2016 has been a hell of a rollercoaster for many CS:GO teams, with complete roster overhauls and headline transfers shifting the competitive landscape – some for better, others for worse. Three of the scene’s most reputable organisations have shown the others how it’s done when it comes to roster adjustments. Natus Vincere, Cloud9, and Team Dignitas can sit back and gloat having made the correct decisions, and their results are starting to reap the benefits of some smart business.
The one thing these three teams have in common is that each of them have added talent to bolster their firepower. Typically, CS:GO tradition calls for the In Game Leader to be the most important element to a team’s success. Alas, 2016 has defined the meta of raw aim over the brains. First defined by the Fnatic and EnVyUs’ eras of CS:GO dominance, many teams have honoured the tradition by structuring their team around the best of the best.
- Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács
- Denis “seized” Kostin
- Egor “flamie” Vasilyev
- Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev
- Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
You’re one of the most skilled Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players in the world and one of the most talented individuals I’ve encountered in my 15 years in eSports.”
Duncan “Thooorin” Shields
After removing long time member Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko, Natus Vincere could boast the greatest firepower to date when star talent s1mple joined the roster – using NBA analogies, it was like trading a role player for Michael Jordan. As part of a the Team Liquid squad, s1mple carried the team to a semifinal placing at MLG Columbus 2016 and a silver medal at ESL Cologne 2016.
Deservedly, s1mple has a reserved spot in any respectable top 5 players ranking – his performances for Na`Vi do nothing but reinforce this status. S1mple has blessed Natus Vincere with his carry performances, bringing MVP-worthy performances at ESL New York and EPICENTER. While it’s only been a 1st place and semifinal placing for Natus Vincere, they are surely contesting SK Gaming, Virtus.Pro, and Team Dignitas for the title of best team in the world.
- Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel
- Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen
- Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke
- Emil “Magiskb0Y” Reif
- René “cajunb” Borg
“MSL is worth keeping in for his system, but dignitas simply lack firepower. Time to find a way to bring in Magiskb0Y.”
Tomi “lurppis” Kovanen
Team Dignitas made the best roster change in 2016. Adding cajunb from Astralis and Magiskb0Y from the recently released SK Gaming; Dignitas grabbed two players to fill two vital positions: cajunb as the AWPer and Magiskb0Y as another star tool for MSL.
Cajunb’s clutching and AWPing are indubitable, whereas the wombo combo of Magiskb0Y and k0nfig brings monstrous performances on a daily basis. The only problem is that the glue applied hasn’t dried yet, as their only notable tournament is EPICENTER 2016 in terms of placing and opponents faced – even so, a bright future lies ahead for Team Dignitas.
- Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert
- Jake “Stewie2K” Yip
- Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham
- Mike “shroud” Grzesiek
- Timothy “autimatic” Ta
“I said it before all of you. Stewie2k is insane. I knew he was gonna become this good.”
Sam “DaZeD” Marine
The Cloud9 summer hype is back! In early 2016, the addition of Stewie2k was doubted by many due to his pug-like play-style, but Stewie2k was quick to resolve. He is quickly proving to be C9’s most valuable player, likewise for autimatic, who had already established himself during the ECS Season 2 Finals with Team SoloMid.
Whereas Stewie2k and autimatic have proven to be fruitful pickups, you have to give it to former IGL Alec “Slemmy” White – without his strategic mind, Stewie2k would have had a hard time leading the squad in game, recreating the issues faced by n0thing in early 2016. Slemmy’s the unsung hero of C9’s success, and it’s a shame he couldn’t stay as a coach. Slightly improving with Stewie2k from the ECS Season 2 Finals to reaching final form at the ESL Pro League LAN Finals, C9 went from the gutter to the king’s throne in just a year.