French CS: GO roster G2 recently qualified for the Legends Stage at IEM Katowice 2019. This qualification comes after a very inconsistent and difficult Challengers Stage. The team ultimately finished the stage with a 3-2 score, however, the quality of their opposition does not inspire confidence in G2. Why is G2, which has some of the biggest French CS: GO names in its roster, such a difficult team to follow?
This inconsistency comes due to the lack of form on multiple players. The team also adopts a strategy which rewards the peaks but has a very high penalty for poor performances. Their current performance is one which can compare to a coin-flip. They might excellent on one day and yet, they will come out with the same incoherent, often questionable moves leading to a loss.
G2 has potential, but unless they solve some very obvious problems with their approach and playstyle they will have a tough task in 2019.
The team comprises a mixture of some of the most experienced French players and new talents in the scene. This sounds amazing on paper, but G2 has been unable to produce results worthy of their potential. Their matches are mostly against Tier 2 and Tier 3 opponents and yet the team struggles. G2 added Lucky and Jackzz to their roster in November 2018 from 3DMAX. Luckyy and Jackzz raised a few eyebrows with their strong individual performances on 3DMAX. However, their performance stemmed from excellent team synergy and movement on various maps. This is something that is absent on G2 and is a big reason for their results.
With star players like KennyS and Shox on the roster, one does not expect the youngsters to constantly provide the firepower. In fact, their roles on the team are not suited to provide them with the opportunities take on the star role. KennyS is one of the most well-known players in the CS: GO scene. He was the best player in 2014 and we still see glimpses of that player today. However, he is not consistent and at the same level as before. Even today it is not uncommon to see him put up amazing shots through walls and quick reflexes for the team.
However, G2’s composition requires him to put up big numbers. When he fails to show up on the server, G2 suffers. Their lack of results in the past few months definitely has a direct correlation with Kenny’s performance. His performance has a direct relation to his confidence. G2’s lack of results and constant losses definitely affect the star AWPers performance. At this point, it does seem like there is too much pressure on KennyS to perform. He has taken on such pressure admirably in previous years, but it has not allowed him to bloom into aggressive AWPing and confident movement.
Shox was in a much bigger slump in 2018. However, in the new year, we are slowly witnessing him put up better numbers and consistently appear high on the scoreboard. But for any team to become a strong contender at the Major, individual performances cannot be the basis of your performance. Shox is a crucial member of the G2 squad since he is also their captain. He has a big say in the overall performance and playstyle of G2. This is something that seems to be a problem for the roster as you will read below.
Throughout the Challengers Stage, if there was one map which was a sure win for G2, it was Dust 2. They were able to efficiently use their superior firepower on Dust 2. They felt extremely comfortable playing the map and it showed in their movement and confidence. However, it also meant that they were weak and inconsistent on other maps.
Their weakness is evident on maps which require greater coordination, especially on the CT side. They rely heavily on individual frags and the ‘former’ superior firepower on their players. Unfortunately for the team, this superior firepower does not hold much weight anymore and they look extremely foolish in their approach. The constant individual deaths mean that G2 is always playing from behind. With little to no economy to speak of, the team goes into repetitive force-buys.
The lack of a decent map always makes them a team susceptible to upsets. They have a difficult time forming a strong economy on the CT side. Their inability to identify these weaknesses and work towards them is troubling for the team. Shox is a decent In-Game Leader, but the stress on his work is showing in his performance. The lack of improvement in the G2 strategies might be offset by the evergreen KennyS and Shox. However, that is not a permanent solution for any team.
Allowing KennyS space and time needed to carry the team was a formula used by Ex6tenz in Titan. It was a very risky tactic, one which worked briefly simply because KennyS was the best player at the time. Even then, Titan could never really pose a significant threat to Tournament Titles. With AWP nerfs and the subsequent lack of confidence on KennyS, his teams suffered from lack of results. Using your firepower to hide the hollowness in tactics works well for some time. However, it has its limitations and cannot be abused for a long period of time.
The French teams have always loved their force-buys. Right from 2014, the then LDLC [ later EnVyuS] team was notorious for their force buys. Shox was an integral part of the LDLC.com roster which won Dreamhack Winter 2014 Major. Even then, the LDLC team was famous for winning near impossible rounds with just pistols at their disposal.
G2 continues in the same format, however, their rate of success with the force-buys is much lower. So it looks great when it works, however, when they lose their force-buys it means that they give up more real estate to their opponents. They dig themselves a steeper comeback path with these lost force buys.
The tactic of force buying is not really a bad one, but it is little surprise when G2 does it. They have an alarmingly high rate of force-buys and it is very predictable right now. Once the opponent has the knowledge of a team’s force-buy, they can adapt to the same and outwit G2. We have seen it happen on numerous occasions at the Major so far.
The team is a very strong and stable combination of players in the scene. They have experience and raw talent along with a desire to learn. However, maybe, it is time for some changes to their positioning and roles on the team. It is becoming untenable for them to rely on the veterans to be the showstoppers on the roster. Allowing the youngsters the opportunity to take the fight to their opponents might just be what they need.
Right now, G2 barely scraped past Tyloo into the Legends stage. They still have an opportunity to advance further, however, their chances look bleak. The new Legends stage starts on the 20th of February 2019. You can catch all the action on Twitch here.