For nearly the entirety of CS:GO history, Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt has been the most important player in the French CS:GO scene. He was given the nickname “Kingmaker” by Duncan “Thorin” Shields and the epithet is apropos given how critical NBK- has been in creating the most successful lineups in French CS:GO history. He has helped create and play for almost all of the greatest CS:GO lineups. However in 2018, Richard “Shox” Papillon pulled a coup d`etat as he became the power player in the French scene and won over G2 and Kenny “KennyS” Schrub to his cause. With no recourse left, NBK- has now been forced to create the French resistance and that resistance is about to begin.
To understand how the French resistance came about, we have to first understand NBK- and his role in French CS:GO history. It starts with him as a player. In terms of raw skill, he has the ability to be a star player on the international stage. However he also had the foresight and understanding to realize that the French scene didn’t need another star player. There were plenty of skilled players in the scene already including players like Shox, KennyS, and Adil “ScreaM” Benriltom. What the scene needed was a fill player.
A fill player is a term I borrowed from my early days of playing Dota. It essentially means the player who is willing to take on the remaining roles of the team. In Dota, there are five separate roles: Carry, Mid, Offlane, and two supports. The fill player in a ladder game is the one who let’s every other player pick their preferred role and fills in whatever role is remaining.
So when it comes to NBK, he can pickup any role on any map depending on what his team needs. He can play entry, secondary AWP, lurk, support, anchor, or any combination of the above. If he is needed to be the secondary star he will step up. This is an incredibly hard role to play and in the history of the game, you can name the players on one hand that have been able to play this type of role to the same level as NBK- can.
In the entire French CS:GO community, no one can play this role to even a modicum of the level that NBK- can. That is why among all of the French players, he is the most highly correlated to the success of any top French team in the world. It is also why he was the kingmaker. French teams needed him to fill the critical roles they needed to make their team successful. In the history of French CS:GO, NBK- has only twice not been on the best French team in the world.
Once in 2016 when EnVyUs were slumping and the Shox/ScreaM G2 lineup was in ascendancy for a brief period of time and now in the modern era. In the case of 2016, NBK- wasn’t outside of the best French team for long as he was able to team up with Shox and create the all-star lineup of 2017. It is only now that he is on the outside looking in.
After being the in-game leader for G2, Shox came to the realization that the role wasn’t for him. On top of that, the all-star lineup hadn’t reached the results that he necessarily wanted and the team decided to try having NBK- take up the lead. This caused a break in the team which ended with the modern G2 lineup of: Shox, KennyS, Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans, Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux, and Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro.
NBK- and Dan “apEX” Madesclaire were then benched from the squad. Both were rumored to find different options. NBK- tried to join the G2 squad, but Shox wasn’t interested. ApEX could have potentially joined Mouz, but Mouz decided against it. For NBK-, this was the second time that he has not been a part of the best French team, but unlike the last time there was no plan to get back into it. After searching for potential options, NBK- had no recourse but to start a new French team and create a rebellion against the established order.
NBK- and apEX put aside any differences they had after the initial G2 roster shuffle and allied once again. After that, they decided to team up with two other French players: Vincent “Happy” Cervoni and Cedric “RpK” Guipouy. Happy was once the in-game leader that had led France to two Major victories. However his days of being one of the world’s best in-game leaders had passed him by. Throughout 2017, he had been in charge of the second best French team, but had been unable to make the team coalesce into one and by the end of it’s time it had completely broken apart. As for RpK, he was the best player on EnVyUs.
The two sides decided to join forces to overthrow the current regime of Shox. NBK- was to be the in-game leader of the new squad. With apEX, RpK, and Happy, he had enough veteran experience, but he lacked a true heavy hitter. While apEX and RpK can carry at times, neither have shown that they can do it consistently at the highest level of the game. For the resistance to succeed, they needed a carry player. Someone who had the potential to explode onto the scene as an international star player.
In the history of French CS:GO, there have only been a few French players that have fit that bill. Happy, Shox and kennyS. Happy hasn’t been that player for four years and his chances of reaching that level again are essentially nil given how well teams and players have adapted to the hard lurk style. Shox and kennyS were part of the G2 project so they were out. As this was the case, the team decided to bet it on one of the most hyped players coming out of the French scene, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Famous for having sensational clips, he is an incredibly young AWPer from the French scene and is in a sense, the most important piece for this French resistance to succeed. Every other player in this squad is a known factor in terms of play. For this team to get off the ground, ZywOo must grow into a star player that can play on the international stage.
In many ways this resistance mirrors Shox’s own rebellion against NBK back in 2016. In 2015, Shox was outed of EnVyUs and forced to create a secondary French team. He eventually took the reigns of the team as in-game leader from Ex6TenZ. The lineup of the squad he had at the time included: Shox, ScreaM, RpK, bodyy, and SmithZz.
Shox had to find a way to become a superstar player, enable ScreaM as a secondary star, use his veteran players within the system, and help boddy grow as a player that could fill the roles they needed. The move worked and G2 ended up overtaking EnVyUs in 2016.
In NBK-’s case he will have his own challenges. For NBK-, he must take on the role of in-game leading and stick to it. He’s tried this move multiple times in the past, but after a small trial period has continually given up the role to someone else. For this lineup to succeed, he must be the consistent in-game leader of the squad. Like Shox back then, he must setup a system with his veteran players and see to it that ZywOo grows into the star player that everyone thinks he has the potential of becoming.
NBK- is a player who is dedicated to being the best in the world. In the past, he was able to continue being among the best in the world by creating the new lineups. However this time he was on the losing end of the shuffle. He was outed from G2 and so now he must write a new chapter in his career. Instead of being the Kingmaker, he must now lead the resistance and make himself the king.