NG Esports Completes Its Asian Superteam
NG Esports has officially completed the Asian superteam with the signing of xccurate. Now the team gets ready to dominate South-East Asian CS:GO.
Over three months after the initial announcement, NG Esports has officially completed its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster with the acquisition of Kevin "xccurate" Susanto from TYLOO. The Thai organization has brought together some of the region's biggest names and aims to conquer South-East Asia before moving on to Asia and then the world.
The first piece of the NG puzzle is non-other than Anthony "ImpressioN" Lim, easily the most accomplished English-speaking in-game leader in Asia. The 24-year-old Singaporean has a wealth of experience under his belt, having attended numerous international events with B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape in the past. He was also at the helms of Big Time Regal Gaming, another international Asian team, which he led to deep runs in several Asian tournaments. ImpressioN's stats weren't always the best in BTRG when the squad struggled to field a consistent roster, but he put up great numbers towards the end of his tenure with the Chinese organization. With a stable roster, ImpressioN should lead NG to great heights, as he is known for his incredible work ethic and unyielding determination.
Lee "XigN" Hyun-pyo is easily one of the best riflers in Asia and the sole remaining Korean Counter-Strike player. Counter-Strike 1.6 was relatively popular in South Korea, but Global Offensive never enjoyed the same levels of success due to not being as widely accessible in PC bangs. Still, the few players who transitioned over to CS:GO were renowned for their tactical approach to the game, which was very uncommon in Asia. XigN found moderate levels of success with MVP PK, which is widely considered to have been the best Korean CS:GO team, but the rest of the roster ultimately retired to pursue careers in Riot Games' VALORANT. The fact that XigN decided to continue playing CS:GO speaks volumes about his love and passion for the game, as a player with his mechanical skill would've had many more opportunities in VALORANT. He is a very calm heads-up player who can single-handedly win rounds for his team, making him a fantastic anchor player for NG. Given that he also spent a lot of time with ImpressioN under the BTRG banner, we should expect great things from XigN moving forwards.
While Thotsaphon "cbbk" Suphatthanaphalaphon might not be the first name that comes to your mind when thinking about Thai CS, he's actually one of the most experienced players in his scene, having played for the likes of 7642, Beyond Esports, and Lucid Dream. He's a very selfless player, always willing to sacrifice himself for the team's betterment, and will be playing some of the dirtier roles on NG. In fact, cbbk took up in-game leading in Lucid Dream when no one else wanted to. While it wasn't his role of choice, he managed to lead his former squad to some considerably good placements, even winning ESEA Season 33: Asia-Pacific Open. With ImpressioN being the IGL for NG, cbbk will be able to focus solely on his individual game.
When you think of Mongolian Counter-Strike, the chances are that you first think of Erdenetsogt "erkaSt" Gantulga's. The 25-year-old rose to fame while playing for Grayhound Gaming in Australia and is the only Mongolian player to have attended a Major. He was a crucial part of Grayhound's success, averaging a 1.19 rating during his tenure with the Aussies, although it's worth noting that he only averaged a 1.01 rating at big events. Following his time in the Oceanic scene, erkaSt returned to Mongolia, bringing with him four years' worth of international experience. He was behind the creation of the initial TIGER lineup, and Mongolia's sudden rise within Asia coincidentally lines up with his return home. At a point in time, TIGER was even considered to be the best team in Asia, winning the ESL One: Road to Rio Asia over TYLOO. All in all, erkaSt is a well-rounded player with fantastic fragging capabilities, a tremendous amount of experience, and a great attitude and approach to the game.
The latest player to join the squad, xccurate, is widely regarded as one of Asia's best AWPers, with ViCi's Andrew "kaze" Khong being the other main candidate for the title. Having played for TYLOO for a year and a half, xccurate has a vast amount of international experience, although he noticeably struggled against top tier foreign opposition. Much like ImpressioN and XigN, xccurate is a former BTRG player, with the three players forming the former core of that roster; a great IGL, a fantastic rifler, and an amazing AWPer. Having been a part of TYLOO, xccurate knows what it takes to win and dominate the region. With an all-time opening kill ratio of 1.36, xccurate's team wins the round after his entry 76.6% of the time! The sniper's impact is undeniable as he'll be a crucial part of NG's firepower moving forward, creating the space for his riflers to do work.
