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Breakdown of the NA CS Monarch

French CS isn’t the only one going through existential crises in 2022. NA CS is right up there with it, with their darling team Liquid disbanding into pieces. With a plethora of moves on the cards and a bunch of new teams ready to prove themselves, let’s look into how NA CS looks currently, and who could be the next king of the palace.

Team Liquid

We start with the team that inspired the whole article. Team Liquid disbanded in 2022, after a tumultuous 2021 where new IGL FalleN couldn’t integrate the whole team into a stable powerhouse. After EliGE revealed that the American camp is disgruntled amongst themselves and they’ll be breaking up soon, the pressure among them was instantly relieved, and the individual stars performed the best they had all year.

It’s a testament to how talented they are individually and that if they play under the right system with different players, they can become serious title contenders. Some of these players have a lot of experience, that they can use not only for themselves but for other younger players by mentoring them in different teams.

With that said, my secret wish over the years has finally come true. The stars in this squad are finally splitting up, and the priceless talent and experience is no longer concentrated in a single team. The whole scene will soon benefit from this fiasco.

EliGE and NAF are the only two players to have stuck with Team Liquid, with FalleN, Grim, and most importantly, Stewie2k, all leaving for a newer venture. The holes that were left were filled in with questionable decisions, to say the least.

shox, nitr0, and oSee have joined Team Liquid.

I do not need to emphasize shox’s worth and how good he was in his prime, but this transfer pops up questions in my head. How exactly will Team Liquid rebuild with someone who’s clearly a short-term fix, someone clearly past his prime?

This is in no way a shox slander, for I completely recognize his competitiveness and willingness to perform at the highest level without letting age win over his ambitions. That is something I commend.

But overall, it’s not the wisest decision. Add to that the fact that shox has been on French teams for all his career, and now playing under an American IGL and adjusting to it, communication-wise will be a process, not a given. Of course, he is fluent in English, so it wouldn’t bother him in normal situations, but when the stakes are high and the pressure is amped up, he will naturally face a few problems due to communication.

Overall, shox is extremely talented and Team Liquid signing him isn’t a disaster, but still questionable. I would have preferred Liquid signing someone like VINI, though.

Next is nitr0’s return to CS:GO after a stint in VALORANT. I won’t get into his VALORANT story, but getting a 26-year-old back to lead a rebuild is another decision that puzzles me. nitr0’s worth, experience, and brains are never to be questioned. But he’s been away from CS:GO for quite a while and the game keeps growing. The nostalgia of CS:GO that may have invited him back in may turn sour if things go south with Liquid.

Does nitr0 have it in him to catch up on the meta and then lead his team to bigger heights? It’s not gonna be easy by any means, and only time can tell.

oSee excites me. He’s fairly young and is basically the s1mple of NA CS. Of course, his previous team, Extra Salt, couldn’t make it to any big events and that hampered his worth, but now he is in a Tier 1 team. I’m excited to see how this AWPer performs against the big guns of Europe and CIS. I think he has it in him to join EliGE and NAF in the top 20 for 2022. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.

These are the kind of moves that Team Liquid should make, though. Young, long-term players who can build strong chemistry and outlast an era. Maybe me being mad at Team Liquid is unwarranted. Maybe they’re opting for the one-player-at-a-time process, who knows.

Overall, there’s a new look to this Liquid squad. Just by the individual fragging powers of these players, they will most probably remain the best team in the NA scene. But we have some competition now!

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses was a visible disaster in 2021. Falling down as low as Number 40 in the team rankings, it’s not an exaggeration to say that EG had to make some serious roster changes to even be considered a genuinely competitive team.

Parting ways with oBo, stanislaw, MICHU, and coach daps, Evil Geniuses put out a statement of their willingness to return to their 2019 highs.

They’ve signed the Cloud9 trio, the core that won the Major in 2018: RUSH, autimatic and of course, Stewie2k.

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