OG, the organization best known for winning Dota 2's The International back-to-back in 2018 and 2019, have finally confirmed their move into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, announcing their full starting roster on December 4.
The news comes as little surprise to CS:GO fans – it has been one of the worst kept secrets in esports that an OG Counter-Strike team has been in the works since October.
While exact details of the final five-man roster were uncertain, it seemed clear that the team would be spearheaded by Nathan ‘NBK-’ Schmitt and Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen. The two players, who had been benched on Vitality and ENCE respectively, had been looking to play together in an international roster since September, with Jarek ‘DeKay’ Lewis reporting that they were in talks with 100 Thieves at one point.
In their December 4 announcement, OG confirmed that NBK- and Aleksib would indeed be involved in the project alongside former North star Valdemar 'Valde' Bjørn Vangså and ex-HellRaisers player Issa 'ISSAA' Mura, both of whom had been linked to OG in the original 1pv.fr report about the organisation’s potential CS project.
While initial reports had rising Finnish star Elias 'Jamppi' Olkkonen on the team, the final man on the roster will in fact be Mateusz 'mantuu' Wilczewski. The Polish player, who currently lives in the United Kingdom, has been playing ALTERNATE aTTaX for the entirety of the 2019 season so far.
Prior to rumors about mantuu's involvement, DeKay reported on October 23 that OG had switched focus from Jampii to 21-year-old Bulgarian Valentin 'poizon' Vasilev – some sources claim that Jamppi’s potential connection with a VAC banned account was the reason that he was no longer in consideration, but this has not been confirmed. Poizon would eventually go on to join Complexity Gaming on November 6 and 1pv.fr reported that OG had set their sights on the relatively unproven mantuu on November 22.
For veteran NBK-, this marks a totally new chapter in his playing career. Despite around a decade of professional Counter-Strike experience, the Frenchman has never played in an international lineup. The 25-year-old is comfortably the most experienced member of the team and has won two Valve sponsored CS:GO Majors at DreamHack Winter 2014 and DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015.
Also taking his first steps into the world of international lineups is Aleksib, the former in-game leader of ENCE who helped take the Finnish team from popular underdogs to runners-up at the IEM Katowice 2019 Major and a top three team in the world.
The CS:GO community was shocked in August of this year when Dexerto broke the news that ENCE were looking to replace the charismatic IGL after the StarLadder Berlin Major. Since his departure, ENCE have struggled to regain the form that made them a top team, and the 22-year-old's stock has only risen during his three months on the bench.
After a difficult year with North that eventually saw him taking stepping down from the team, Valde will be hoping to regain the form that saw him take 20th in HLTV's best player of 2018 rankings. ISSAA finds himself in a similar position, having been inactive on the HellRaisers roster since September of 2018 after the team experienced international team struggled to hit the heights of 2018.
With a lineup consisting of players from France, Finland, Denmark, Jordan, and Poland, OG will join the likes of FaZe and Mouseports as a truly international Counter-Strike roster looking to mix it up with the world's best teams.
The OG Counter-Strike roster consists of:
- Nathan 'NBK' Schmitt
- Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
- Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså
- Issa 'ISSAA' Murad
- Mateusz 'mantuu' Wilczewski