Rapid Reactions: New G2 Esports
The "French super team" has been on a steady decline since its formation in February of 2017, leading to organization and its players to take a new approach to its lineup.
The decision came with the team’s failure to find success after the benching of Richard “shox” Papillon occurred in March and the addition of the French speaking Spaniard Oscar “mixwell” Canellas in his place. With the change being known for quite some time, the return of shox was imminent if G2’s failure had continued, as well as the return of another longtime G2 Esports member Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux. Not only that, but yet another former G2 player would make a comeback in the form of the Belgian in-game leader Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans, who is currently only listed as a temporary stand-in for the team as negotiations with Team LDLC are still being made.
The current G2 Esports lineup stands as follows:
Richard “shox” Papillon Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro Kenny “kennyS” Schrub Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux
Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans (Temporary Stand-in) Jérôme “NiaK” Sudries (Coach)
Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt (Bench)
Dan “apEX” Madesclaire (Bench)
It is certainly not unreasonable to say the team was severely disappointing when given expectations fair to the names presented in the roster throughout its time together. With the move not coming as much of a surprise, fans and analysts have had ample time to come up with their own predictions and speculations of how the team will do. The common consensus has been the lack of firepower the team seems to have. With a star studded AWPer and veteran in-game leader such as kennyS and Ex6TenZ respectively, how can you go wrong? The issue behind such a statement is the fact that the team contains not one, but two supportive players in SmithZz and bodyy, as well as shox coming off a 3 month hiatus from his wrist surgery.
Previous iterations of the French G2 Esports rosters have lacked one thing since initially removing Ex6TenZ in the middle of 2016, and that is leadership. With Vincent “Happy” Cervoni being the only other in-game leader that the top echelon of the French scene has to offer, options have been limited. It is a spectacular pickup for this new G2 roster to grab an experienced leader such as Ex6TenZ to set this team up for success. This would be Ex6TenZ’s first time with young gun bodyy, so this may be an opportunity to better develop him as a top talent beyond the limits he has shown us thus far in his career. G2 has made up for lack of leadership in a surplus of firepower before, but maybe it’s time they try something new.
Another important point that must be made is the amount of time that SmithZz and Ex6TenZ have spent without playing in official matches. Ex6TenZ having 4 months since actively playing as a part of Team LDLC and SmithZz having coached G2 since February of 2017 makes things a little iffy for how rusty these players may be. However, all depending on the amount of work the team has put in, they may be able to surprise in the ECS Season 5 Finals. Knowing how deep Ex6TenZ is known to go into the game, we could see some unexpected results from the roster moving forwards into the coming events.
With Group B of the ECS Finals containing a weakened FaZe Clan featuring Jørgen “cromen” Robertsen, regional powerhouse NRG Esports, and the Brazilians of Luminosity Gaming, it is not hard to imagine a world where G2 make it through to the playoffs in second, or even first place with the right circumstances. NRG Esports hot off a runner-up finish at StarSeries may be tough to contend against, but definitely not impossible. Beyond that, a struggle may be on the horizon for the team come the semifinals.
In terms of contracts, the new players and residing players may be getting a pay raise, as this is a project that the organization is really depending on working to save their brand as well as their chances to compete internationally, so the motivation has to be there. The incentive to give it their all should be available compared to previous teams, as esports is reaching an all-time high in salaries as the scene continues to grow. An upwards of $25,000 salary contracts are expected. Assuming the team decides to continue with Ex6TenZ as a permanent member of the team, they should only move forwards from where they start.
With this move comes the benching of NBK and apEX, players that have been integral parts of French Counter-Strike’s history. Both players have been rumored to have been approached by North American organization Cloud9 to replace Pujan “FNS” Mehta, but it seems that they are almost settled on NBK- over apEX. Where the star entry-fragger could go is a mystery at this point, but knowing the amount of talent he still has he should bounce back rather comfortably in no time.