Roster Watch Katowice


The roster lock for the Katowice Major has come and gone, so we now have the finalized rosters for the event. Well, for the most part anyway. FaZe still hasn’t announced their fifth, and MIBR has yet to officially announce their pickup of Felps, assuming that is who they pickup. That would also mean a change to INTZ, as they still have Felps rostered for the Major.

Since we last updated you, the NA scene has been very active, and there have been some relatively minor changes in EU. I’m going to list them off, and then tell you a little bit about how these moves are going to impact their chances at the Minor/Major.

And remember, if you’d like to place a bet for Katowice, check out these sites we recommend.

North America


Cloud9 Team Logo

Cloud9 has finally come full circle. After a weird second half to 2018, they have added a relatively unknown pugger, with fashionable hair, to help rectify the team. Now, I’m not saying that Zellsis is the new Stewie2k. But I am saying that using this exact strategy has worked for Cloud9 before. I think it’s unlikely for Zellsis to stay on this roster long-term, as Cloud9 seems to be pretty committed to Golden, and I’m not sure who they’d remove to keep him on. But, his contract does have a team option that would lock him into a two-year contract. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Cloud9 sign him and try to flip him to someone like compLexity, or even to keep him as a backup in case someone on their team doesn’t work out.

I would be putting money down on Cloud9 headed into the Major. Adding a young player like Zellsis, especially on a “prove it” contract like this, makes me confident in seeing a big performance from him. This team is full of professional veteran players, who have been here before time and time again. I’m not sure who is calling for them, but there are certainly plenty of teams I would favor Cloud9 over at this event.


CompLexity Team Logo

CoL has had the most turnaround in their roster of any returning team. They have swapped out both of their allowed players, as well as dropping their coach. Personally, I have been calling for a roster change for compLexity for a while. I think they have a strong core in ShahZam and stanislaw, but they were missing firepower to complement them.

It appears they’ve decided Rickeh is their best bet to take this team to the next level. He’s coming off a lackluster year with Rogue, although it’s hard to place the blame wholly on him. Rogue had an especially tumultuous year last year, going through a series of roster changes, including multiple IGL changes. Playing under stanislaw might revitalize Rickeh and help him get back to tapping heads. All in all, I like the move, mostly because compLexity needed to swing for the fences.

The young guns clearly weren’t working, so giving an older (although not by much) star a shot could pay off for them in a big way.

Their other roster move, bringing in n0thing, is probably my favorite of the pair. I’m a big n0thing fan, and I think he has the potential to bring a lot to this roster. He’s a veteran, should act as a calming presence, but he can also be a high energy guy for them team. He’s played in plenty of big games, on big stages, and I feel confident saying he should help this team out. Whether or not he’s in peak form, however, is another question entirely. I don’t think it’s likely we will see n0thing playing like a carry at this event. I don’t know if he still has the aim for it, and he certainly hasn’t had the practice for it. I’d be excited to see if n0thing stays with this lineup. He could help turn compLexity into a powerhouse in NA, especially if they get Tarik after the Major.

I’m high con compLexity right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make noise at the Major. They’ll be a strong upset candidate, if not a favorite, behind the in-game-leading of stan and the potential firepower on the roster.


Envy Team Logo

Out of the most telegraphed roster move in recent history, FaZe removing Karrigan, comes the most wildly unexpected roster move I’ve seen, maybe ever. Envy has picked up Karrigan as their IGL for the American Minor.

While this move undoubtedly makes Envy a much better team, and a legitimate threat to make it through the American Minor, I don’t think it’s going to be enough. This roster still doesn’t make a lot of sense. Nifty and JDM on the same team, Cutler continuing to hang on, I’m just not a fan.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the odds shift in Envy’s favor leading up to the Minor, but I wouldn’t bite if I were betting. This is not one of the teams I’m particularly excited about, and I don’t have high hopes.



Vitality Team Logo

Vitality has removed Happy and added ALEX, formerly of LDLC. This move is complicated to unpack, mostly because of the timing of it. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this team will be better than the version with Happy over the next six months. Happy’s style of play is outdated at this point, and he is past his prime. The hard lurk hasn’t been working for him, so I’m not upset that his gone.

What worries me is changing the IGL of a young team, with a budding superstar, less than a month before the biggest tournament of his life. That is, assuming ALEX is IGLing. If NBK continues to IGL, as I think he has so far on this team, this seems like a lateral move.

Vitality has the seeds of a great team. On the backs of their skill alone, I’d be surprised if they didn’t make it decently deep into this tournament. That being said, I’m not sure if this roster can pull it together. RPK needs to take a major step up, and they need to find another star. That could be ALEX, or apEX, but someone needs to step up and help ZywOo. The kid is incredible, but he can’t do it all on his own.


OpTic Team Logo

It seems as though Cloud9 is turning into a farm team. After BLAST Pro Lisbon, refrezh has been added by OpTic, replacing niko. The Danish niko, not the Bosnian. I’m not really sure what to make of this move either. The way I see it, any Danish roster moves from now until after the Major are just stopgaps before the Karrigan sweepstakes begins. Although it is entirely possible Karrigan would opt to play in an international roster again, I think it’s likely he’ll return to playing in an all Danish lineup.

Niko certainly isn’t bad, by the way. I’d expect him to get signed after the Major as well, likely by the Danish team that doesn’t get Karrigan. Or maybe even by the team that does. Ultimately, I can’t see this move making a huge impact on OpTic, or on Katowice as a whole.



Gambit Team Logo

Bondik said in a recent interview that he wanted to take on more of a star role, and it looks like he’s going to do exactly that on Gambit. A team in desperate need of firepower since losing Adren and Zeus (who didn’t provide firepower but led the team effectively enough that it wasn’t an issue), Gambit haven’t had a solid roster since their run at the Major. This could be the lineup that brings them back into relevancy.

I’m still a big fan of mou, but besides him and Dosia this team is unrecognizable from their Major run. I haven’t seen a ton of Gambit, mostly because they rarely make international LANs, and I’ll be surprised if this team gets any notable wins while attending Katowice.

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