Photo: Adam Lakomy for ESL
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
On Jan. 17, OpTic was eliminated from the EU Minor. That alone doesn’t justify the statement that I think they need a new in-game leader. After all, Group A had a bunch of strong teams. Vitality surprised OpTic and beat them on Dust2 in a bo1. After that, Mouz were upset by Valiance in the bo1 stage and so they had to play Mouz in a bo3.
While it was a close game and if I was looking at this event as an isolated incident, then I’d fall on the side of giving the lineup more time. After all, it was their first event with refrezh. However, my problem is that OpTic have been one of the better teams in the world in terms of acquiring talent. Throughout the year, they’ve had a lot of good Danish players come through the team. They currently have k0nfig, one of the best players in 2017. Cajunb a consistent veteran player who can probably still be on a top team if he was playing the 3 or 4 position. JUGi, one of the most hyped AWPers coming out of the Danish scene. For the fifth player, they’ve had players like gade, niko, and now refrezh. Refrezh is the player that a lot of people think will rise up through the ranks in 2019. Overall, I’d say that between those four players, they should be challenging for at least top 10 status in the world.
With these players, Snappi has had about nine months to get some kind of tangible result on the board. They got Top 8 at ESL Proleague Season 7 Finals where they beat NiP in a bo3 (the version with draken). They later went to DreamHack Austin where they were eliminated by Rogue and Space Soldiers, but beat coL in a bo3 series. At DreamHack Summer, they got second place as they beat Gambit and coL in bo1s, North in a bo3, but then lost to the Imperial in the finals. At the EU Minor in London, they got second as they beat NiP and ENCE in bo3s in the playoffs.
Then after that, we saw OpTic eliminated first round by Ghost at Zotac. At DreamHack Stockholm, they were eliminated in the group stages by FaZe and Heroic. At the London Major they went 2-3. Their wins came from Virtus.Pro and TyLoo. Their losses came at the hands of Liquid, HellRaisers, and BIG. At StarLadder i-League Season 6, they went 3-1 in the group stages beating BIG, Vega, and Mouz. In the playoffs, they beat Renegades in a bo3 and then lost to ENCE in the semifinals. At the CS Summit 3, they beat Ghost, coL, and BIG in bo3s before losing to NRG in the finals. At DreamHack Winter, they lost in the group stages to Bravado and ENCE.
When you look at their results as a whole like that, it’s incredibly lackluster. At Tier One events, their barely had any notable victories against any of the big name teams. At Tier two events, they were unable to dominate consistently. They could get second at CS Summit 3, but also bomb out of DreamHack Winter.
Either one of two things is happening here. Either I have vastly overrated the individual players and talent on this squad or the sums is less than its parts when it comes to this team. If I’m wrong then MSL was probably an even greater in-game leader than I considered as he had players like k0nfig and cajunb and was making finals and playoffs at tier one events consistently. If it’s the latter case, then a change in leadership is necessary as the results are basically in. In either case, I think there are two clear options for OpTic at this time. Their best option is to try to get Karrigan, but if they can’t, I think they should let MSL try to lead this team.