According to a recent report in VPEsports, NRG CSGO have signed former Major winner and MVP Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik, who will replace Jacob ‘FugLy’ Medina on the active roster for the American organisation.
The move is somewhat ironic, as it represents a U-turn for a player who rejected compLexity prior to the Major, presumably due to their inability to match his own ambition, only to sign with a team that was soundly beaten by coL at IEM Katowice. There is no doubt that NRG have outperformed most of their NA brethren in recent times, but those suggesting this could propel them to the top of the American tree seem to have forgotten the yawning chasm in class between Team Liquid and, well, everyone not called Astralis.
Tarik (who teased the move a few days ago) is a great player, of course - perhaps the best free agent out there right now - and he would have been of interest to every single team with a vacancy in theory. Suggestions he may have burned some bridges with the nature of his departure from Cloud9 were made on Reddit by journalists, but quickly rejected by the player, suggesting that even C9 would have had at least a look at bringing their former IGL back.
However, the idea this move could potentially move NRG into position to become the best NA team is wide of the mark, as the reality is that Tarik wouldn't even get in the Liquid five right now anyway. It is a step in the right direction for the org, who will be happy with their capture, but the results over the course of 2018 and start of 2019 speak for themselves when it comes to comparing NRG with Liquid.
In terms of staying in NA, this move probably represents the best option Tarik had available, with Liquid already stacked from a talent point of view, and NRG’s funding meaning they can offer similar wages to a C9-sized org. it’s fair to say NRG have also shown a greater commitment to their CSGO team in recent months as well, making this a match made in heaven for two parties committed to being the best they can in this game.
With only one NA team making the final eight of IEM Katowice, this is great news for the scene in that part of the world, and should give NRG the extra steel they apparently lacked when trying to make the cut this time around. It is also fantastic to see one of the best NA talents back in the competitive mix after some time on the bench, and brings to a close an embarrassing chapter for the Immortals/MiBR group, who tore C9 apart to create a mediocre team they didn’t want.
Image credit: Copyright ESL | Helena Kristiansson