The North American Shuffle is one of the most highly anticipated events in the CS:GO calendar – who doesn’t love a slice of gossip and outlandish roster swap predictions?
The forthcoming shuffle will be particularly intriguing, with a vast number of teams looking to spice up their lineups. For Europe, typically you’d expect two teams to shuffle players, but NA Shuffle may stand to involve up to eight teams. Last year, it was Team Liquid, Cloud9, CLG, NRG, compLexity, and Echo Fox. Who are the likely participants this year?
Remove Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen
In the past few days, it was announced that Team SoloMid would be doubling their CS:GO budget heading into 2017. TSM bombed out of the iBUYPOWER Masters, blown out of the water by Renegades and FaZe Clan. Their shot caller, FNS is the man in the firing line – his shot calling renders star players Hunter “SicK” Mims and Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken ineffective, and it shows with TSM’s lack of dominance in first kill opportunities.
Semphis, at 27 years old, has had a storied career – his period with Team SoloMid will be marked as a low point. As TSM’s main AWPer, Semphis continues to whiff shots that you’d expect AWPers, of the level Semphis partakes in, to hit easily. Semphis’ ideology to force and destroy economical management is fundamentally detrimental to TSM’s ability to win games. It’s probably time to hang up the mouse, Semphis.
Lose Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte and remove Mitch “mitch” Semago
Brehze is, arguably, the hottest North American prospect in the forthcoming shuffle. Considering Selfless’ position, this guy is likely to be snatched up and bought out by a hot shot organisation. Brehze has taken his game to another level and we will be blessed if we ever see a player with his skill and passion for the game again.
Mitch finds himself in a situation similar to that of Semphis’ with TSM. This guy plays a multi-purpose role on Selfless, being the entry fragger (or bait), IGL, and support for the team. A lot of roles – but in the current meta, all five players on the team are expected to put up balancing numbers on the stat sheet. There’s no other way to describe it, mitch’s LAN statistics are straight garbage. Selfless are going to need a new IGL if they want to thrive with the young talent on their team.
Remove Kia “Surreal” Man
The other British import to compLexity’s British-North American roster project, Surreal overtook Shawn “witmer” Taylor’s role as the primary AWPer for compLexity. In retrospect, this guy probably wasn’t the ideal pick. If compLexity want a budding roster, they need an AWPer as their star player — because AWPers are ultimately the key to dominating a game. Surreal has a lowly rating of 0.92, next to coL IGL Cory “APE” Bate.
Remove Jacob “FugLy” Medina
FugLy is an unnecessary asset to the NRG roster, considering that Fatih “gob b” Dayik essentially plays the exact same role. I’d rather have a star player similar to teammate Johannes “tabseN” Woodarz, rather than adding another support player. NRG already have too many inconsistent players in their team, most notably Peter “ptr” Gurney. FugLy just looks… so out of place with the roster, considering the ideal roles you’d put the other four in.
And the rest…
We won’t be seeing any changes from the top three North American teams (excluding the Brazilians): Cloud9, Team Liquid, and OpTic Gaming. Inputting Cloud9’s success with Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and Timothy “autimatic” Ta, OpTic’s 1st place finish at Northern Arena, and Team Liquid’s hopeful addition of Wilton “zews” Prado, there should be no change regarding those three.
These three teams have placed a huge emphasis on staying together for the future, considering how long the three cores combined have stayed. Team Liquid’s core has been together since the NA Shuffle of 2015 (September), Cloud9’s being April of 2015 with the addition of Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, and OpTic’s core having had history with each other since Tempo Storm’s first foray into the Counter Strike scene.