If we look at their most recent results, Heroic made the group stages of IEM Cologne 2022, but they got knocked down to the lower bracket rather quickly. Just by looking at the caliber of players they have under their wings, Heroic is a team aspiring to be the pack leaders in the CSGO scene and this wasn’t the kind of result they would’ve wished for. Let’s be clear. They have been extremely competitive, but their inability to take that final step has led to some changes in their lineup. The cut-throat nature of the competitive scene, where performances and results are one’s currency, has now forced them to try and course-correct.
Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard is one of their latest acquisitions, and it’s still unclear how things will turn out in the future. The 18-year-old, who made a mark for Copenhagen Flames as a rifler, replaced refrezh, who was pulled out of their active roster last month, citing their inability to win a big title since the competition returned to LAN last year. While he remains on contract for the moment, he will actively pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Signing jabbi is a not a minuscule decision, not least because Heroic is hedging their bets on a young player, but also because they are “willing to risk something very good at the chance to become the very best.” In many ways, this signing panned out the way it did because Flames had for long been looking to sell their successful roster owing to lack of resources to match the squad’s stature – essentially opportunities they couldn’t offer, such as franchise slots and big salaries.
Invariably, when you’re a shining light at a team that is on a downswing – not so much in terms of results, but in terms of what they can offer – you have nothing to lose. Even as the financial upheaval threatens to disintegrate a competent unit, jabbi has been key to some creditable performances for the outfit in recent times, ever since they broke through at IEM Fall last year.
Recently, Heroic has been achieving wins and top placings at lower-tier events such as Malta Vibes and Pinnacle Series. They carried that confidence to make an inspired run to the top eight at PGL Major Antwerp and IEM Katowice, but haven’t been able to reach the heights they did while winning the ESL Pro League Season 13 in the online era. What works, though, is jabbi now has the experience and is a battle-hardened youngster who just has to find a way to adapt to Heroic ultra-aggressive play style.
Now looking at their upcoming events, Heroic are guaranteed a spot at BLAST Fall Groups but their attendance at ESL Pro League S16 is uncertain. Either way, they are almost guaranteed to have enough matches against premier level teams come September. In terms of re-building cohesion, the team has long ways to go. Over at IEM Cologne they looked utterly underwhelming and couldn’t even challenge MOUZ nor NiP in a straight up series.
There is no doubt that this team has plenty of building up to do, especially for the type of squad Heroic is set up to be. They can reach the highs of FaZe Clan in terms of squad potential, and the individual carry potential of S1mple/electronic in CadiaN and stavn. Heroic has an insane roster on paper, but they need to work hard on realizing it’s full potential, though they might not have that much time considering that the season is almost coming to an end.