• Anthony Vitale

The BIG Issues with XANTARES

Many saw the signing of İsmailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş to the BIG Clan roster as a power play for the German organization. However, I have recently begun to see things a bit differently. I do not judge XANTARES or BIG based on the short term success they have yet to find with the current iteration of the team, but based on a multitude of obstacles the team has run into and commented on in recent history.

İsmailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş with the Turkish Space Soldiers lineup at DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018 (Credit to DreamHack)

It is no secret that XANTARES struggles with communicating in English after spending his career in Turkish speaking teams. This seems to be the young stars greatest flaw, as the future of his career heavily depends on his ability to communicate with a wide variety of players. While it would not be a huge issue if the team would be speaking in English regardless of his presence, this is not the case in this instance.

Every member of BIG aside from XANTARES speak German, only having to make the switch to accommodate their latest pickup. While the English of the BIG core is more than sufficient for the job, it is XANTARES who struggles with the language. There have been talks of alternatively teaching XANTARES German, but this would in no way benefit the future of the young star if and when his time with the team comes to an end. A simple solution for this would be to either acquire a player who fills the same role they look for out of him with better English skills or to re-emerge as a solely German superteam, both of which we will touch upon later.

The next concern is not so much at the fault of XANTARES himself, however still an issue his presence brings nonetheless. Upon joining the roster, he initially had Owen “smooya” Butterfield wielding the AWP sniper rifle to help create space for the team. This was a system that many believed would prove beneficial, with star fraggers XANTARES and Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz at the helm with the supportive pillars of in-game leader Fatih “gob b” Dayik and Tizian “tiziaN” Feldbusch to set their heavy hitters up to prosper.

That being said, this theorized lineup lasted very little time, as the departure of the aforementioned smooya and return of Johannes “nex” Maget left the AWP role in the air, with the team’s most reliable rifler, tabseN left to do the job. While he is no slouch on the AWP in his own right, the glaring problem with this role change is the hole that it left in the rifling department. The remainder of BIG are by no means weak riflers, though tabseN’s switching to the AWP on the team’s terrorists sides definitely makes finding map control difficult. Although there is nothing XANTARES has done to directly create this role confliction, it is one that needs to be tended to as soon as possible regardless.

Florian “syrsoN” Rische at the Copenhagen Games 2018 Qualifier with ALTERNATE aTTaX

This now leads us to the possible solutions for BIG. One solution would be to replace XANTARES with a German player who will better fit the role the team needs, the AWPer. The most capable player that comes to mind is Sprout’s own Florian “syrsoN” Rische, an individual who has been on the rise for quite some time now in the German scene, making a name for himself after putting up consistent numbers over the course of 2017, 2018, as well as throughout this year. He would not only relieve tabseN of his primary AWP duties, but be able to play around his team comfortably with the AWP as opposed to having the team need to play around him.

Miikka “suNny” Kemppi with mousesports at DreamHack Stockholm 2018 (Credit to DreamHack)

Another remedy to their dismay could be to recruit a different English speaking superstar, one with more efficient communication skills as well as experience. I suggest none other than Finnish powerhouse Miikka “suNny” Kemppi for the job. His history during his prominent rise in PENTA Sports and ascension onto another level in mousesports helped make both international squads forces to be reckoned with. The entry-fraggers now resides teamless on the mousesports bench in search of new opportunities. This would not resolve their AWP troubles, but would certainly allow for a greater pace of growth and adaptation to their new role changes, as well as add another voice of input in and out of the servers.

The last, and most likely option, will be to remain with their current roster for just a bit longer and see if they can stick things out. There is no doubt that the team consists of both strong fraggers and intelligent minds, so the idea that they can fix things with time is not too far fetched. I can see a world where XANTARES begins to ease into and overcome the challenging language barrier and find his way. With the experience and leadership that surrounds him, he could very well become the solution to his own problems.