Play It Back - Wunderbar From The Wunderkind
I've wanted to write about a ropz play for a while. He's one of the most satisfying players to watch when he's playing well; his awareness is amazing, his ability to hold bombsites on his own is superb and his crosshair placement is unrivalled; it's truly magnificent.
Let's set the scene. Your team has rushed B on an eco, as this site is a big advocate of, on Cache. You're a 17 year old on your first professional team, playing against Ninjas in Pyjamas - players you'd grown up watching standing in the way of you winning the game. You're 15-11 up, but your team Mousesports are notorious for throwing away big leads. You've got 35 HP, and a pistol. Your whole team has died, you have no grenades and the bomb is down. Other than that, everything is peachy.
Now, for the good news. It's 2017, and as such, the Tec-9 in your hands is busted. Like, super busted. Nobody has even realised the CZ-75 is broken yet because the Tec-9 is so ridiculous. It also means that NiP are not the force they once were, and f0rest and draken are pretty low also.
All of this whizzes through ropz' head, but the wunderkind famed for his cool head, of course, is able to drown it out. He spots the AWP in vents, trying to end the round, but being within 30 degrees of draken saves his life. The Swedish AWPer is forced to back off, buying ropz a few seconds to peek into f0rest.
ropz, amazingly, misses, but is afforded another chance. f0rest hits him just once, leaving our protagonist on 14 points of health. No more mistakes allowed now for the Estonian. No more mistakes will he make, however. Having seen the molotov thrown from vents, he knows that draken can't push with low HP, and predicts that Xizt hasn't rotated in through CT - the only player so far unaccounted for, and crosses CT towards the headshot position.
f0rest is caught completely off-guard, and a swift Tec-9 bullet to the temple ends his stay on the now-open B bombsite. It's ropz vs draken and Xizt, but with the bomb down, and M4A4 in his hands - it's a lot more doable.
Here's the problem, though. There's another molotov on the NiP side, and it's landing just behind the planted bomb. Thankfully, our Estonian hero has the perfect counter - a smoke grenade, picked up off the floor. He throws it down immediately as the fire starts to spread. There's a heart-stopping moment where it bounces, and even DDK grimaces thinking that bug has claimed a victim, but it pops perfectly.
ropz is in a smoke by the bomb, but NiP know that, and it looks unwinnable. Our boy is a quick thinker, though, and immediately makes his way to the box on the back of the site, and even in smoke, his movement is good enough to pop on top of the box just in time to spot the head of Xizt, whom he decapitates with two swift M4A4 bullets. It's a genius move, completely catching the experienced Swedes off guard, and realistically it was the only move that could have won him the round.
The smoke, as if by magic, obscures him from draken who cannot trade, and instead in desperation gives up his position, firing into the smoke. ropz wastes no time in waiting for his repeek, landing a crucial bullet into his midriff and ending the round, ending the game and kick-starting his career.
It was a huge moment for a guy who just a few months beforehand was a teenager playing FPL in his bedroom, to 1v3ing a legendary team with just a pistol and 14 HP on a professional team. It also showed us all what this wunderkind was capable of, and it was a display of the incredible potential that the boy has shown in the last few years.