Several important points on the team's future.
Why did TaZ replace Snax as an in-game leader?
Roman Dvoryankin, VP general manager: "Throughout the majority of the 2016/2017 season, NEO successfully performed the in-game leader's role. Under his leadership, the team has won titles in Bucharest and Las Vegas, claimed top-3 places at EPICENTER, ESL One New York, WESG, and also made it to the finals of the Major for the first time in three years. Unfortunately, such a responsible role takes its mental toll throughout several months of hard work, so after disappointing performance in Katowice and Kiev Snax volunteered to take the in-game lead. I supported this decision based on two key factors:
1. Snax regularly claims his place among the five best players in the world, his map vision and understanding of the game are unparalleled.
2. He’s a young, but mature player who’s fit for the leadership role.
Due to several reasons we’re obviously not where we planned to be back in April. The team has very promising outlines, our strategies pool is as wide as ever. Personally the guys are not having any problems they can’t work out. But despite all that it’s not working. This is why after our American tour to New York and Atlanta is over we’ve tweaked the roles within the team a bit. We are capable of doing better and we simply have to. Due to his authority and experience, TaZ will manage to find balance between explosive and unpredictable style of Snax's play and need to adhere to a clear plan for a play.
Let’s not forget that our squad is capable of beating any team in the world. This is why our ultimate goals for the upcoming months are to do well in front of the home crowd at EPICENTER and complete the last year’s journey of taking the WESG trophy".
What will change with a new in-game leader?
1. Snax will concentrate on play-making
Freed of coordinating his team, Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski brings his incredible form to the table and makes a difference in a round as an individual player as opposed to an in-game leader.
From the very first moment of his in-game leadership, Yanusz's individual results expectingly decreased. In the last three months, they reached 1.00 – contrary to his performance from 2014 through the beginning of 2017, where they never dropped below 1.11 (data from HLTV.org).
More than just cold numbers speak of Snax's capabilities – his career is full of legendary rounds where Yanusz single-handedly turned the tables around in a matter of seconds. Lately, the Polish team was missing out on these moments.
2. TaZ is an experienced coordinator
It's not the first time for Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas to assume the role of an in-game leader. Throughout the entire history of the CS:GO roster, this role was passed from player to player many times, but most frequently and for the longest terms - to NEO and TaZ.
TaZ and NEO were here from the very beginning of the original "Golden Five." Extensive experience and countless rounds they played together allow them to be among scene's most qualified in-game leaders.
Both NEO and TaZ don't lose out in their aim much while making calls. For instance, Filip Kubski became the most valuable player in the DreamHack Bucharest 2016 despite being an in-game leader. Wiktor Wojtas has been playing consistently throughout April 2014 to March 2016, and if we discount the overall VP's slump, this interval reaches January 2017.
3. TaZ and Kuben have similar gaming mentalities
During the Counter-Strike 1.6 times, the Polish Five was coordinated by Kuben, which impacted Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas' tactical vision and play-style. Considering limited practice time for the upcoming tournaments and also very little time for “coach-to-player” interaction between rounds, “in-game leader-to-coach” synergy is more important than ever.
4. Virtus.pro's games will become more emotional
Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas is known for his expressiveness in victory and defeat. In the final match of The ELEAGUE Major 2017 Astralis edged out Virtus.pro G2A with a score 2 to 1. TaZ promised to get his revenge on Astralis – and kept his word.
Hard lose. @KjaerbyeCS wrote that Astralis underperformed. I promise u here - we will crush u next event, please perform then. GG today— VP TAZ (@g5taz) January 29, 2017
Despite the controversy surrounding emotions in decision-making, these “live” and spontaneous actions were lacking in Virtus.pro's game-style in the last events. The will to victory and teammates' support is a deal-breaker more often than not.
5. byali and Snax will be able to cooperate more
Not only Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski's in-game leadership took a toll on him, but, as the graph shows, it also reflected on byali.
The difference in roles (Pawel – entryfragger, Janusz – AWPer) doesn't matter as long as the players act as a duo. Yanusz's AWPing will make byali have easier time fragging, and these guys' synergy during bombsite entries will make them a real challenge for their opponents.
Author: Anton Kozlov