NRG Esports has a North American Counter-Strike roster. The team has several highly skilled players who have displayed an exceptional amount of talent in their matches so far. The team often leaves a huge impact in tournaments despite not performing at their peak potential. However, the team is not the most consistent in terms of their results. Their 0-3 elimination from the IEM Katowice Legends stage has possibly prompted a roster changes.
According to a VPesports report by Steven Cropley, NRG has already signed Tarik to replace FuglY. There is no official confirmation with this regard and we are still awaiting any formal announcement. However, the report does make sense on multiple fronts. Tarik is a former CS: GO Major winner during his time on Cloud9. However, the Eleague Boston winner team fell through after the major. Two of their strongest players Tarik and Stewie2k moved to MiBr in what was a very strong team on paper. However, communication issues and a difference in playstyle meant that the team could never reach its peak potential. They were also underperforming on an individual level and the lack of results was there for all to see.
The current NRG CS: GO roster is as follows:
The NRG squad passed through the IEM Katowice Challengers Stage without dropping a single map. Their victory over Winstrike, Tyloo and Vici Gaming definitely raised hopes for the team’s performance in the next stage. However, in the Legends Stage, NRG was unable to have any impact losing all of their maps and facing a quick elimination from the event.
Two of their losses were extremely close maps with nearly 30 rounds played in each map. They lost 13:16 to Avangar and 14:16 to NIP. However, it was their 0-2 loss to Complexity Gaming which raised quite a few eyebrows. Complexity is playing with a stand-in and despite the stand-in being of the calibre of N0thing, they are still the weaker team. On paper, NRG should have won that series at least with a 2-1 scoreline. However, poor individual performances by the entire team meant that they could not push themselves over. Both the maps ended in Overtime losses for NRG. It was an end to their Katowice Major dreams, but it is also the start of a new chapter for the NRG team.
Tarik is definitely an upgrade when compared to Fugly. This is not meant as a slight to Fugly’s skill, but Tarik is a proven successful North American player. While on Cloud9, he was known for his trademark aggression on various parts of the map. The player’s impact can be felt when he takes disadvantageous fights and yet wins them on a regular basis. Pushing through smokes and turning corners for direct contact play and still coming out on top is not something everyone can do. Tarik has excellent aim and has a unique style of play, to surprise his opponents and yet hold ground in a specific area.
During his time on MIBr, we have seen him mould his playstyle to suit the needs of the team. Despite having an unsuccessful stint on MiBr, there is little doubt that Tarik is one of the premier CS: GO players from North America.
However, it’s not just the raw skill of the player which will impact the NRG team’s success. They already have EthaN and Brehze lifting the weight of the team’s success on their shoulders. Brehze has been a revelation with a very high and dynamic performance throughout their matches. In addition to these players, NRG also has Cerq, a talent that has manifested itself only in online matches so far. Cerq’s inability to perform at the same level on LAN is something that NRG needs to address quickly. Hopefully, Tarik’s addition can help the youngster gain valuable experience in transitioning to LAN matches.
Tarik is a star player and he has played a similar role since his days on CLG. He is the spearhead of any CS: GO roster he joins and we assume it will be the case on NRG as well. However, this also means that there will be role changes within the roster. These changes will be crucial and Daps and ImApet need to figure out the best possible method for role transition. With the sheer level of talent on NRG, one would expect nothing but a Top Tier North American team.
The team lacks experience and that is their biggest drawback. Many of these youngsters have not participated in top tier tournaments. Their success comes after some good results in the past six months. However, in order to continue at a high level on a consistent basis, it is the experience of veteran players such as Tarik and Daps which will come in handy. There is obviously a case of nerves for Cerq as his LAN performance simply does not match up with his online results. If NRG would be able to relieve their players off this pressure and enable them to play freely, it is one of the scariest teams in NA.
Despite having enough firepower on the NRG roster currently, their playstyle is a bit too standard. They keep repeating many of the basic strategies and are afraid to make aggressive plays to surprise their opponents. With Tarik on the team, Daps can allow him to make individual plays, pushing through smokes and certain regions to gain an advantage. It is something that comes from the player’s instinct and Tarik’s instinct has proven to be very effective so far.
Daps is one of the most effective North American In Game leader. The player has amassed a very talented bunch of individuals with this roster. Since Tarik is not the In-Game leader for NRG, it will free him to focus on his individual gameplay. Daps has already spoken about Tarik being a wildcard for any team. We don’t expect Daps to force Tarik to play in a particular style. Instead, he will try to adjust the team’s playstyle to suit that of Tarik. Allowing the former Major winner the freedom to make plays and movements across the map will provide the leeway for NRG to gain an advantage. It is crucial for Daps to be able to succeed with so much talent at his disposal.
NRG will be able to qualify for several LAN events. Cerq is one of the strongest online players, not only in North America but all over the world. We can expect the NRG squad to be present in a lot more LAN Events in 2019. Hopefully reports of Tarik joining NRG, they will be a new competitor for the top teams.
The current NRG squad is ranked #7th on HLTV rankings. Their rankings have fallen over the past few months. However, they are not seen in the same league as many other Counter strike teams. Team Liquid is the only other North American team above NRG. With this new roster, NRG has the potential to make it past Team Liquid in the near future.
The biggest disadvantage for the team was the lack of experience on the roster. With Tarik joining the team, we can expect NRG to quickly rise through the rankings and establish themselves as a top tier team in North America.