Consistency in the midst of chaos
If we were to look only at mouz’s results from this EPL season, we would fail to understand just how unlikely their third place finish really was.
We would see that the Berlin-based clan had an amazing start into the season, winning eight out of their first nine matches, ranked first in the league.
We would see that they then lost four in a row, running the risk of drifting into a slump, only to quickly recover and cap off a solid second half of the season with a 16-0 thrashing of Na’Vi.
denis, ropz, chrisJ, loWel, oskar. Photo courtesy of DreamHack
What we would fail to see however, is that chrisJ got benched right before the season start to bring oskar back in.
That after only four matches, their irreplaceable superstar, NiKo, left the team to join FaZe. chrisJ returned to the lineup, and only three weeks later Spiidi decided to take a break from competitive gaming. The 17-year-old Estonian, ropz, a then unproven pug-star, was brought in to take his spot.
That mousesports was able to survive all this without getting swallowed up like a bunch of scared mice in a snake pit, and now look more compact than ever, begs the question –-
Superstar vs. team, which is better?
In the second game of the 1999 NBA conference finals between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, Patrick Ewing tore an Achilles tendon and was done for the rest of the playoffs. With their star player out, the Knicks were all but finished; then they won three of the next four games, and made it to the finals for the first time in 26 years - the term “Ewing theory” was coined.
Of course there is no ultimate answer to the question, as there are countless superstars who lead their teams to championships. But every once in a while, the best thing that can happen to a team, is losing their star player. With mouz, that’s exactly the case, the Ewing theory applies.
With NiKo gone, mouz relies less on one single person. By assuming more responsibilities, the players likely feel better about themselves. Where in the past the fear of disappointing NiKo would sit like a boulder on each players shoulder, now a strong unit of five carries that rock.
To clarify, I’m not blaming NiKo for anything. He shows in his new home what a great player, and especially team player he is. But the team dynamic in FaZe is a different one, that’s more compatible with a player of his calibre. In the end, trading NiKo was a profitable move for every party involved.
What we can expect from mouz going forward
Recent online play for the German squad looked solid. With lmbt’s help, chrisJ learns the intricacies of in-game-leading, and as a result, mouz looks much more coordinated than before.
Since his return, oskar AWPs on a star level, and with chrisJ they have the option to go for an explosive double AWP setup. denis has elevated his play like none other since NiKo’s departure. He entries sites with that aura of confidence that all entry-fraggers need again. loWel has been solid as ever, and ropz’s transition from FPL to professional Counter-Strike has been unexpectedly smooth.
ropz - the Estonian prodigy. Video courtesy of TeamGetfight
We’ll have to wait and see how the new team will fare on LAN. They have only attended one offline event so far, DH Tours, and reached the semi-finals, where they lost 2-1 against G2.
One things is certain. Throughout mouz’s history, they have shown promising results during online play, which they weren’t able to convert into offline success. It’s high time to upend that trend. What an opportunity Dallas presents to do just that. I believe in mouz. May they relieve some of that long forgotten, delicious glory from their CS 1.6 days. Vamouz, umpumpen da!
The ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals in Dallas, Texas
The EPL Finals in Dallas are now just around the corner. If you want to see mousesports (or any other finalist) play in a city so integral to esports, be sure to follow ESL’s CS:GO YouTube channel.
And secure your tickets for the finals from June 3rd – 4th here, while they are still available (selling out quickly). For live coverage of the event and all of the latest updates on the ESL Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook.