The Leaders of Counter-Strike: gob b
The Counter-Strike scene has been undergoing a transformation in recent times. Players who have never led before, are now seeking to take up the mantle of in-game leader. A trend for the most part, that has seen mixed results.
This series will look at the few veteran leaders of Counter-Strike who remain at the top of the scene, and analyze their skill sets, their individual unique style, and what they bring to the game’s professional scene.
This piece will look at the history of legendary German in-game leader Fatih "gob b" Dayik and analyse his impact on his teams.
“gob b” is a name you will hear in the history books of both Counter-Strike 1.6 as well as its successor CS:GO.
The veteran in-game leader has always found different levels of success in almost all of the teams he has played in. Throughout the two different versions of Counter-Strike he’s played, he has always maintained his detailed tactical approach to the way his teams play the game.
Notably in CS 1.6, he was not just a brilliant in-game leader but also one of the most individually skilled players of his team. As a result gob b and his mousesports team were able to win multiple big events in CS 1.6.
In CS:GO, gob b has found a different form of success in comparison to his 1.6 days. The German in-game leader has managed to achieve impressive runs in events when taking into consideration that his teams have not had the same calibre of players of his 1.6 teams.
With mousesports, he achieved two 2nd place finishes at CEVO Season 8 Finals and Acer Predator Masters Season 1 Finals. With BIG, gob b’s notable results consist of a quarter-final run at the PGL Krakow Major and most recently a second place finish at ESL One: Cologne 2018.
Most would agree that in CS:GO, gob b has not had access to players of the same level of skill, that his 1.6 teams consisted of.
Therefore, it wouldn't be fair to judge gob b on titles won, but rather strong placings with a comparably weaker set of players than the teams they were competing against.
Style of Play
gob b conditions his teams to work as a meticulous and well oiled machine. Through: clever use of nades, obtaining map control and perfect timing on pushes; gob b utilises many different aspects in order to put his squad in the best possible position to win a round before a shot has even been fired.
On T side, it is obvious that gob b drills the fundamentals in to each of his teammates. His teams always favour a slower approach; feeling out the map, looking for CT aggression or mistakes before making a decision on which site to approach.
A gob b team will always make use of their nades and very rarely will any players die with utility unused.
On Counter-Terrorist side, the German tactician places a heavy emphasis on gaining information early in the round. Combining a consistent use of aggressive positioning and pop flashing for information, allows the German tactician to call for an early rotation in the round.
Based on recent results, it would be accurate to say that BIG reap the rewards from the extra work that they put in on the tactical minutia of their game. The minute advantages these small meticulous tendencies that the veteran in-game leader has drilled in to his squad has helped them overcome some of the best teams in counter-strike.
At ESL One: Cologne 2018, BIG were able to overcome the likes of: the FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, MIBR and Team Liquid. Teams which, almost all would agree, possess firepower far superior to that of BIG’s. It is testament to the work gob b puts in with his team that they have been able to overcome these sides, who possess greater firepower, through a strategic approach.
However, one of the criticisms of gob b and his team in recent times is that they have been unable to produce at smaller events against the lesser teams. Suggesting that his team does have a heavy reliance on extensive preparation which perhaps can only be afforded for the premium events. Something which may not affect other teams as much, as they don’t rely on such a strategic approach, and therefore do not need as intense preparation and practice. Which allows other sides to perform more consistently throughout the year. This may have to be something that gob b and co will have to accept, due to the fact that as of right now, they lack the firepower to compete toe to toe with the best teams, and do have a heavy reliance on tactics in order to “level the playing field”.
Improving his Players
In order for gob b to succeed, without access to the top talent in the scene, he has had to utilise the talent at his disposal to the absolute best of their abilities.
The German captain’s ability to get the most out of his players, and have them playing at a level far above their previous standards, is a skill gob b is almost unmatched in.
This becomes rather obvious when comparing the difference in performance of players when they are playing alongside gob b and when they are not.
One of the most prominent examples of a player whose performance is enhanced when playing alongside gob b, is Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz. In 2015, when playing under the banner of PENTA Sports, tabseN managed just a 1.02 HLTV rating overall. For the most part of his PENTA days, tabseN was never really considered a star player. However, his performance increased drastically when he united with gob b in NRG and now BIG. Achieving a spectacular 1.20 rating overall in 2017 and so far in 2018, a 1.19 rating overall. Many analysts will now identify tabseN as the star man of this BIG team, which highlights his meteoric rise under the German leader and shows how invaluable a piece he is in BIG’s successes.
A player who most had written off from top tier counter-strike was Johannes “nex” Maget. When first playing alongside gob b under the mousesports banner, he was considered the future star of German CS. Reaching a very impressive 1.13 overall rating during gob b’s tenure on mousesports; nex was developing in to one of the hottest prospects in CS:GO. Although, after gob b’s departure, nex’s performance declined. Whilst still maintaining a respectable rating of 1.06 in 2016, he struggled to find consistency. Since reuniting with gob b in BIG, nex has rediscovered the form he displayed earlier in his career, obtaining an overall 1.15 rating so far. Whilst nex does still have question marks over his consistency in delivering in big matches, he has been integral to the success of BIG. Any strong performances from BIG are correlated by strong performances from nex.
Improving players is evidently one of gob b’s greatest strengths. In order to find success with his teams, he has had to find a method to maximise the performance of players whomst have not been able to perform to a sufficient standard previously in their careers.
The veteran leader has taken players from the lower tiers (Owen “smooya” Butterfield being the most recent example) or players who have been written off amongst the top tiers of counter-strike, and has built teams capable of competing amongst the very best.
So what does the future hold for gob b and his BIG side? In the past, they have struggled to find consistency as a team. From the heights of beating some of the best teams in the world, to seemingly dropping off the face of the planet until they make a resurgence months later.
The next stage for gob b and co will be to build upon their success and transform their promising performances in to something that can be replicated consistently at all events.
There are certainly promising pieces that gob b has to work with. He has shown that he and his team are capable of beating the best, it is up to gob b now and his team to cement their position in the coming months as one of Counter-Strike's top teams.