but the team need a coach, too, and that decision will influence any further changes, like IGL, they might make. Adren (the American one) has been rumoured, but we’d be throwing money at Sean Gares if it were no object, as there are very few high-quality options right now.
Apparently, the Brazilians are getting everything they could wish for this year, as they look to improve upon a strange and basically wasted 2018. Getting TACO and zews in is a fantastic move and one of the few that you can probably read as an instant level-up just due to the fact they’ll go back to a Portuguese-speaking setup but the fifth is the key to finding out whether we’ll see FalleN and co back on top in 2019.
This could be the sort of move that takes them back to the very pinnacle of the game
If felps comes in, there is a chance he’ll work out way better than last time, as fer is a far more experienced player now than he was then when it comes to fitting around others. If he and felps can work in tandem, and the latter is more mature than he was before, this could be the sort of move that takes them back to the very pinnacle of the game, and there is no obvious other solution with experience at the top level and the ability to fit in.
Mousesports are a team that seem like they are going to spend Christmas as one big family and that’s going to be OK. Not amazing, sadly, as whatever magic surrounded the team in their pomp has faded and ropz is not able to play the way we know he can, so this is going to be all about capturing the holiday spirit, or maybe just forgetting about CSGO for a minute.
If a rest can do ropz the power of good they could be contenders at Katowice, but if he comes back at this level he finished 2018 on it’s going to be a long year for mous, who might have to consider roster moves. That is all providing no bigger, richer team comes for one of their men, as ChrisJ and suNny are both highly regarded across the European scene.
We’ve left the best until last, as FaZe have a lot of options this winter after their benching of karrigan. Plan A would be to continue with the NiKo/brains trust method and try and get in a star man, so s1mple, electronic, or even a left-field choice such as valde could give them a better look going into 2019, but that plan still seems limited in terms of reaching the level Astralis are at. However, if that’s the direction they go in, the options are varied and very fun to speculate over.
The other choice is a new in-game leader, and that is where it becomes very difficult. There are not many leaders at the level of karrigan, let alone better ones, which is presumably what they want at this point, so it’s going to be a last-minute rush to find something decent or take a cut price option. Gla1ve, FalleN or some diamond from the rough would be ideal, but even Santa can’t magic a great leader out of mid-air, so we might see a fun, free five-man deathball FaZe in 2019.