This article is part of our CS:GO series.
CS:GO's first week back came with surprises, disappointments and everything in between for new roster making their first appearances after Rostermania. Heading into the knockout stage of BLAST Premier Fall Groups, here's a look at some players to target and fade.
Players to Target
Ah the world is healing, ZywOo is back in the blue and back on top of the stat sheet for the entire event. Vitality have a new-look roster with superstar Spinx looking to take some of the weight off of ZywOo's shoulders and that plan seems to be working perfectly. ZywOo finished Week 1 with a 1.39 rating and a 1.44 KD on the way to the highest tallies in the entire event. In this kind of form it's easy to see why the sniper took back-to-back top player honors in 2019 and 2020, and it's easy to see why he will still finish in the top five despite a down year in 2022. ZywOo and Vitality may still need time to iron out the kinks, but individually his situation improved and his talent is still immaculate.
There were rumors throughout the offseason of tabseN departing his own organization, one that made him a part owner previously and one that he helped found. tabseN responded to those rumors by signing an unprecedented five-year contract extension with BIG Clan. Would that long-term extension put doubts in his mind or impact his play on the server? If it did it certainly wasn't noticeable. tabseN was the top rifler in Week 1, with a 1.37 rating and a 1.36 KD, putting him as the only player above a 1.3 other than ZywOo and the only rifler above a 1.26. tabseN and syrsoN are the long-term future of a BIG Clan team that has long flirted with the top of the world rankings and with contracts out of the way this could be their chance.
b1t had one of the worst maps of his career to kick off the Fall season, and still ended Week 1 with a 1.21 rating off of some absurd play in the latter half of the group. This is one of the most talented players in the world and the re-introduction of s1mple to the first team should take some of the pressure off of b1t. Don't overthink it, he may not have finished in the top five in Week 1, but b1t is likely the best raw aimer in the tournament and Na'Vi have been so close to taking the top spot in the world from FaZe Clan multiple times. Na'Vi with s1mple returning to the fold are clear tournament favorites.
Players to Fade
Yes I know Perfect finished with the third-best rating in Week 1, but hear me out. In a Na'Vi team without s1mple, Perfecto was able to step up admirably, but the chances of him putting together another week over a 1.25 rating are slim-to-none and with s1mple back in the first team there will be far fewer chances for Na'Vi's secondary rifler. Perfect certainly isn't a bad player but with a salary that will speak to a 1.25 rating and a third-overall finish in Week 1 he's certainly a fade, at least at that salary.
neaLaN was brought in to be the in-game leader for one of the three new-look Evil Geniuses rosters, need I say more? Let's take a look at the numbers -- he finished Week 1 with a 0.47 KD, 0.63 rating, somehow going an abysmal -20 in two maps. This is the worst team at BLAST Premier Fall Groups, and this is likely the worst individual player on the worst team. Oh and they open the knockout stage against a NiP team featuring Brollan and REZ. Fading neaLaN is a no-brainer. If we must target someone on Evil Geniuses then perhaps a flier on HexT at a bargain-bin salary, or looking for a bounce-back from CeRq are better options. That said there are truly no good options on this EG roster.
HooXi's first week with G2 didn't go to plan to say the least. Losing two matches in a row and now taking on BIG Clan to kick off the knockout stage it could quickly be bad to worse for G2. HooXi was one of the worst players in the first week, something widely expected as HooXi is the personification of a coach on the server. HooXi could lead G2 to success and even tournament wins, but with the roles he's playing and the individual level he's shown there's little-to-no chance of him becoming fantasy relevant with this G2 lineup.
Stats courtesy of HLTV.org