While cbbk was the IGL for Lucid Dream, the real tactical mastermind behind the complex gameplans was the team's analyst, Piyangoon "MYM" Kitisin. MYM later became BTRG's coach, reportedly providing ImpressioN with instrumental help creating strategies and ironing out the team's fundementals. His very systematic approach to the game made him irreplaceable to the Singaporean captain, who made sure that the Thai coach would follow him to NG. Having worked with the core of ImpressioN, XigN, and xccurate in BTRG and cbbk in Lucid Dream, MYM has a stable foundation to build on. Furthermore, erkaSt is a very experienced and well-rounded player, so MYM should be able to get the most out of his players under NG.
While xccurate has only just joined the roster, NG Esports has already played in the 188Esports Thailand Championship 2020 and Funspark Rivals Pre-Season, fielding MYM in the former and retired Thai CS player Patiphan "CigaretteS" Posri in the latter. The superteam fell to the hands of Beyond Gaming in the grand finals of the Thailand Championship and only placed 11-14th at Funspark Rivals, but now that the squad is complete and the team has its primary AWPer, we should see a noticeable rise in form moving forward. Ultimately, NG has its work cut out for it, as TYLOO has looked really strong in 2020 following the additions of young blood Kelun "SLOWLY" Sun and ZhengHao "DANK1NG" Lyu, ViCi's system is finally clicking, and the Mongolian side of TIGER is still proving to be a threat. NG undeniably has some of the most experienced and talented players in Asia, but China has historically been the continent's most dominant country. Still, if any multinational Asian lineup could rise up to the Chinese giants of TYLOO and ViCi, it's NG.
After establishing itself as the best team in SEA and taking over the continent, NG's ambitions will inevitably take the squad to international waters. While there's no clear-cut time frame regarding a return to LAN, NG has a fair amount of experience already and could potentially even pose a threat to Western teams. It would be very interesting to see what would happen if NG moved abroad for an extended period, even if just for a lengthy bootcamp. After all, many teams from isolated regions have moved to North America, with recent examples being 9z Team from Latin America and ATK from South Africa, both planning to move to the continent in 2021. NG could even move to Eastern Europe or the Balkans and practice against EU teams to raise the squad's overall level, gaining invaluable experience unavailable in Asia. While this may be hard to achieve for your average Asian team, all the NG members are fluent in English, and most of them have played at various international competitions previously. If this scenario comes to fruition, NG wouldn't be the only Asian representative in Europe, as Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand has been linked with a move to EXTREMUM, which is reportedly set to play from the Old Continent.
While NG is an experienced squad, that experience might end up being the team's downfall, with the average player age being 24.8. In fact, xccurate is the youngest player on NG at 22 years old. Before bringing anyone else into the project, the team needs to get some much-needed experience as this five-person roster and play in as many tournaments as possible. But, looking forward, NG should consider taking a page out of Team Vitality's book and bring in some young talents to ensure both the team and the Asian scene's longevity. Realistically, NG Esports' superteam is a very ambitious project, and while international lineups are the norm in the West, the Asian scene has been slow to adapt due to substantial language barriers. The good news is that the latest generation of players is much more comfortable speaking in English, and Asia has numerous young talents NG could bring in as sixth or seventh players. There's the Mongolian prodigies Boldbaatar "rate" Tengis and Tengis "sk0R" Batjargal, Bren Esports' Patrick "Derek" Lacson, or even xccurate's younger brother, Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto. Bringing in new blood would secure future talents ahead of making any roster changes, and it might prove to be crucial with so many SEA players moving over to VALORANT.
At the end of the day, NG Esports' superteam comprises some of the most experienced, talented, and beloved players in Asia. Creating an international lineup might just be the key to bringing Asia to the world stage. If NG manages to find success abroad, it could inspire future generations of players to follow in their footsteps. Asia could finally catch up with the rest of the Counter-Strike world, thus creating more CS opportunities in the region and avoid losing more players to VALORANT.