EnVy karrigan should have NACSGO green
At the start of 2018, "the FaZe project" was the phrase on everyone’s lips. We were barrelling toward the Boston Major, where Olofmeister was looking to add to his major haul and the rest were about to notch their first mark. Fast-forward 12 months and things look very different for the Galacticos of GO, who are still to confirm their fifth for the Katowice Major next month.
For those who missed it over Christmas, karrigan - Finn Andersen - is out, on his way to a loan with EnVy, having dropped the most obvious bait in history and gotten away with it. The reason for this is that nobody in the scene was even remotely considering that a guy who started his year contending for the biggest prize in the game would end up on a team that is struggling to be considered top five in the US, and isn’t part of the world top 30.
We’ll run the rule over FaZe when they finally reveal their true, or at least next, form, but the EnVy move has the potential to be one of the most impactful of the year if it comes off and catapult the org well inside the top 20 at least. You might scoff, but karrigan is the perfect man to succeed with this team and the North American scene in general could suit him down to the ground.
The fact young Noah ‘Nifty’ Francis is a part of EnVy is fairly common knowledge, with the former Renegade rated highly by many and being followed as a result, but did you know Josh ‘jdm64’ Marzano is also on the team? The team have already been written off by a few big names, but just in those two names alone there is a lot of potential, with the latter also experienced at the highest level, having lounged at majors for Team Liquid.
Alongside jdm and Mr Fifty, you have reltuC and Drone, formerly of Splyce, which admittedly isn’t going to set many hearts racing. However, even that lack of star power and presumed privilege could be extremely useful to karrigan, a man famous for bringing back KioShiMa as a support player when he joined FaZe in order to facilitate the growth of that team. While the "stars" have their limitations, particularly jdm, who famously sucks with any rifle not named sniper, all the pieces are there for karrigan to begin his work.
The work he is able, and maybe willing to do will somewhat depend on how long he intends to stick around in NA, and how much EnVy are willing to pay him to do so, but they have the beans to make him a very wealthy man, and they know they would be punching up if they could secure his permanent signature.
It’s already been discussed ad infinitum, but we’ll just point out that karrigan is not just a better in-game leader than almost anyone working in NA CSGO right now, but also has form for this sort of thing, as we will briefly recap now.
When he arrived at FaZe Clan, there was no GuardiaN, NiKo or Olof and, during his time at the team, he had to work with many different players, both as stand-ins and full-time team-mates. He was able to take a team of that started out as rain, allu, aizy, jkaem and himself and pretty much improve them from day one, with a 3rd/4th-place finish at ELEAGUE Season 2, an event that began two days after he joined from Astralis, the beginning of a long run of great results, before FaZe gave him the chance to buy CSGO gods.
This has the potential to be a game-changer for US CSGO
Equally, karrigan was able to see past the name value and reputation of his team and into the reality of what he actually needed on the server, benching jkaem and bringing back Kio, who he had initially replaced in the starting five. This ability to see what might be, rather than what he has right now, could be a blessing for players like Nifty and even jdm, who have shown massive talent at times, but are yet to truly reach a level that will allow them to play for any side, something the former clearly has, and the latter still might.
Initially, it seems like karrigan is doing this for the short term and, if either party was reticent to commit, it would make sense for it to be the Dane. Sure, EnVy have a great brand, and big teams in some games, but from a CSGO point of view they are feeding on scraps right now, and this is a juicy one. The next month or two should be the org doing everything they can to convince karrigan it’s worth his time to stick around and, if they can do so, then this has the potential to be a game-changer for US CSGO.
If he can shuffle his hand and bring a bit of success to the EnVy team, that will make other US players sit up and take notice and there is a fair bit of talent on the market right now.
In six months, we could be talking about EnVy Tarik for example, alongside Nifty and maybe some other young talent, if karrigan is able to make waves and get his new team in shape quickly. There is plenty of motivation for karrigan to do so, being in need as he is of a career resuscitation after getting everything he wanted at FaZe, and failing to deliver the major.
With EnVy, he can create an entrenched mentality
In terms of that final question, this could even be the moment where he realises he has what it takes to win the biggest prize in CSGO. Losing with NiKo, GuardiaN and the rest might seem hard, but leading all-time greats in moments of stress is leagues harder, and the atmosphere will only be one way. With EnVy, he can create an entrenched mentality, that it is them against the world, and build a team spirit that may not have been possible in a team like FaZe.
Weirdly, the fact he has joined a rich, underachieving group even reduces the downsides, as it plays into karrigan’s strengths of team building and roster work, in a region where the playstyle still suits the way he wants a team to operate. Nobody saw it coming, but surprises are often more wonderful than the good things you expect, and it might well be that EnVy karrigan is the last and greatest gift 2018 will give us, as well as a blessing for the coming year.
Picture: Twitter / Blast Pro Series