Theorycrafting Two Aussie Super-Teams for International Success

How do you restructure and shape the pieces in Australian Counter-Strike to form two top performing squads?

Given the departure of Justin “Jks” Savage (now signed to Complexity) from the 100 Thieves core and the organisation itself stepping down from the game, it raises the question of what happens to our premier Counter-Strike team without one of its most long-standing and iconic pieces.

Of course, the former Renegades squad were no stranger to roster moves, seeing players such as Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, Nemanja “nexa” Isaković and Keith “NAF” Markovic pass through the team over the years. Despite this, Aaron “AZR” Ward and Jks stuck together. 

As part of the most recent shift in the top Australian team, we saw the addition of Jay “Liazz” Tregillgas and Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai who both came from Order and Grayhound respectively. Being part of our region’s top talent, this left a void in our top teams who each lost a component of what made them excellent.

Understanding this and Jks officially joining Complexity – how would Australia rebuild its top teams?

As part of this theory craft, there are a handful of key assumptions that will guide the formation of these rosters:

  • Jks & Jkaem are assumed to be OUT of the picture
  • Teams must retain 3 AUNZ players for the purposes of playing in the Asian Minor Qualifier for the Major
  • English will be the primary language of the team
  • Players should be available or in a situation where it would make reasonable sense to join.

These parameters are important as they best attempt to simulate how a roster in 2020 may be formed.

So with this in mind, two teams will be presented. Team A will be a top 10 contender aiming to replicate the success of the Aussie iteration of 100 Thieves CS:GO and be the flagship Australian team. Team B will look to be in the top 25 but realistically as high as possible in the official rankings, aiming to be similar to the current Renegades squad.

Team A

  • Aaron “AZR” Ward
  • Jay “Liazz” Tregillgas
  • Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai
  • Timothy “Autimatic” Ta
  • Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand
  • Torbjørn “mithR” Nyborg (Coach)

Realistically, this roster combines what is left of the 100 Thieves and two of the remaining three Gen.G players. In this squad, AZR remains as the IGL as he has shown with the current Thieves line-up he is more than capable to lead but also put up decent numbers in the server. To support him, bringing over MithR from Renegades will aim to provide a similar role to Kassad; deep tactical and strategic understanding to the game while also keeping players in check for practice and whatnot.

Liazz and Gratisfaction remain in the squad as they are still both top APAC talent and to sacrifice the synergy and work they have developed thus far with AZR would be foolish if it were to just bring in an equally talented player from Australia. While Grat is often criticised for his inconsistency on the AWP, his peak is proven to be very high and working to unlock that consistently would remain a challenge for this squad.

Liazz has been very quiet on 100 Thieves compared to when he was on Order, mostly due to Jks and Jkaem being the focal points of the team. In this squad, Liazz would be afforded more opportunity to make superstar plays and frag out, but also continue developing the roles he has been working on thus far in 100 Thieves as an excellent role player and round finisher.

The additions to this team come from Gen.G, whose current roster has fallen apart despite being touted as a top-five team in NA. Autimatic is a highly cerebral player, with incredible decision making. He would come into this team to fill Jkaem spots as squads ‘Rock’, a core piece of the team who can be relied upon to hold his site, get his kills, fit into a strategy, etc. 

To try and maintain synergy with Autimatic, Bntet would be the fifth player on this squad and is the biggest gamble on the line-up. Bntet is an absolute superstar who most Aussies would be familiar with from his time in Tyloo, a team the 100 Thieves/ex-Renegades core would often face in qualification for the Major.

The risks of a player like Bntet being on this team stem mainly from communication, which was revealed to be something the Gen.G line-up had to work through.

This squad’s on paper potential is enormous, but not without its flaws. The team is designed to focus around BnTeT and Gratisfaction, with Liazz being ‘X-Factor’. Activating these players will fall into the hands of Autimatic and AZR, who each have the experience and skillset to do so.

The ex-100T team were once interested in BnTeT for their team in 2017, however negotiations fell through. (YouTube: Elfishguy)

Much like when Liazz and Gratisfaction were added to Renegades, I’d expect this roster to take time and pinch of luck to get rolling. Perhaps not immediately a Major winning line-up, this squad would have the pieces to be a top 10 squad that can do damage at events and best represent the Aussies.

Team B

  • Chris “Dexter” Nong
  • Simon “Sico” Williams
  • Josh “INS” Potter
  • Karlo “USTILO” Pivac
  • Owen “oBo” Schlatter
  • Chris “Elmapuddy” Tebbit (Coach)

This roster is shaped around the current Renegades core who domestically are well above the competition. Dexter, of course, will remain as the superstar and in-game leader of the squad. Another factor in why both these teams keep some form of core from another line-up is to maintain synergy and as the saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Dexter’s Renegades team has shown their style lends itself to a free-flowing style that is reactive and leaves room for individual play in the superstars. Ensuring this system can continue is key for the team to operate in the same way.

In terms of the last two spots, Obo is too good a prospect to pass up on at the moment in North America. Considering his talent and time spent on Complexity, Obo would realistically be an upgrade on most NA teams, thus his choice for this squad.

While he would have been an excellent choice on team A in place of BnTeT, in a more structured environment with resources already dedicated to other players, it would be difficult to allocate Obo what he needs in terms of being set up as the superstar. Team B offers a more free and individual style that is suited to give Obo space as a player and take the risks a superstar talent may want to.

Ustilo enters this roster in place of malta, adopting a similar role. More likely than not, Ustilo will be utilised as a supportive element as a means of enabling the other players. A piece that can bring skills from being overseas for many years, in multiple teams and somewhat of a ‘veteran’ of Aussie Counter-Strike will go far in a squad of young guns and particularly further the growth of talent such as Obo.

While this particular role can be substituted for many players who offer a supportive skillset and not necessarily the star player package, Ustilo is currently one of the most versatile and realistic options for this squad.

Elmapuddy is the final piece of the team, coming from the remnants of the Gen.G squad. In terms of coaching, this particular team can double down on its strengths of individual play with a coach like Elmapuddy who is known for his tactical awareness and breakdowns of teams and players.

Elmapuddy contributes by helping the team understand that the habits and tendencies of the opponent can be the difference-maker for a squad on the rise. Being able to catch out the opposition on areas of the map or in a series with anti-stratting and familiarity with where players tend to play from can help a team of star players lunge forward.

Obo recently departed CoL, citing time away from home being the largest factor.

To draw a comparison, this squad can achieve what Tyloo of 2017/18 did in events with upset wins in early stages of the tournament that resulted in occasional deep runs and ensured a mid-tier global ranking.

This team’s explosive potential is what it thrives or dies by. Like Team Liquid during the 2019 success, this squad is prone to not having as many fallbacks as Astralis or BIG would in terms of strategy and tactics.

Needless to say, this squad represents the bursting energy and potential of the Aussie scene with stars such as Dexter and INS while integrating NA talent to bolster the firepower. Sico and Ustilo are more reliable components of this team who aren’t necessarily given all the tools to perform but are necessary for a team that is greater than the sum of its parts.

So this is what you could see when one tries to encapsulate two different visions that show off the Australian scene and what we have to offer, especially when augmented with some of our NATO allies.


Follow Ash Whyte on Twitter.

PhotographyHLTV
ProducerJosh Swift
Ash Whyte
Ash Whyte
Ash 'Shhlee' Whyte is all about Counter-Strike and its stories. While he did look at playing League of Legends at some point, he soon opted to specailise in CS after being told Shyvana top was apparently not 'viable' and that Bronze was not a 'good' rank.

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