CS:GO

NaToSaphiX still looking for CSGO team after strong stand-in performance

by Scott Robertson
BeyondTheSummit

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After finding himself let go from from the Heroic CSGO roster in August, Danish in-game leader Niels Christian ‘NaToSaphiX’ Sillassen is still looking for a team to call home in 2020, even after an impressive performance standing with mousesports at the recent cs_summit 5.

Despite mousesports’ recent victory at the ESL Pro League finals, they still didn’t arrive at the BeyondTheSummit house in Los Angeles as favorites. For the cs_summit 5 event, mous would be competing with a stand-in, as their young star AWPer in Özgür ‘woxic’ Eker was unable to attend due to visa issues.

For his replacement, they brought in NaToSaphiX, who is typically an in-game leader but also a very capable AWPer. The tremendously talented Danish player had been waiting in free agency despite being made available in August.

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Despite a lack of preparation, NaTo came out firing alongside mousesports, as the team finished second after the three days of round-robin play. Their only stumbles came in the form of back-to-back landslide losses to G2 Esports on the second day.

In the semifinals against OG, NaToSaphiX came alive in the three map series, especially on the third and final map on Dust2. He picked up 21 kills against only 11 deaths, and was vital to mous spoiling the OG debut.

In the grand finals, mous faced an even greater challenge against a G2 team that had already thrashed them, with coach Allan ‘Rejin’ Petersenforced to step in and replace leader Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen who had to leave for the airport. 

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Mous had narrowly won the first game, while G2 rolled them over on Vertigo to force a deciding, pivotal third map on train. Despite trailing 12-6, NaTo took over the leadership reigns and helped propel mousesports to win 10 of the next 12 rounds, and stun G2 to win the trophy. The stand-in leader got to lift his first big event trophy ever.

However, as we move into 2020, NaToSaphiX still remains without a team. He expressed on Twitter that he still has high motivation and expectations for the coming year, even if he only spent most of 2019 without a team. And he doesn’t lack in confidence either.

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For many, the reasons why NaTo remains teamless are still shrouded in mystery because there hasn’t been much LAN experience to judge him on. And the experience that is there is a mixed bag; individually he was good at IEM Chicago and the ESL Pro League S9 finals, but struggled at ESL One Cologne. And Heroic didn’t even reach the semifinals in any of those.

But regardless of all that, there’s too much talent to be wasted sitting on the sidelines, even if there isn’t a place for NaTo on a tier-one team. Any in-game leader who is capable of using the AWP and can help a team win a top tier event with virtually no preparation might be worth taking a flyer on.