A major roster move – seemingly out of nowhere – has made an already exciting week of the European Pro League Season 7 an even greater spectacle.
Shock at shox benching
At the heart of this is G2 Esports. Once believed to be the French super team, they have now benched shox in favour of mixwell, while also shifting NBK- to the In-Game leader role.
This is a complex and staggering move, sending shockwaves throughout the entire CS scene. For Pro League in particular, an incredibly difficult Week 3 schedule looks almost impossible now, with chemistry issues almost certainly in play. G2 have three top ten teams slated this week, with Astralis, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas all looking to take advantage of G2’s turmoil.
However, confusion reigns as it appears as though G2 will still have to play shox for at least this week as mixwell has already been scheduled to play at WESG representing Spain. The next few weeks will be key for G2 Esports as they look to establish a new identity that plays at a more consistent level and has an overall greater potential.
One last note for G2 Esports is the departure of SmithZz, their coach, who may ultimately look to join shox in a different team or line-up.
Mousesports face a crucial week
Mousesports have an incredibly busy week with four different series on the schedule. They currently boast a 4-2 record, with their only losses coming in narrow fashion to Astralis and North.
Currently a top five team, mousesports are favoured in every match outside of their bout against FaZe Clan, who are largely considered the best team in the world.
The most intriguing matches come against G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas as both teams represent a similar level of play. G2 could come out completely loose with nothing to lose, while NiP will look to capitalise on their early pistol victories as they are arguably the best pistol team in the world.
The final match-up for mouz is Heroic, who should be a fairly easy 2-0 win given Heroic’s continued struggles to start the year despite the addition of RUBINO.
Overall this entire slate of games for mousesports is incredibly polarising, especially given mouz play the most matches this coming week.
North showing no consistency
North have perhaps been the most inconsistent squad in Pro League, with their Week 2 matches being a fitting example. An impressive 1-1 split against mousesports was immediately followed by a 1-1 series with LDLC, arguably a bottom two team, and a 1-1 with EnVyUs that included a 3-16 loss alongside a narrow 16-14 win.
North’s schedule in Week 3 is Heroic and Astralis, with the Astralis game in particular standing out as a must-watch. Here North’s Kjaerbye will face his former squad in a Danish derby which should be highly competitive.
North need to find wins any way they can as their overall strength pits them as a lower tiered playoff team and Heroic appear to be the perfect opponent. This is historically a match in which North would falter as they play down to their competition, but the hope is that this new line-up is able to shake that habit.
Possible issues at FaZe Clan
FaZe Clan are favoured in any match they play, but this week presents a unique challenge for their all-star line-up.
FaZe are once again coming off a second-place finish at a stacked tournament, this time falling to a Fnatic side that have already decided to change a player, showing potential inner turmoil.
Questions have begun to be raised about whether or not the removal of a player is necessary for FaZe to get over the hump, with mousesports looking to capitalise this week. Heroic should still be a breeze for FaZe, but a loss is possible against mouz if the team have a lapse in concentration over possible roster moves.
Neither Na’Vi nor Fnatic play this week but both will return to action in Week 4. The latter’s match-up with North should be one to watch, but for now Week 3 feels like the lull before the storm with all eyes on the changes made at G2 Esports.