• Lukas DeWitt

Oskar and the Plow: A Return to Prominence

Like many organizations, Virtus.Pro made contact with players at the StarLadder Berlin Major in hopes they could create a contending international roster. Since then, the lineup has retained it’s full Polish identity, and the organization has gone quiet regarding turning the roster international. It is impossible to gauge whether VP is still looking to go international or not, but now is a great time to start working on it.

The organization’s stock is bottomed out - they do not have any important league slots and there are plenty of talented players looking for a fresh start in Europe. The organization does not have to go out and buy an entire lineup in a day, but working diligently on finding the right pieces as they are available is a better option than the current one. The free-agent pool is loaded currently, but there is one player in particular that stands out above the rest when I think about improving Virtus.Pro’s lineup. The perfect first pickup to start the international project is ready and available for them, and he comes in the form of a former top 20 AWPer.

Tomáš ‘oskar’ Šťastný’s year has been rough, to say the least. He was removed from mousesports following a pretty poor performance at the IEM Katowice Europe Minor. Oskar has tendencies to be a boom-or-bust player, but his last showing with mousesports was a career-low for him. Not long after leaving mousesports, he joined another international team, HellRaisers. He had familiarity with the org, previously playing for HellRaisers and under in-game leader Kirill ‘ANGE1’ Karasiow. Moving back to familiar territory seemed like the right move for the lost AWPer, and it initially was. He had moments of familiar top form in ESL Pro League Season 9 and through the ESL Season 9 Pro League Finals.

HellRaisers qualified through group play on the back of oskar’s .74 KPR and No. 4 ranked total AWP kills through fourteen maps of play. When it came time to the Pro League Finals, oskar’s form only increased. The team placed 9th-12th after losing a close best of three to eventual tournament winners Liquid, and oskar played insane for that series. After starting off pretty pedestrian on Vertigo, he came alive for the last two maps and was a key driving force for the team offensively. Although the team would lose in round 30 on map 3, oskar showed he could play with the best talent in the scene. His numbers in the loss to Liquid are eye-popping. A 1.26 rating, 83 ADR and .91 KPR against Liquid is world-class production, and a version of oskar that all Counter-Strike fans want to see more.

Unfortunately, that was four months ago and oskar slowly declined in performance before eventually being cut loose from HellRaisers. He broke the silence by putting out two tweets on October 15th, stating that he was hungry to play and wanted to stay in Europe. His stock is rock bottom at the moment but he has a proven ceiling by being back-to-back Top 20 on HLTV rankings. He has world-class talent and has an aggressive playstyle that could light a fire under Janusz ‘Snax’ Pogorzelski, who everyone knows can play at a world-class level. Although AWPer Michał ‘snatchie’ Rudzki has been serviceable, but his fragging abilities are average and he cannot offer the high level of impact a top AWPer needs against top opponents. Oskar is a free agent, and even in a slump, he is a better AWPer than snatchie. The one-for-one swap is only a talent increase and should be no-hassle since he is a free agent.

The move makes sense for both parties. It would allow a once large powerful brand to connect with a once top player to try and find the chemistry to get back to the top. The core of Snax, oskar, and rifler Michał ‘MICHU’ Müller is a trio worth raising an eyebrow about, and a strong foundation for a Virtus.Pro international project.

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All statistics used are from the HLTV database.

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