Thomas Rounds Out Team Envy's CS:GO Roster
Thomas has completed Team Envy's CS:GO roster following big changes made in August.
Team Envy, which underwent significant roster changes in early August, has finally completed its roster with the signing of Thomas "Thomas" Utting. Thomas is the second Brit to sign for a large North American organization today, as Cloud9 announced the signing of Alex "ALEX" McMeekin a few hours earlier.
Thomas is joining Envy following a stint with Endpoint that began at the start of 2020. The Brit was a crucial part of his former team's firepower and helped Endpoint peak at #31 on the HLTV work ranking; the highest any majority-British team has been in recent times. Prior to today's announcement, Endpoint was recently seen playing with Israeli youngster Shahar "flameZ" Shushan, though it's unconfirmed who will be permanently stepping into Thomas' shoes. The Brit has previously played with NoChance, Phoenix, and even stood in for CR4ZY at DreamHack Open Atlanta 2019, so this isn't his first experience playing in an international lineup.
Moving away from NA
Envy has had a relatively quiet 2020, as the boys in blue have only participated in 6 events, notably Flashpoint Season 1, ESL One: Road to Rio, and cs_summit 6 Online. The squad has been unable to find any success this year and has looked rather lackluster.
In early August, Ryan "ryann" Welsh and Kaleb "moose" Jayne were released from their contracts, leaving Noah "Nifty" Francis, Buğra "Calyx" Arkin, and Michał "MICHU" Müller on the active roster. Envy had also announced that Nikola "LEGIJA" Ninic would be stepping down from the coaching position and become an active player on the lineup, with former Virtus.pro coach Jakub "kuben" Gurczyński taking over the mantle.
Now leading the team, please welcome @kuben_tt as the new Head Coach and Manager of Team Envy CSGO!— ENVY (@Envy) August 6, 2020
-@kuben_tt dołącza do Team Envy. Przywitajcie go gorąco! Od dziś Jakub będzie pełnił funkcję Głównego Trenera i Menedżera drużyny CSGO.#TeamEnvy pic.twitter.com/ucmwrdVZAH
Plenty of potential
While Envy has mostly flown under the radar this year, these recent roster changes could hint at good things to come in 2021. Calyx and MICHU are incredibly reliable tier 2 European players, meaning that they're basically tier 1 players in North America. Thomas' addition only bolsters the team's firepower, as the Brit has been incredibly consistent in 2020, averaging a 1.12 rating. The three European riflers are a solid foundation to build upon, but there are still questions regarding leadership in the team.
Nifty, the only NA player left on the squad, is the team's AWPer and was the in-game leader. With LEGIJA coming in as an active player, he may be taking over the leadership, thus allowing Nifty to focus solely on his individual gameplay. Perhaps we'll see a resurgence in the American's form as he looked to be among the best upcoming AWPers from NA during his time with Renegades in 2017. With the legendary kuben also coming into the team, the team should be able to head in a different direction despite retaining the majority of the old roster. Between LEGIJA and kuben, you have two incredibly bright minds when it comes to CS, so experience won't be lacking; it'll just be a matter of how well-utilized it is.
In an ideal world:
- Nifty can AWP like in his glory days.
- MICHU and Thomas provide consistent firepower.
- Calyx is the hybrid player on CT sides.
- LEGIJA takes over as IGL and plays the undesirable positions, allowing his stars to shine.
- The whole squad is on the same page as kuben when it comes to the gameplan.
On paper, Envy has a solid roster, but it'll be up to kuben to realize its potential. If all the stars align, the boys in blue can become a world-class team and genuinely contend for titles. If Nifty can't live up to the expectations, Envy could replace him with a European AWPer down the line, even though he is slowly becoming the organization's poster boy. Hopefully, we see the squad competing in more events in the near future. Though Envy doesn't have any upcoming scheduled events, the organization is among the founding members of Flashpoint, so we'll likely see the squad competing in the league's second season.