The Possible Replacements for Renegades
Renegades, currently only consisting of AZR, jks and USTILO, are on the hunt for two players to fill their open roster slots and hopefully reinvigorate the side. Losing yam and Rickeh, the In-Game Leader and AWPer of the team respectively, Renegades have two crucial roles to find replacements for, but with the talented players currently in the side, there are many directions that can be taken to complete a roster of five.
Since signing with the North American organisation in mid-2015, Renegades have made four roster changes. These include replacing Havoc with USTILO, bringing Rickeh in for SPUNJ, having atter stand in for the outgoing Rickeh, and losing yam due to personal reasons. Of the two permanent replacements that happened here, both were talent from Australia that moved over to North America to play. The question for Renegades is whether they’ll take this tried and tested nationalistic route or venture further into the world of international talent, which we’ve seen glimpses of in the form of atter, from Sweden, and Uber, from Canada, playing recent events with the side.
ofnu – Winterfox, formerly of Chiefs, Legacy, Immunity
Not normally an in-game leader, Chris “ofnu” Hanley is currently rifling for the other Oceanic team abroad, Winterfox. However, his captaincy of Animal Squad, who later joined Legacy eSports, during Stage 3 of the FACEIT Oceania League played a big part in the side taking first place, over the likes of Renegades and Immunity, and earning a spot at DreamHack Winter 2015 in Sweden.
ofnu has shown great individual skill during his tenure with Winterfox, battling with zewsy to claim the top of the scoreboard for the team. And with the entry-style players in USTILO and AZR on Renegades, ofnu’s ability to play a more supportive role and clean up frags will be extremely beneficial. The main area of concern is ofnu’s calling ability, with him not occupying this role for over a year. Legacy’s playstyle, back in 2015, was very loose, which is how Renegades often like to play, so if ofnu can pick up in-game leading again, his addition would be very exciting to watch.
Slemmy – compLexity, formerly of Cloud9, Selfless
Alec “Slemmy” White departed Cloud9 in mid-2016, and remained teamless until early 2017 when he joined Selfless for the WESG World Finals. Since then, he’s played various online events with Selfless, who have seen many roster moves since, and recently agreed to a trial period with compLexity. However, as seen on Cloud9, Slemmy has the potential to be on a top NA roster, thanks to his tactical ability as an in-game leader.
While Cloud9’s results only improved slightly during his tenure, Slemmy made some crucial tactical changes within the team that saw them iron out a lot of the mistakes they made previous to his arrival. Cloud9 became a much bigger T side threat as well, with more developed strategies that were lacking when n0thing with the team’s in-game leader. Renegades, currently lacking an leading presence, would benefit greatly from a player like Slemmy, as an overhaul in their tactical framework is definitely needed.
Lightstep – Free agent, formerly of Chiefs, Legacy
Michael “Lightstep” Hall has become a staple in the Australian CS:GO scene over the past 5 years. The proficient AWPer and in-game leader of 3 different Chiefs rosters, Lightstep was notorious for identifying, picking up and moulding young and lesser-known talent, as seen in the success of players like ofnu, zewsy and tucks, who have played under him in the past.
Lightstep has captained his lineups to three different international events, including ASUS ROG Masters, IEM Taipei and the ESEA Premier Global Challenge, and has shown a great ability to utilise the strengths of the young star players in his teams, the lack of which has seen Renegades criticised in the past. Lightstep certainly has the experience and knowledge to take the reigns of this side, but the problem that could arise with his inclusion is that of individual skill. It’s no secret that Lightstep isn’t the sharpest player around, and at the level Renegades are looking to play at, he may struggle to hold his own. However, with the immense talent of their three remaining players, and the possibilities for a stable fifth, a Lightstep-lead Renegades could see great success.
InfrequeNt – Tainted Minds
Jesse “InfrequeNt” Barker has been extremely dominant over the past year, contributing immensely to Tainted Minds and their rise to the top of the Australian scene. Placing Top 4 at the Mountain Dew League Finals and competing in the ELEAGUE Asia Minor, InfrequeNt has the international experience to back up his incredible skill with the AWP.
An aggressive player, InfrequeNt’s playstyle is often reliant on finding picks across the map with his sniper rifle, and with the right leader on his team to determine where that presence goes, as seen with sonic in Tainted Minds, he can have dominant performances and put his team in advantageous situations early in the round. Additionally, in low economy situations, InfrequeNt has also shown great skill with a rifle in hand, even choosing it over the AWP in some cases. Renegades, in need of a dedicated AWP player, would benefit from the addition of InfrequeNt, who definitely has the ability to maintain a stable level and find those picks to enable the other stars of the team to shine.
With the wealth of talent in the Renegades side currently, any additions they make don’t necessarily need to take on a star role. AZR, jks and USTILO have all shown the ability to take over matches and lift their team to victories, but in order to continually succeed, Renegades will need to employ a stable AWP player and an in-game leader that can correctly utilise the skill and firepower on offer.
Photos credit: HLTV