Since their meteoric rise to the top of the starry heap alongside some of the best teams in the history of CS:GO – following their win at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca, the downfall of Team EnVyUs came just as quickly. Despite their struggles, the old titan of late 2014 superstardom and the primary awper for EnVyUs, KennyS, has been making the much-needed strides to suggest a return to form.
In 1898, at the height of the British Empire’s geographical domination over the world, poet Hilaire Belloc stated: “Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun, and they have not“, in reference to the devastating effectiveness of the first widely deployed recoil-acting machine gun. The Maxim gun acted as the lynchpin that would turn the tide of battle when British forces were outnumbered 7:1 by native armies and showed the world the shocking reality of machine warfare.
The same quote comes to mind when watching the descendants of another colonial power play at the last three tournaments of the CS:GO international circuit – Team EnVyUs:
“Whatever happens, We have got KennyS, and they have not.”
For Envy, the injection of new blood in LDLC.white player – DEV1L – early this year was not enough to reignite the same honeymoon period of form they relied on to win both Cluj and the tournaments in the lead-up to that Major. Even with a roster that is so enamoured with pedigreed talent and individual mechanical prowess, in recent months, the French side has been struggling to maintain their place within the top ten, battling to get out of groups in international tournaments.
At only 21 years of age KennyS – like Icarus with his wax wings – has seen not only reached the highest of peaks of form the game has ever known, but also one of the most startling plummets towards mediocrity. Whilst Kenny’s career trajectory is a perfect case study into the temperamental and actionable nature of form as an idea, it also is representative of his resilience in the face of defeat and an individual willingness to step up and carry when no one else can or will.
Gfinity hosted just four teams, but nevertheless provided three Bo5’s and a chance to show not only strong aim and tactics, but also tenacity and mental grit. For KennyS both of these were fully tested in the series against Swedish hopefuls Epsilon in the opening Bo5. Again, EnVy managed to match and beat Epsilon, but not fully dominate them, with the series going to a fourth map and a testing overtime on Cache resulting in Kenny’s only negative rating of the tournament.
The Grand Final against mousesports remains the best case for suggesting KennyS’ return to form, as both he and the ever unstable and streaky apEX took over every map and banished any hope mousesports held of winning the series. From Kenny’s perspective, the counter-AWP pressure would not just come from one, or two, but potentially three different forces on mousesports, with Oskar, Niko, and ChrisJ all being more than proficient with the weapon, and all covering different parts of every map in the pool – KennyS stood up to the test.
KennyS has achieved a 1.20, 1.05, and 1.26 rating at the last three tournaments he’s attended, consistently posting the highest ADR and overall rating of his team in the LAN environment. When this is combined with his on-stage performances under pressure, AWP 3K highlight clips and an increasing base of good results, regardless of what you want to call him: Icarus, a Maxim gun, the wielder of the Magic Stick, or just the King… it’s safe to say that KennyS is back.