Players to watch following the CS:GO roster shuffles

CS:GO

Players to watch following the CS:GO roster shuffles

With most teams making at least one change to their starting roster for the final months of CS:GO competition, there are a lot of new and familiar names trading places among the elite Counter-Strike organisations.

From S Tier tournament strangers to familiar faces donning new jerseys, there is no shortage of noteworthy roster moves that are worth highlighting.

 

Aleks “Rainwaker” Petrov – Team Liquid

Rainwaker was the surprising addition to the now-EU Team Liquid during the offseason. The Bulgarian rifler had been an impressive talent on the radar of those following tier two competition for his results with the Bulgarian lineup representing 500.

He is one to watch on both Inferno and Overpass, boasting impressive winrates and statistics (1.18 and 1.21 HLTV ratings respectively) on the maps on both FACEIT and in official matches. While there are less maps to go off, his current rating on Anubis is a potential cause for concern as Liquid are confident playing the latest map pool addition.

As a relatively unknown player to those following only the top flight of Counter-Strike, Rainwaker may well be a surprising performer during his time with the formerly North American roster.

 

Shahar “flameZ” Shushan – Team Vitality 

As the second Israeli to be signed to Vitality’s Counter-Strike roster, flameZ is a player that is not only one to watch, but someone who fans and analysts will ideally not be able to keep their eyes off once he hits the server.

Having been the strongest rifler for OG and one of the many immense talents to have passed through the Endpoint camp, flameZ is pound-for-pound a statistical upgrade for the benched veteran Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen. What he lacks is experience, having only been active as a professional player since the year dupreeh won his first of five Major titles in 2017.

With Lotan “Spinx” Giladi coming into his own at the BLAST.tv Paris Major after an initial turbulent debut for Vitality and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut still very much looking like the best player in the world right now, there is no shortage of firepower in the lineup and flameZ will not be expected to carry the world on his shoulders.

 

Ivan “iM” Mihai – Natus Vincere

Before the Paris Major, you would struggle to find anyone who would call themselves a fan of iM. Now, he has managed to even get the approval of the no-nonsense CS:GO GOAT in Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev as he is part of one of Counter-Strike’s most iconic and prestigious organisations alongside him.

iM is not alone in his move to NAVI. A fellow underdog in Apeks’ Justinas “jL” Lekavicius and NIP’s benched IGL Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen will shape the future of Natus Vincere. Having spent time under Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek, working under an established IGL in Aleksib could be what is needed for iM to maintain some of the level he showed in Paris even if Aleksib’s skills as a leader throughout his tenures at OG, Ninjas in Pyjamas and G2 Esports have been questioned by some.

 

Denis “electroNic” Sharipov – Cloud9

At one point in history, electroNic and s1mple were touted as being the greatest duo in CS:GO. Now, the pair will now be facing each other from different sides for the first time since 2017 as the Russian rifler has been signed to Cloud9.

Continuing to be an in-game leader has seen Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov removed from the squad over Abai “HObbit” Hasenov as initial rumours suggested. This decision to prioritise captaincy over his own individual level, which did see a drop in NAVI when he took on the role, suggests electroNic has confidence in the remaining trio that will play alongside him and fellow NAVI transfer Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy.

After four consecutive years within the top ten of HLTV’s Top 20 players of the year list between 2018 and 2021, it is unlikely electroNic will return to the list in 2023. However, playing alongside current top-rated player Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov could bring something even more important: trophies and titles. As the most experienced player on this list, electroNic using this experience to help secure a future for the young standout talents of Cloud9 could be exactly what the roster needs to break the rut they have found themselves in since the online era concluded.

Phoebe Dua

4 min read 741 🔥

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