The Slap King will bring out his AWP for the side of OG again. Will they live up to their Blast Premier Spring Finals Lisbon Debut?
The last of the original OG lineup has been replaced. Mantuu makes his way to the bench as OG sign degster from Spirit. With their top 4 finish at Blast Premier Spring Finals Lisbon, the expectations for the roster are already set high. Will they live up to them?
Degster: A rising CIS prospect, propels Spirit
Spirit's relations with Espada have always been in the grey zone. Come 2021, Espada released their players and Spirit swooped in to pick some of them up. Under the Spirit wings, some players moved into Spirit Academy while degster was brought into the main roster. Taking over the reins from iDisbalance wasn't easy, but degster performed from the beginning.
With the Russian sniper putting up massive numbers, the team picked up the Dreamhack Open trophy. They then reached the top 4 at IEM Katowice 2021 [Loading...] marking the start of the CIS era. But issues within the team led the team back into the tier 2 realms. While they did make it to the major, they failed to get into the top 16.
Spirit overhaul leads to glory
After the failure at PGL Stockholm, Spirit decided to overhaul the roster bringing in rookies, S1ren and Patsi in place of their longstanding CIS duo of sdy and mir. Initially, the move seemed likemost surprisingly surprising fashion, the team turned the story around on LAN. As soon as they hit the ground at the RMR, they showed positive signs, ending the event as the third highest-rated team.
At the major was their true ascension. The team, powered by degster, made their way through the Challenger stage over Astralis, the team that had eliminated them at the previous major. They followed that up with a 3-0 smash into the Playoffs, where they took down Furia to set up a FaZe rematch. With how close they pushed FaZe, had it not been for ESIC's suspension on Spirit coach hally, we could be looking at a potential major finalist. Sadly that never came true, and after the Major the team announced that degster will be transfer listed.
OG degster - The solution to OG's woes?
OG in CS:GO has never lived up to its billing or potential. The original roster was supposed to be a trophy contender, but the best they could muster was occasional finals appearances. The flameZ and niko roster reduced the expectations but also reduced the results. Notably the team failed to make the Stockholm Major.
G2 gave OG a potential solution in the form of an IGL trade. Aleksib moved over to G2, while nexa came in for OG. Following another failed RMR, the team decided to take a talent development approach marking the exit of valde as F1ku and NEOFRAG came in to bolster the performances.
With mantuu taking medical leave at Blast, degster stepped in as a stand-in. And immediately we saw an unprecedented level of OG. They kicked the event off with a win over NaVi, and followed that up by defeating ENCE. Making their way to the Lisbon stage, the team put up a great fight against the new-NaVi, but ended up on the losing side in the rematch.
The performance was so far beyond what we had witnessed from OG so far that fans had mixed feelings. On the one hand, the event itself was amazing to watch and a highlight in the OG book. On the other, fans and analysts feared that this may never repeat as degster was just a stand-in.
Can OG contend with the best?
OG with Degster was already a joy to watch. Now with months of practice under their belt, the expectations are for the team to be far more potent against top opponents. And degster's immense skill ceiling means that even if the team fails, he has the potential to hard-carry.
On the other side of the story, mantuu finds himself on the bench with his contract set to run out at the end of 2022. With his lacklustre recent performances, many are unable to pinpoint a position that the Polish-British AWPer could take over. Hopefully, the sniper will find a new home to again ply his trade soon.