We’ve all got that one piece of clothing we love, and won’t throw out, despite the fact it doesn’t really go with anything else, or even look that good these days. For this writer, it’s a pair of jeans bought at a time when jeans looked very different, that he just can’t bring himself to throw away as, one day, the perfect top will come along to bring them back.
For G2 CSGO, they have a pair of mismatched but formerly extremely fashionable players in Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub and Richard ‘shox’ Papillon, and they are not going to the charity shop. Like Lampard and Gerrard, Shaq and Kobe, or Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, it seems like the dream team, but just as with those pairings, something just never clicks, and you end up with a product less than the sum of its parts.
Dreams don't come true
In 2016, G2 signed shox, with kennyS joining a year or so later to complete the French ‘dream team’, but they’ve never really lived up to that billing. First they tore apart the actual dream team, with shox deciding he no longer wanted to play with apEX and NBK, before the owners well fully off the deep end and gave a once-great player control of recruitment. Of the three men shox has insisted on playing with, an impressive three of them have turned out not to be up to snuff.
We all know the story of how shox lumbered the team with Smithzz and Ex6TenZ, but that is also true of Alexandre ‘bodyy’ Pianaro, one of the longer standing members of the team. In the past shox has said he would only play for G2 if bodyy was a part of the team, despite the latter player rarely looking mentally strong enough to be a top level player.
Not of sound bodyy
Now it seems even that ship has sailed, as the last of shox’s solutions has been ushered out of the exit, most likely never to be seen at this level of CSGO again, with the news AMANEK will replace bodyy in G2’s CSGO side. This brings to an end the nightmare of bodyy, but probably condemns G2 fans to months more of mediocre play, led by the philosopher of CSGO, shox himself.
While AMANEK is a decent player, he hasn’t done anything over recent years to suggest he’s the solution, let alone a tier-one talent waiting in the wings, and it seems like G2 still haven’t worked out the real problem, their stars. As long as shox and kennyS know they are safe, they will never produce their best in tandem, and the combined effect they have on the rest of the team is too great to overcome.
What is more scary is the fact both G2 owner Carlos 'Ocelote' Rodríguez Santiago and the coach Damien ‘maLeK’ Marcel seem convinced they are just about to turn a corner. You can mark the turning of the months on Twitter by Ocelote's regular proclamations that they've solved the problem, and Malek said in their official announcement that “We have a very clear vision of how we wish to evolve and refine our CSGO team in 2019. This is a process that is evolving and developing as we review our performances, identify and reinforce our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses," despite none of the evidence suggesting that.
Drastic changes needed
That is not to say Carlos must threaten their livelihood to get the best out of the pair, but the fact remains there is not going to be a renaissance unless something drastic changes. An entire cast of supporting members has come and gone more than once while the two figureheads of French CSGO languish at the centre of the project, and the organisation are no closer to winning or working that out, sadly.
It’s not as though the likes of AMANEK or bodyy are victims, as there is no French CSGO team or in-game leader capable of taking them to a higher level at present, but it does make you wonder how long G2 can support such an expensive failure. As fans of shox and kennyS, we would love to be proven wrong, but three years of the shox project have produced very little so far, and the org is fully committed to trying the same thing over and over, expecting different results.