‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Yesterday, Tarik officially left Cloud9. According to a report by Dekay, he will likely join MIBR before ELeague Premier 2018 starts. This puts Cloud 9 in an interesting position considering the free agents available and the timeline at hand. So let’s first look at the timeline. The FACEIT Major is coming up in September. In order to keep their spot, they must have three of the five players from the last lineup. With Stewie2k and Tarik leaving, that means that Cloud9 must keep RUSH, autimatic, and Skadoodle.
On top of that we’ve recently had a report from flickshot saying that STYKO and Golden will play with Cloud 9 for ELeague Premier. So let’s first look at the original core. You have RUSH who is flexible and currently plays a support role on the squad, though his highest peak was as entry-fragger (though that was a long time ago on OpTic). We have autimatic, a great second contact player who did his best work with Stewie2k. Finally we have Skadoodle who has been dubbed as a support AWPer and his highest peak in the last 2 years has been at the Major. Outside of that, he has been average. Good enough in group stages, but rarely putting on star performances in playoffs.
Given those starting conditions Cloud 9 need a space creator, firepower, and a leader. Golden should fill in nicely for the in-game leader role. The reason that Cloud 9 decided against FNS was because he played too structured. As far as I can tell, Golden likes to play a more default individualistic style. If he can utilize that with the current core of Cloud 9, I don’t see a reason why they wouldn’t play under him.
That leaves the fifth option. STYKO doesn’t fill the necessary requirements I want, however I don’t think he is a bad choice at the given moment. The reason I think that is because I think STYKO is a better support player than RUSH. So under Golden, I think the shift in roles will have RUSH become the entry fragger and space creator for Autimatic with STYKO taking the support roles. This will give a working core now and they can re-evaluate in the future after the Major where there will likely be a lot more free agents to choose from.
In a theoretical world however, if I was trying to make the best squad possible, I think I’d try to go for either apEX or Cromen. apEX is the safer bet because he’s a veteran and I know what he can do regardless of what players he has around him. Cromen has impressed everyone during his time on FaZe, however FaZe was filled with all-star players and a leader who specialized in enabling his players so it’s hard to know how Cromen will appear in a lesser lineup like this. Still it might be worth the risk, especially as right now is likely the cheapest time to get Cromen, however given the circumstances that means cutting STYKO loose.
For now, I say run with the Golden/STYKO lineup and re-evaluate after the ELeague Premier. If the lineup doesn’t click, then try to get Cromen (as he’s likely a cheaper option than apEX). Personally, I think Skadoodle needs to be upgraded for a star player, but given the timeline and the Major slot, that is currently impossible unless they are willing to give up the slot.