December 2019 was a very exciting month for Counter-Strike fans. OG, one of the most known organizations in DOTA 2 was finally bringing their structure to CSGO.
In their ranks, OG had the likes of Aleksib and NBK, two capable leaders, as well as the Danish star “valde”. With such a roster, much was expected of this team.
Yet, with the pandemic in 2020, OG was one of the teams that struggled the most. Issa “ISSAA” Murad had many difficulties due to latency in online games. NBK and Aleksib faced clashing differences leading the team.
At now, here we are. OG is a team with three permanent players as they have benched NBK and ISSAA in the last couple of weeks. Where they go from now? Let’s go deep into OG issues to understand their situation.
Before anything, it’s important to understand the situation that led OG to where they are now.
OG, initially, had all pieces they needed to have a team to quickly climb up the world rankings. Aleksib was a key part of ENCE’s success in the past, and NBK is one of the most renowned captains from France.
To bring up some firepower, OG had “ISSAA” and “mantuu”, promising stars from Jordan and the UK, respectively. They also had “valde”, one of the most consistent players around, and the main reason that kept North from absolute failure.
However, the team never could play at their fullest. As the team was signed in late 2019, they first wave of tournaments came only in 2020. With the pandemic, online matches were common, and it hurt them a lot as their star “ISSAA” couldn’t play at his best.
OG dedication to its CSGO project is commendable. Back in the earlier months of 2020, hopes were high that offline events would be back by the second semester of the year. So, it’s possible to assume that OG avoided immediate roster changes as they had faith in the project. As we know, however, the pandemic didn’t end by that time.
As the year progressed, OG results kept the same. The team even managed to have some results though. They finished Flashpoint 2 in 2nd place, and cs_summit 5 Europe in 3rd place.
Still, those results were few and far in-between, to the point that not finishing last became somewhat of a good result for them. Still, the team kept strong and tried everything to make it work, until there was nothing left.
Starting 2021, it was clear that the pandemic would still last for a while, unfortunately. OG time had been up, and so changes came.
In late February, OG removed NBK from their roster. According to a newly released interview with French site 1PV, NBK said that his relationship with Aleksib changed as the time went. He also mentioned having a different view from the rest of the team.
ISSAA’s removal didn’t take long either. The Jordan-based star was removed from the team earlier this week. Along with his removal, OG also announced that the squad is entering a rebuilding phase. They will be trying out players in the coming weeks to replace both NBK and ISSAA.
There’s no other way than saying it straight out: OG won’t have an easy time finding replacements for NBK and ISSAA. In an ideal environment, those two players would be almost invaluable for OG. If not by the pandemic, things certainly would be very different.
Regarding possible replacements, OG will have an interesting player pool to choose from. MSL, for example, is an interesting pick. He’s someone who could help Aleksib lead, and become a secondary AWPer.
Another good pick would be Michał “MICHU” Müller. The Polish player has quite a skillset, and could definitely open up strategical possibilities for the team.
Some players, like Kjaerbye, could find in OG a place to prove themselves amongst the best once again too. Overall, OG’s current situation will certainly interest many quality players.
While looking at the current situation is important, long-running projects as OG can’t worry only about the player’s skill set. Availability is now a key question that will certainly make organization prefer certain players over others.
Like the ISSAA situation proved, OG can’t sign a star that won’t be playing at his fullest due to technical reasons. So, whoever OG signs next, it’s going to be someone that can be available immediately.
Not only that, of course. CSGO next Major is planned to run in late October. This means that Valve and their partners believe that offline events will be possible by then. So OG must also consider someone who can shine in the big stage when the time comes.
Overall, this whole situation shows why it’s so hard to do such roster changes at this time. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the future, and teams must prepare for it, at the same time they want to get results as soon as possible.