• CeeJ

A Look at North American Teams and International Players

18 year-old Bulgarian AWPer CeRq, currently playing for NRG eSports.

As teams like mousesports and FaZe continue to put up impressive results, it’s clear that multinational teams are nothing to look down upon. It’s becoming more and more commonplace for formerly single-country teams to pull talent from other places around the world. Teams like TyLoo, who break from their Chinese core to sign Indonesia’s Kevin “xcurrate” Susanto and Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand. North American teams aren’t an exception; foreign players make up some of the most noteworthy names on a handful of NA squads. While adding these players often result in overall improvement to American lineups, there are often overlooked downsides that can be analyzed.

One of the most prominent players in America right now is 18 year-old Bulgarian Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov, from NRG Esports. CeRq was signed in early October of 2017, and has since been a vital piece of NRGs success since joining. Replacing Peter “ptr” Gurney on the AWP, he’s been instrumental in NRGs various achievements, including surprising placements in both EPL and ECS, as well as dominating the qualifiers for IEM Sydney. However, there are alternative situations to consider. Let’s say NRG makes the decision to pick from the region, discluding CeRq as an option. This leaves room for up-and-coming North American talent to be given a shot at a higher level of play. Players such as Kaleb “moose” Jayne and Chad “oderus” Miller, who have become known for having strong potential to play at a higher level of CS in the future, due to impressive performances in ESEA’s MDL. The relatively new interest in multinational teams leaves up-and-comers like these as a last choice, making it difficult for them to develop themselves and grow their home’s scene.

Another downside to bringing in outside help is that they’re not always here to stay. This was the case with superstar Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev after his 7 month stint on NAs own Team Liquid. Despite decent results, (most notably 2nd place finish in the grand final of 2016s second major, ESL One Cologne) s1mple decided to take his leave and move back to Ukraine, where he would eventually sign to Na`Vi. Liquid would follow his departure with the signing of Danish Jacob “Pimp” Winneche, who would return home after less than a year. Though these players bring a unique presence and skill, in the long run the NA scene could have further developed its own up-and-coming talents at a higher level.

The long-term effects of foreign talent playing for NA lineups are worth noting; however, it’s often that the results can’t be argued with. S1mples run with Team Liquid goes down in history as NA’s first final in a major. CeRq’s incredible skill on the AWP has pushed NRG to new heights. It can be argued that these teams level of success would be impossible without pulling from other countries talent pools. The trade-off for potentially suppressing new talent in our own country is more promising and notable placements and achievements.