All CSGO wants for Christmas is some IGLs

Talent development in sports or esports will always be a crucial part of the ecosystem, and today we have more than ever coming through in the top tier of CSGO. Across Europe there are exciting new players emerging, from France to Sweden and beyond, and the same is true in the growing Asian scene, too.

South America, NA, wherever you look there are killers abound, but for some reason there is one position with a real dearth of top-end options in the greatest gun game going, that of the in-game leader, or IGL as it’s known. Insane first-bullet aim is available in stacks, but for teams such as FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and maybe even MIBR, there is an issue with direction, while the world’s best have a perfect leader for their system, one they’ve developed themselves.

That man is, of course, Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander, the Dane who joined Astralis as a replacement for Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen a couple of years ago and who has evolved into the world’s finest in-game leader, maybe. The reason for the maybe is that it appears very hard to judge what aspect of the team’s success can be attributed to their leader, compared with their talent.

Shouldering the blame

For example, when Na’Vi win, there is still a group of people who refuse to credit Zeus, their IGL, instead saying he’s being carried by his stars. However you spin it though, his record suggests he is one of the better leaders, and that is a rare thing. Quite why there is a lack of such talent is tough to explain, although some of it may come down to the fact that, like goalkeepers in football, the leader tends to take the blame when things go wrong.

It could make Katowice the best Major since, well, ever

As things stand though, going into the time of the year when Mariah Carey and Slade are all you hear, and spending is all you do, the one thing a lot of orgs would love to find wrapped under their metaphorical tree is a player with the mental strength and tactical depth to turn their collection of wonderbangers into a coherent team.

If FaZe and Liquid can do that before New Year, it could make Katowice the best Major since, well, ever, as we’d finally have a couple of teams capable of challenging Astralis when it counts. It might be painful, but the answer might be to do what Astralis did - find a player with the right profile, fit him with the right coach and give them time. Whatever the answer, though, if they don’t find a solution, we can see 2019 being another year of silver medals for Liquid, FaZe and others when it really matters.