kennyS makes pro CSGO return with an eye on Paris Major: “I truly believe in myself”

Falcons

Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub has expressed his joy at being able to play CS:GO competitively again after 18 months on the sidelines. “I know I’m still one of the best mechanical players in the world,” he told Dexerto.

The French AWPer has signed with Saudi Arabia-based organization Team Falcons to complete their CS:GO lineup for 2023, putting an end to his nearly six-year association with G2 Esports.

kennyS has spent the last 18 months out of action after being benched by G2 in March 2021. The decision came after a downturn in results and a series of uninspiring tournaments by kennyS, who for years had struggled with mental health issues.

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With a substantial buyout clause and his stock at its lowest ever, kennyS was in limbo. He used his time away from the game to recover mentally and scope out his options. He dabbled in content creation, growing his YouTube channel to over 160,000 subscribers. He also gave Valorant a shot.

In the end, kennyS felt that he had another chapter left in his CS:GO career.

“A few months ago, I decided that I really wanted to play CS competitively,” he told Dexerto. “I waited a little bit to see if it was just a feeling, an emotion, and I concluded that it was not. I am really stable in my life and well-surrounded.

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“I think I deserve one last chance to finish my career in a way that is not being on the bench. I’m grateful I have the opportunity to do things differently. It feels amazing to be back. I’m really happy.”

kennyS said that he was attracted by the prospect of playing alongside French talent once again. Two years into his G2 career, he saw the team go the international route, with mixed results, despite the high-profile additions of Nemanja ‘⁠nexa⁠’ Isaković, Nemanja ‘⁠huNter-⁠’ Kovač and Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač.

Adela Sznajder / DreamhackAdela Sznajder / Dreamhack
kennyS reunites with NBK, with whom he won the Cluj-Napoca Major in 2015

But perhaps the biggest factor in his decision to join Falcons was his reunion with former longtime teammate Nathan ‘NBK-’ Schmitt. They played together on some of the most successful French CS:GO teams, winning the DreamHack Open Cluj⁠-⁠Napoca Major in 2015 during their time with EnVyUs (currently Envy).

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“I have always felt, even during my best times in France, that I haven’t been treated as I should by the French community,” kennyS said. “NBK is one of those who have always respected me as a player. I know he still does.

“That was a big plus for me because I know the challenge I have ahead of me. A lot of people see this as a gamble, and I understand why. The only people I need to believe in me are myself and those around me, my organization, and my teammates.”

Why does he think that his relationship with the French scene is so complicated?

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“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe it’s because I have a really big ego. Maybe they don’t like that, the competitive mindset that I have. They always tend to like more quiet players, which I can understand. I have never had a problem with that because my audience is mostly international.

“It is what it is, everyone has a different mindset. I guess my mindset and personality do not sit well with people from France.”

Competing in Paris

kennyS exhibited maturity and professionalism in the way he talked about G2 Esports, but he admitted that the hefty price tag placed on him “stopped a lot of things” while he was on the bench. He had offers from “big organizations” and even came close to joining OG’s Valorant team on a loan basis before Riot Games blocked the move. “I actually think it was a good thing in the end,” he said about the deal falling through.

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The timing of his return to competition is not a coincidence. In the spring of 2023, France will host its first-ever CS:GO Major, in Paris, and kennyS has his sights set on playing in the tournament.

“That would be the goal for everyone in France right now,” he said. “I have played so many Majors, and missing the Rio Major was already quite painful. At least trying to qualify for the BLAST Major is something I really want to do. The Paris Major is definitely the biggest objective and something I will grind for.”

KennyS celebrating for G2 Esports.ESL
kennyS is still confident about his mechanical level

kennyS is aware of the size of the task facing him at Falcons. After almost two years on the sidelines, he has a lot of catching up to do as he aims to lead the team to the Major. But he has no doubt that he can still play at a high level.

“If I don’t believe in myself, who will?” he asked. “It is quite difficult to get back at it after not being competitive for almost two years. I’m aware of the amount of work I have ahead of me, but I know that I’m still one of the best mechanical players in the world. My last season was really tough because of COVID. I’ve always performed well offline. Online, it’s a bit more difficult for me.

“I’m not worried at all about my mechanical level. I know it’s going to come back really quickly, but I definitely need to catch up on stuff like the meta. There is a lot of work ahead, I’m aware of that. I’m aware of the challenge. This was not a light decision. I truly believe in myself.”

Team Falcons CS:GO roster:

  • Ali ‘hAdji⁠’ Haïnouss
  • Jordan ‘Python⁠’ Munck-Foehrle
  • Nathan ‘⁠NBK-⁠’ Schmitt
  • Kévin ‘misutaaa⁠’ Rabier
  • Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub