Rapid Reactions - Natural Benched Killers
Despite many rumours indicating otherwise, neither Nathan ‘NBK’ Schmitt or Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire will be heading away from G2 for less than $800,000 each - at least according to neLendirekt and flickshot.fr. Clearly, that number is enough to put off basically any team in the world, probably indicating that G2 want to keep the duo. This is potentially surprising news, given G2 appear to have moved on from NBK’s roster towards the ‘Shox project’, and neither NBK nor apEX surely would not be short of offers. Though it seems, G2 maybe aren’t as all in on Shox’s team as they first appeared.
Why would you not listen to offers, were you not holding on to them for a safety net? If the Ex6tenz team doesn’t work out, is Ocelote going straight back to a team with NBK and apEX in it? With the old EnVyUs squad all being released, there’s plenty of French speaking players available should there be tensions between the old and new G2 squads.
There is blowback on this: with C9 reportedly looking at NBK and apEX, they will have to look elsewhere - and quickly. Finding a player with the pedigree of the French stars on such little notice is unlikely, and C9 may have to panic and find a player who isn’t quite as good a fit for the North American roster. Inadvertently, the infamous French indecision appears to have damaged the current major champions.
There were also rumours abound of NBK potentially replacing Martin ‘STYKO’ Styk in the Mousesports roster. Fan pressure appears to have gotten too much for Mousesports who are reportedly willing to bench the Slovakian, despite consistently defending the support player’s poor stats with the age-old ‘supporting work vs kills’ argument. Were Mouz looking to replace STYKO, NBK seems the most obvious example - he speaks English, has traditionally been a support type player and has fantastic pedigree. Even if not him, Fabien ‘kioshima’ Fiey would be a nice potential fit - but as he has just come back into the French scene, he could potentially be a part of a new French roster, and may not want to commit to Mouz with the uncertainty surrounding the French teams.
NBK has spoken about wanting to go to an international team - an English speaking one - which makes it unlikely that he’d want to stay at G2. In fact, he has been hinting at wanting to be ‘freed’ on his personal Twitter account. It seems bizarre for G2 to be so sure they want to keep him, when he seems so sure he doesn’t want to stay.
It seems a shame for apEX too, an enigmatic, but exciting player to watch at his best, with his relentless aggression and sheer determination to execute the call of his team. apEX would run through two smokes and a molotov for a sniff of a headshot, if his IGL told him to - which makes him quite an amicable teammate and a useful one. He hasn’t been at his explosive best in recent months but he can change a map in seconds.
What next for him? It’s possible he’d join the team with some of the old EnVyUs guys - or maybe he’d want to join Vincent ‘Happy’ Schopenhauer, who does not seem particularly popular with his old teammates. Happy and apEX could form a team, but as stated, they might struggle to convince the ex-EnVyUs guys, so they’d either have to go international, or hope Shox’s side fails and try and convince G2 - which seems incredibly unlikely.
Whatever happens, it’s a shame for apEX and NBK who are both talented and could potentially miss the Major if they’re not allowed to leave soon - given their pedigree as major winners, and big players in big moments in CS history - it’s a sad sight for CS to potentially lose those names for the next step in Major history.