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Title Photo: IEM Katowice

After a very successful 2016 where G2 was spearheaded by the rifling star duo of Shox and Scream, the team – in February 2017 – announced what they themselves termed as a revolution. After years and years of Thorin constantly referring to the fact that Shox and KennyS were never seen on the team together, they were finally united – the unstoppable force, the ultimate killing machine…

Sort of.

It’s already been discussed about how it was France’s false bill of goods – but what was seen then was one of the most disappointing results from probably one of the most hyped lineups ever seen. What should have been a team in strong competition for S-Class ended 2017 being in the bottom end of top 10, having only two trophies in their case.

After sources revealed that until their victory in Malmo, KennyS had been considering retiring, it came as no surprise that 2018 saw his form dip to a point where he wasn’t even deemed eligible to be in the HLTV top 20 list. For someone who is inarguably the most legendary AWPer of CS:GO, who had time and time again shown off his skills in terrible teams and even worse situations, this was the first time in history where he wasn’t amongst the ranked few.

All this, while surrounded by some of the most decorated players to ever grace the game. What G2 had so proudly branded as the ‘French Revolution’ seemed like insult to one of the greatest historical triumphs of the country.

Of course, G2 do have a get-out-of-jail-free card. Kenny’s contract, unlike the rest of his teammates, was not extended till 2020 – according to a report by neL.

Given Kenny’s recent performances, it shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following the team if he’s benched once the major has gone by. This may come as a shock to those of you who remember his sky-high performances. Despite the fact that the team hasn’t faced off a single top 10 team on LAN in the past six months, his rating is at a bare 1.05. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that a lot of fans think that it’s perfectly acceptable to say that his rating is low – given how his team has been performing. The problem though, comes in with his own consistency (or lack thereof).

Across the past forty maps played on LAN, KennyS has had an average rating of 1.07, and a standard deviation of 0.33. Those numbers are absurd when you remember that they’ve only played against one elite level team on LAN – Liquid. What does the standard deviation really mean? Well, 34.1% of the time (approximately one third), KennyS’s rating will vary between 0.74-1.07, with around 15% of that (or one in six-odd games) will be between 0.74-0.91. That’s incredibly poor and inconsistent for someone who is without a doubt supposed to be one of your big star players. Don’t let my percentages fool you though, you need a proper control group to understand just how poorly Kenny has been performing.

PlayerStandard DeviationAverage1 in 3 Games Range1 in 6 Games Range

I think these players are a decent range, going from the absolute best in Device, including some up and coming rookies, to someone who is probably not really fit (given recent history) to be included in the same category of AWPers as Shahzam. Let’s get something straight, Kenny is nowhere close to a high enough level to compete with the first three. The absolutely tragic stat is when you compare Kenny’s performance to Shahzam’s as of late – they’re both practically on the same level statistically as far as consistency and performance go.

For once, the argument of playing versus better players isn’t even completely applicable – both Kenny and Shahzam have been attending LANs of a similar level, playing against teams of a similar level. Both their teams have also been struggling to achieve high placings at basically any tournament they go to. All this, with Kenny being one of the biggest stars of Counter-Strike history who is expected to be able to completely dominate a server, and Shahzam who if presented as a historical comparison would pale. Not just that, but the compLexity team has nowhere near the pedigree of a G2 featuring Shox and KennyS.

Take it from another angle, it’s around 19% of the time (or one in five) that Kenny’s rating is equal to the average rating of Device. Call it unfair comparing Kenny to the player whose team is absolutely dominating the world, but Kenny’s historically been a S1mple-like player who could keep his numbers up no matter what the circumstances were. To be clear, Kenny does pop off to a higher degree than that on occasion – this is just a representation of how far beyond his average he needs to go to to get to the average of Device, around 20%. Still, an absolute travesty when you think about it.

There is no doubt in my head that Kenny can rise to the top once again, but given how his career has been plagued with motivational issues, G2 might not be the team where he does so. It would be completely unsurprising if this even ends up being the final resting place for his career – before the lustre of his trophy cabinet is lost. Even if he somehow pulls it together for the major playoffs, a long term continued star-worthy performance would still be a bit of a pipe dream.

For a team like G2, who is synonymous across games with being unhappy with anything less than victory, a player who has the off chance of having two months of dominance before falling prey to motivational issues again cannot be worth it. If their other franchises are anything to go by, they’re willing to make the ruthless cut – and at this point it’s not even particularly controversial.

Unless Ocelote chooses to go for the international route again – entirely plausible given how much of a wreck the French scene has been – it’s probably time to go full circle and return to a strong rifling setup. That said, given that most of the Vitality players are likely to be off the market, it limits your options a fair bit. I’ll hold off till after I more closely examine Vitality’s play against higher tier opposition at the major before I talk about what direction G2 could go with their roster to regain some footing in the international scene though.

It might be time for G2 to start making their farewell videos; KennyS can no longer be considered fit to be one of their star players.

Note: These statistics were gathered before the G2 versus Tyloo match on 17th February, 2019, when the article was written. The article was updated later, but to try and maintain some parity in quality of matches played as well as the number of maps we’re tracking, I didn’t include the maps for fear of misrepresenting the data or making the sample I had taken unfair by including obvious dominance from Astralis in the playoffs. While I did miss out one or two great performances from Kenny, the story that the stats paint is still very relevant.

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