The 2018 competitive season is over and the professional CS:GO scene will enter a new year with a significant number of big CS:GO Player Transfers. Many of the top 16 teams have decided to either buy, sell or bench some of their players in an attempt to improve the future performances.
In this article we will offer you an analysis of the most important teams and players who were involved in this process.
CS:GO Player Transfers & The Teams - December 2018
Team Liquid Roster Changes - TACO and Stewie2K
Team Liquid finished the season as one of the best teams in the world, second only to Astralis, although Na’Vi was probably just as good. Throughout the year, Liquid played in 9 Grand Finals and won 2 titles. The large number of defeats were without a doubt heartbreaking, but they weren’t the reason why the organization swapped one of its best players recently.
TACO had joined the team back in April, when MIBR was going through big changes as a result of many months of poor performances. As soon as he joined, he was quickly integrated into the team’s playstyle and made a huge difference in tournaments. So the question naturally arises: why would Liquid swap him for any other player? His support skills are very difficult to replace and we will almost certainly see a considerably weaker Team Liquid in the new season as a result.
The main reason why TACO was replaced actually has nothing to do with Team Liquid and everything to do with MIBR, who wanted him back. After almost a year without his skills in the team, they realized that TACO was definitely not the issue. The reason they had lost their edge had to do with completely different factors.
As for the player himself, well, he’s a Brazilian. So of course he longed to return to his homeland, friends and family. Eight months away from home is a long time. As for his career, we’re pretty sure that rejoining his former team won’t be that bad of a thing. MIBR is a top 5 team at the time of this writing and their playstyle has looked very solid in recent months.
TACO’s place will be taken by Stewie2K, the former Cloud9 superstar and until this transfer, former MIBR player. He really tried his best to make it work and the team offered him a solid 6 months window to prove himself. And to some degree he actually succeeded, but the general competitive context in which he had to make his mark at MIBR was completely hostile.
The Brazilian organization was going through internal changes and was competing against the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere and Team Liquid at every CS:GO event. So to a great extent, it’s obvious why the results haven’t been better. Still, MIBR achieved some notable results here and there, maintaining their position as one of the best teams in the world. So we can hardly say that Stewie2K failed during his time with them.
Going forward, we expect Team Liquid to weaken as a result of this swap, but not necessarily because Stewie2K is a weaker player than TACO. In fact, he probably isn’t. It’s just that TACO plays a very specialized role and his contribution to what Liquid was doing was absolutely impressive. Swapping him with Stewie2K is like swapping your trusted goalkeeper for a striker. It doesn’t make much sense in terms of overall synergy. Everyone on the team will have to start playing differently as a result, which might pose a lot of problems in the first few months.
Another problem is that any roster change leads to a lack of fluency in execution. The new player needs to be integrated with the rest of the team, taught the strategies and how everyone else operates relative to his own role, and so on. It’s a tedious process that takes a lot more effort than it seems, simply because at the highest professional level, teams will exploit every little weakness they can find. If your team doesn’t play perfectly, it simply loses a few key rounds and that’s more than enough to suffer a defeat.
MIBR Roster Changes - YNk and zews
We’ve just talked about MIBR and Team Liquid’s swap. But MIBR got another key member from Team Liquid in addition to TACO. And that member is zews, who had been their coach for 2 years. He is actually a Brazilian and he used to train Fallen and his squad a few years ago, so his return to MIBR is not that spectacular, although you could argue that Liquid would have been much better off by keeping him.
Just as in TACO’s case, we suspect that zews simply wanted to be reunited with more familiar faces. Because from a career perspective, he was doing more than fine with Team Liquid. We’ll have to see what level of improvement he can bring to MIBR, whose former coach was the world’s most famous CS:GO analyst, namely YNk.
YNk, like Stewie2K, had a very difficult task ahead of him when he joined MIBR 5 months ago. He not only had to make the roster work internally, but also teach them how to defeat the greatest teams in the world. And in 2018, the CS:GO scene truly saw some of the greatest teams ever assembled. Astralis was godlike almost the entire year, s1mple carried Na’Vi to new heights and 9 Grand Finals and Team Liquid, as we’ve talked before, also had a formidable year.
It’s not yet clear what YNk will do next, but he’ll likely go back to being an analyst. As for MIBR, we think they will become either the 2nd or 3rd best team in the world in the year to come. We don’t think they can beat Astralis, but they will certainly be stronger than mousesports, Team Liquid and possibly even Natus Vincere.
FaZe Clan Roster Updates - karrigan
After a number of disappointments, people tend to forget the good moments and get an overall feeling that the entire season was a disaster. However, in spite of failing many times and struggling with constant roster changes due to olofmeister’s personal problems, FaZe Clan actually played in no less than 5 Grand Finals in 2018, winning 3 of them. And what’s even more impressive is that they were one of the few teams that managed to beat Astralis in a Grand Final in 2018. This happened at Intel Extreme Masters XIII Sydney.
FaZe Clan has gone in 2018 through a process we’ve seen before in the case of MIBR. However, they did not make any roster changes, until the very end. The team’s captain, karrigan, had been an active player in the roster for more than 2 years. And during this time he proved himself to be one of the greatest captains in CS:GO, winning many trophies for his team. But, after a less than spectacular season in 2018, the organization decided to bench him and he was certainly not pleased with the decision.
So far, we have no news of his transfer to some other team. He’s simply inactive and still a member of FaZe Clan. It will be interesting to see who the organization will replace him with, as he’s pretty much irreplaceable in his role. Still, we would make the guess that Golden, the currently inactive Cloud9 member will likely take his place.