Replacing malbsMd will be an exceptionally difficult task for M80

Editorial: Seven candidates to replace malbsMd on M80

Who can fill some big shoes?

A blockbuster deal might be on the way, so who could M80 look at if they need to grab another rifler as Mario "malbsMd" Samayoa seems set to join G2? There are a number of free and potentially low-cost additions that come from the region as one could assume that M80 would like to stay as an Americas-based team.

The Free-est Options

malbsMd has proven himself to be an absolute demon, a star player that can be relied upon to turn around eco rounds with just a Desert Eagle in his hands. One option for M80 would be none other than Party Astronauts' Danny "cxzi" Strzelczyk. Everyone's favorite NA CS bad-boy has certainly turned heads with his performances as of late as he has been one of North America's best players following the release of Counter-Strike 2.

His aggressive rifling style has not gone unnoticed, and his 1.40 Impact since November is pretty incredible overall. The biggest issue immediately would be that their T-side and CT-side positions don't immediately mesh, requiring M80 to once again shuffle everyone around.

Does FaNg get another shot at the big time?

Another option for M80 could be one of cxzi's teammates – Justin "FaNg" Coakley. In this case, FaNg actually does share similar positions on Ancient, Anubis, Inferno, Mirage, and Vertigo, with Nuke the only major clash. The added bonus in the case of FaNg is his experience on the international stage. While his time time with NRG and Complexity was mixed, with a solid coach in Rory "dephh" Jackson and an IGL in Elias "s1n" Stein, we could see him reach new heights once again.

One of the biggest concerns is that FaNg has not necessarily been the best over the last year. His 1.13 HLTV Rating isn't better than cxzi's and being removed from two top teams can cast some concern about why he was not kept on the team. Regardless, cxzi and FaNg are both not attached to any contract, making them attractive options if M80 need some domestic talent.

Potential young stars

This could be the opportunity to dive into the young stars of North America and search for players to mold, develop, and allow the opportunity to step up in the international scene. One options is everyone's favorite North American prospect, Josh "JBa" Barutt from Wildcard. One of the nice things about JBa is that he has been playing more Anchor positions on the CT-side, something that fellow American star Michael "Swisher" Schmid has been forced into following the introduction of s1n to the roster. Bringing in JBa would allow Swisher to go back to his more aggressive roles that malbsMd occupied and help bring the American back to form.

JBa played his first big LAN with IEM Chengdu earlier this year

JBa's buyout on Wildcard, who are more of a smaller organization, might not be too crazy considering the player's young age and uncertainty for the future. The upside to the move would be that M80 could find and promote another American youngster, however if JBa doesn't hit the ground running, M80 could be left in an awkward spot as they look to qualify for the 2024 Perfect World Shanghai Major.

Another candidate that M80 could look at to make sure they stay counted as a North American team would be that of rising star Mason "Lake" Sanderson. The 19-year-old recently had an amazing individual season in ESL Challenger League Season 48 with Carpe Diem and has been the talk of the town as a potential player to keep an eye on. He is a little rough around the edges, but he is not someone that M80 should count out if they hope to find another diamond in the region.

The player is still young enough that given the right environment and support, he could develop into an even stronger player. Given that he also has no buyout from an organization, he might be worth a chance. In the last season of ECL, the American performed admirably amongst some of the more seasoned veterans. He had a 1.26 HLTV Rating across 30 maps, was second best, posted the second-best ADR overall, and had an impact rating of 1.46.

The Big Buys

M80 don't have to pick up an American or a Canadian if they want to keep their place in the Americas region. Liquid was able to do so when they picked up Felipe "skullz" Medeiros alongside Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken while keeping Keith "NAF" Markovic. M80 could do the same if they wanted to splash the cash on a guaranteed Brazilian pick up along the lines of say, Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt?

It's an unlikely move and might add another foreign language speaker into the mix, but biguzera is one of the best players in the world at the moment as the fragging IGL has dragged paiN to new levels. Who knows what his buyout might be, but with all that new malbsMd money, it might be worth a shot. Sure, biguzera and malbsMd don't share too many positions, but with a player of his caliber, adjustments will be made to bring him in.

He does have Major experience...

Finally, if we're just spitballing about how M80 could spend mablsMd's buyout why shouldn't we theorycraft about the team looking to their rivals in Complexity? Like it is extremely unlikely, and purely academic in all honesty, if M80 are looking to stay NA a player like Michael "Grim" Wince, Ricky "floppy" Kemery, or even, dare I say, Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski all all names that promise to be upgrades or at malbsMd's level.

Grim and floppy are certainly names in the mix if they wanted to explore new opportunities. floppy's anchor positions would allow Swisher to move back as an aggressive rifler while Grim could complement Swisher and reck as a solid American core. I'm not saying that this is likely at all, believe me, but hey, maybe it's time for M80 to swing for the fences.

The Wildcard

Alright, screw it. If nothing works, what's Nick "nitr0" Cannella up to these days? Just benched on M80's VALORANT squad, has had a ton of international level experience, and he could be an interesting albeit lower firepower option for the North American squad.

Could nitr0 compete against Twistzz on home soil?

Sure, he's gone back to VALORANT for the second time, but why not come back to Counter-Strike for a second time? It's entirely possible and something that if M80 have not at least thought about, well, they should. The former IGL would be a dynamic solution behind the two Germans that occupy the roles making M80 one of the more interesting teams to watch even if it's just to see if nitr0 can hang in Counter-Strike 2 and come back for a second time.

Also read

#1(With 0 replies)
June 19, 2024 06:09PM
#2(With 0 replies)
June 20, 2024 04:15AM
South American import might be the way to go, but cxzi or lake would be interesting
#3(With 0 replies)
June 20, 2024 12:49PM
Honestly clasia wouldn't be bad
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