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Five players to watch at the Americas RMR

North America has some young stars set to shine.

We now sit just a few days ahead of the Americas RMR where five teams will surpass eleven others to reach the PGL Copenhagen Major 2024. Of these sixteen teams, we spent some time picking five special players to keep an eye on at the upcoming Major qualifying event. Their performances in recent months have astounded teammates and opponents alike, and at this all-important event, they may just be the tipping point to secure their names forever in Counter-Strike. These are five players to watch for at the Americas RMR.

#5: Cryptic

Cryptic could take revenge against Wildcard

Easily one of the more unknown players that has slowly climbed his way up the ladder in recent years is Mathew "Cryptic" Whitmore, the in-game leader for BOSS. The 22-year-old has spent the last year truly honing his skill as a caller where he made a name for himself as part of the Wildcard roster that was later removed for a re-imagined squad. Still, with BOSS, the young star continues to push forward a team to achieve way above what fans would have expected as they are one of two North American ECL teams headed to ESL Pro League Season 19.

As an IGL, he's grown leaps and bounds since joining the BOSS team. As an entry fragger, he has a unique skill set for someone so young and inexperienced at the top level of North American Counter-Strike. His 1.03 HLTV Rating, 1.13 Impact Rating, and 71.7% KAST are solid numbers for an in-game leader that is constantly evolving and pushing his unsigned team to the top of the regional rankings.

BOSS are looking to make their stand at the Americas RMR and kick off their campaign against MIBR.

#4: HexT

He's here for the comeback

The last few years have not been the easiest for Jadan "HexT" Postma. He went from RBG, to the orgless Carpe Diem, then suddenly signed by Evil Geniuses as part of a massive American CS revitalization project. He bounced back and forth between EG Black and EG Main before finally seeing out his time with the organization and joining NRG.

Everyone knows that HexT can be a loud player, but it's his play in the last few months that is getting the most attention. Since joining the Canadian squad, HexT has been putting up superstar numbers that are grabbing the attention of everyone in North America. A 1.29 HLTV Rating, a 1.30 Impact, and an 82.8 ADR is absolutely nothing to scoff at, especially within a team that is struggling to break their qualifier hump. HexT gets a lot of scrutiny from the outside for seemingly having a louder mouth than his gameplay justifies, but this RMR may be the time that he can truly back up his trash-talk.

NRG are scheduled to play against Imperial in the first matchup of the Americas RMR.

#3 d4rty

Business in the front, party in the back

Quietly making his name in the North American scene for a while, it was in 2023 when the wider community first got to understand who Matthew "d4rty" Paplawskas was when everyone was shocked by the mix-team "yur" making it to the 2023 BLAST.tv Paris Major Americas RMR in Monterrey. The team may have gone out 0-2, but they ran Fluxo ragged with a close 13-16 loss and even took a map off of Nouns in the 0-1 elimination match.

Now, d4rty has used that event to push himself first into Wildcard and now on BOSS where he has become one of the more stable pieces in this roster. He finished December strong, but stumbled into the new year just a bit which is understandable given the tragic events that transpired in January. However, in the last three months, he's had a strong 1.15 HLTV Rating, a 1.11 Impact Rating, and a 77.2% KAST. He is becoming a solid pillar for the team, and now, with more experience under his belt, he should make his second RMR appearance much stronger.

BOSS are looking to make their stand at the Americas RMR and kick off their campaign against MIBR.

#2: snav

snav's Elevate is looking to take scalps

He's not necessarily the welcome name in the region, but there is no denying that Wyatt "snav" Phillippi is one of most highest fragging in-game leaders in North America right now. The leader of Timbermen/Badass/Elevate for the last several years has made his team into a force to be reckoned with, culminating with his first-ever RMR appearance and a trip to Europe to play in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.

snav has lead his men to winning GG EZ Dallas 2023, Fragicago, and as mentioned before, the RMR and Showdown berths. These are not inconsequential wins for a roster that has experienced significant turmoil over the past year, which even included longtime core member Derek "dare" Brown stepping away for a bit. Despite all that, snav has managed to put himself forward in an amazing position as a reliably fragging IGL. His 1.12 HLTV Rating, 1.20 Impact Rating, and 77.7 ADR over the last three months is part of Elevate's strong performances. He has become an incredibly strong player, and despite the weakened squad due to Deni "dea" Ediev's absence, he is still one worth watching.

Elevate kick off their RMR campaign against Complexity.

#1: JBa

JBa's name has been bouncing for a while, but will we see it on a sticker?

What else is there is to say than that this is the kid that everyone is talking about. 19 years old and he has risen up the ranks in North America quicker than anyone could have expected. He utterly dominated while on Forsaken in 2023, posting a 1.16 HLTV Rating, a 1.14 Impact Rating, and a 74.8% KAST. So far in Wildcard, he's been one of the best-performing players, despite a slight downturn in his stats.

For Josh "JBa" Barutt, this will be one of the biggest opportunities so far in his young career. His meteoric rise since 2021 when he was on Levitate to now is nothing short of incredible. Now, he has the chance to truly shine in front of an international audience at the Americas RMR. While Wildcard is not one of the favorites to advance, this is his, and the team's, opportunity to put themselves forward in the best position possible for valuable practice and maybe playing spoiler.

Wildcard will face off against RED Canids on March 1st.

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#1(With 1 replies)
February 28, 2024 06:18PM
Nice to see a couple teenagers in here. Still work to be done but starting to have a nice little scene again. Need those 1-2 teams to take the next step though.
#2(With 0 replies)
February 28, 2024 07:41PM
That was my big focus on here. I wanted to highlight younger players or more unknowns.
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