Mousesports is currently contesting the lower end of CS:GO’s top 10, but they have huge potential to place well at the upcoming StarLadder Major.
Mousesports as an organization had a great run in 2018. They won ESL One New York and were, for a brief period, the world’s second-best counterstrike team. However, the beginning of 2019 saw a period of turbulence for the team. The team removed two players from active duty and the future of the roster looked uncertain. Then, in the middle of March, the “new-look” Mousesports was revealed to the world, causing everyone to wonder just what this side would be capable of.
The New-Look Mousesports
On March 14th, Finn “Karrigan” Andersen, Özgür “Woxic” Ekeer and David “frozen” Čerňanský would join young gun Robin “ropz” Kool and Mousesports veteran Chris “ChrisJ” De Jong to complete the new Mousesports roster. Ekeer would trade places with older AWPer Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný who took Ekeer’s place on the HellRaisers roster. Ekeer had made a name for himself within the CIS organization, proving that he could be a valuable commodity in the server. Čerňanský was certainly the biggest gamble for the new roster.
At just 17 years of age, Čerňanský made a huge career leap from NoChance to Mousesports and put himself in a position to compete against the world’s best CS:GO players. However, it would be Andersen’s addition to the roster that created it’s potential.
Andersen is a decorated in-game leader that has a reputation for making teams competitive at the top level. He has tenure leading the world’s best teams, including Astralis and FaZe, and in that time he played with some of the titans of Counterstrike. Now, with his new Mousesports project, Andersen would have to find a way to mold the raw fragging potential of ropz and frozen with the experience of a player like ChrisJ. The constituent parts were laid out for Mousesports, but has Andersen been able to convert them into a globally competitive roster?
A promising start
As with every roster, Mousesports have gone through an uncertain period after this iteration’s initial creation. This uncertainty is generally due to the roster taking time to develop their team cohesion, while there are also few demos that their opponents can use to counter-strat them. Nonetheless, Mouesport’s initial outings have looked very promising for such a new roster.
In May, Mousesports proved that they were a cut above their tier 2 opposition at DreamHack Open Tours 2019, where they defeated AVANGAR and Valiance (Now Cr4zy) in order to take the title. While a victory here is somewhat impressive, the international side would have its first test against top tier opposition at the ESL Pro League Season 9 finals.
Montpellier seemed like home territory for Mousesports as they cruised through the upper bracket, defeating both FaZe (with new IGL Neo) and HellRaisers (with ex-Mouse player Oskar) 2-0 which qualified them directly to the semifinals. Unfortunately, they would face Liquid in this matchup. Despite looking very competitive on Nuke, and even forcing Liquid into Overtime, Mousesports would fall here to CS:GO’s very best.
ESL One Cologne 2019
ESL One Cologne also looked full of promise for Andersen’s squad. They opened things up with a narrow defeat to NaVi, where Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev continued to show his dominant form. Mousesports would then have to battle through the lower bracket. A convincing 2-0 victory against Korean side MVP PK would cause Karrigan to once again face his old teammates - FaZe Clan. It seems that the Danish captain remembered how to counter his ex-teammates as Mousesports nailed down another 2-0 victory there.
A place in the quarterfinals was up for grabs, but the international mix would once again have to face NaVi in order to advance in the tournament. After a nail-biting first map that saw Mousesports take the lead, comfortable performances from NaVi allowed the CIS side to take the series and eliminate Mousesports from the competition.
For a roster just over 3 months into its lifespan, these placings show a large amount of potential from the new side.
The Looming Major
Mousesports have qualified for the upcoming StarLadder Major by winning the EU Minor. A good placement here at the Major would do a lot to solidify the roster as a top team globally and establish themselves in the current CS:GO hierarchy. They look strong coming into the Major, and could potentially be a dark horse for the legends stage. However, Mousesports will have had to have worked incredibly hard in the player-break in order to achieve that.
Whilst Mousesports initial outings were promising, the squad has yet to have made the final of a significant tournament and are relatively untested on LAN against high-level opposition. As of right now, the best team that Moustsports have defeated on LAN were a slumping FaZe.
The international roster will of course have to drill their fundamentals, but that alone isn’t enough for them to place well at the upcoming Major. Teams like Liquid and Vitality have an incredible amount of individual skill, and Mousesports don’t look like they have enough raw aim to overcome that.
As a result, Andersen will need to bring an element of tactical superiority to the tournament so that Mousesports can catch their opponents off-guard with their playstyle. Simply going toe-to-toe with the world’s best players isn’t enough unless you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve. Thankfully for Mousesports, they have one of CS:GO’s tactical masterminds and if anyone could prepare the side for this Berlin Major. It’s Karrigan.
Images VIA: Dreamhack, ESL, FaZe Clan