G2 Esports founder Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez has revealed that the organization’s decision to give their CS:GO roster, including players like Richard ‘shox’ Papillon and Nathan ‘NBK-’ Schmitt, control over the decisions was the catalyst that caused their all-star French lineup to spectacularly blow up.
When G2 Esports formed their French “super team” back in 2017, many believed that they had brought some of the best CS:GO talent in France together, with the idea that they could compete at the top table of the popular esport.
While they saw early success, a crushing run of results following DreamHack Malmo in 2017 saw the team crumble, with shox and NBK- involved in a public spat that saw shox originally benched in favor of his compatriot, before he was reinstated to the starting lineup while NBK- moved on to Vitality.
In an interview with Richard Lewis on the Dexerto Talk Show, ocelote was asked what lead to the issues that tore G2’s French dream team apart, and if he had any regrets regarding how the situation was handled.
Following a poor run of results in late 2017 and early 2018, shox revealed that he wanted to drop NBK- and apEX in favor of Kevin ‘Ex6TenZ’ Droolans and Edouard ‘SmithZz’ Dubourdeaux.
This desire lead to a huge fracture in their CS:GO lineup, as both presented their ideas for the future of the team. Eventually, after weeks of discussion and failed experiments, G2 moved forward with Shox's vision, an issue that ocelote says could have been avoided if the organization hadn’t given the players so much control.
“Providing a large amount of control over the team to players is just not possible,” ocelote stated. “And is inconsistent with finding success. Players are undeniably not neutral, they are tunnel visioned.”
“As a result, the team becomes more mediocre over time, and the culture of the team gets destroyed. I wouldn’t attribute the fault to any player in particular. Every player, and the organization had their own stuff, I should have never allowed anyone who’s not the organization to have control. Human nature makes players look after their own careers.”
Ocelote discusses the roster change at 2:34 in the video below.
While a decision like benching NBK- can be difficult, ocelote doesn’t regret the choice the organization made, explaining that G2 Esports always made them for the right reasons.
“If I had the choice to [do things] differently, I probably wouldn’t,” ocelote told Lewis regarding his decision. “What happened in the past happened, and any decision we made, we made because we thought it was right.”
Whether it was the correct decision or not is up for debate. NBK-led Team Vitality finished higher than G2 Esports at the 2019 Katowice Major, and recently secured first place in the ESL One: Cologne 2019 European Qualifier.
No matter what happens with the current G2 Esports lineup though, it seems unlikely that you will hear ocelote raise any doubts about their choice.