A very interesting trade has been completed between two North American teams, CLG and Team Liquid. They swapped their AWPers, with Liquid’s Kenneth “koosta” Suen going to Counter Logic Gaming and CLG’s Josh “jdm64” Marzano joining Team Liquid.
This trade is quite controversial because koosta is hyped to be one of the best AWPers in North America, while jdm64 is not without his own admirers either. Keeping that in mind, it has to be considered that Team Liquid was in a huge slump in recent times. They reacted to their problems by making moves to improve their roster as fast as possible, to be ready to compete in ECS Finals and the upcoming second Major of the year, ESL One Cologne 2016.
To that effect, the squad got rid of Eric “adreN” Hoag, replacing him with their former superstar Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, which should actually allow them to put up some very strong performances in upcoming events. If that doesn’t happen, all the changes will be for naught, because s1mple only agreed to represent Team Liquid in ECS and ESL events.
With the addition of s1mple, Liquid was in a good spot theoretically, so koosta getting traded surprised a great number of Team Liquid fans. The management has a good reason for this switch, according to detractors like Thorin, however. According to this analyst, koosta is an extremely overrated player who did well on his previous teams due to their game and strategies being built heavily around him. In Liquid, that is not the case, however. Instead of supporting him, trying to bring koosta up, the team requires him to simply do his part in the game as an AWPer. Koosta appears to not be up to snuff in such an environment, resulting in recent criticism hurled towards him.
On the other side, jdm64 is an AWPer. A very good, even great AWPer with mediocre rifling skills. He can buckle down and do his job without too much trouble, without needing too much extra support from the rest of the team, even though CLG does somewhat revolve around jdm64.
With the trade, Team Liquid will get a more independent AWPer, who’s more suitable to their style of team dynamic, while also being arguably better than koosta skill-wise. CLG will get… they won’t get much to be honest. The best advantage I can think of for them is that koosta needs the type of strategy CLG seems to use with jdm64 to mediocre if not marginal success. We will just have to wait and see which team comes out ahead in this AWPer swap.