Some CS:GO teams stay together for more than six months at a time, some squads even play for a year or more together, like Virtus.pro or Natus Vincere. Some others, like FaZe Clan or the Danish teams, go through roster changes monthly, it seems.
It’s not an accident that we mentioned FaZe Clan. When the struggling European roster from Scandinavia decided to bring in Finn “karrigan” Andersen to be their in-game leader, someone else had to go. Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey was the guy the team decided to bench. All should be well, right? No. Only 20 or so days after the roster swap, kioShiMa came back to the roster, replacing Norwegian Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad. Following this move, jkaem reportedly left the team.
While the benching of kioShiMa makes sense in the face of karrigan’s arrival, the Frenchman coming back soon after to replace another player who survived the trade smells of personal drama within the team. Hell, it might even be the correct decision for the good of the team, but come on, the guys at FaZe Clan are CS:GO professionals, they know the game much better than you and me. Can’t they objectively evaluate the weakest link on their team and bench that guy the first time, when a better player is getting bought? Really? Of course, there is another explanation. It could be that karrigan wants to play the game in some way that doesn’t seem agreeable to jkaem, so he asked to be benched and allowed to leave the team. When you think about it, it could very well be true.
The swap comes at a weird time too, with FaZe set to compete in an ECS Season 2 match. While it’s apparent that the FaZe roster is having problems, the constant roster hoping can’t really be helping. This is a common issue in Counter-Strike and other eSports, except for League of Legends, where roster swaps only occur in breaks between LCS splits, probably due to the difficulty involved in getting Riot to approve the players.
In general, gamers are an emotional bunch of people. In most eSports, players have a lot of power in deciding whom they want to play with. Not win, play. We get the feeling that these roster swaps could be made not because the team is hoping to start winning, but because the players prefer losing with someone they actually like.
There could also be conflict in the roster and, being reasonably young, the players could have ignored the problem for some time until it grew out of control instead of talking it out and moving forwards, just like it happened on the Natus Vincere Dota 2 team recently. Of course, in general, CS:GO players are known to be much louder and expressive than their MOBA colleagues. Anecdotally, there might have been a lot of Rush B Cyka blyat going around.