‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
There was an interesting twitter chain about what the exact rules in the case that CS:GO teams actually expanded to a 6 or 7 man roster similar to other team games like League of Legends or Overwatch. In this chain, Karrigan tweeted the question:
It would mean I could go to a tournament with 7 players, have 2-3 different play styles depending on lineup and the enemy wouldn’t know 24 hours before the game starts?
— FaZe karrigan (@karriganCSGO) January 10, 2019
It was an astute observation about the gamesmanship of a 7 man team against a 5 man team. The problem with this idea though is that 6 man rosters have never worked out before in CS:GO history. While stand-ins can work fine, we’ve never see a team truly utilize 6 man roster. BIG may potentially try to use one after nex is healed up, but beyond that, the move is incredibly rare.
However when Karrigan tweeted that question, I realized that the leader who had the highest probability of making such a lineup work would probably be Karrigan. To understand why, we have to look at the disadvantages of a 6 man roster. The biggest is that there isn’t a base level of consistency to draw good data from. What I mean by that is teams already have a hard enough time identifying their strengths/weaknesses on a particular map or what kind of style they should play. This is why tactical teams take a longer time to build up.
The other big reason is that the teamplay aspect will likely always be lower as the team with a 6 man roster would have less practice than a team a 5 man unit. In another article, I wrote about how BIG could sidestep this issue to a certain degree if they went for full map specialization (like using smooya on maps with double AWP setups or going five rifles on maps that don’t see the AWP have as much impact like inferno).
In the case of Karrigan though, his natural abilities as an in-game leader could sidestep this entire issue. As I’ve pointed out before, this guy is a master of chaos. He has the fastest startup time of any in-game leader I’ve seen in CS:GO as he can quickly form a base idea, structure, and identity of a team. Not only that, but he also seems to be able to intuit where his team’s map pool strengths/weaknesses lay. On top of that, I’d say he is the best map veto leader in CS:GO and his advantages in that area would only increase as he could increase the level of mind games and completely throw other teams off.
One last thing to note about Karrigan is that he did do this to a certain extent when he first joined FaZe. The original roster he ran with was: allu, jkaem, rain, himself, and aizy. After playing with the team for a short period of time, he immediately figured out that jkaem didn’t fit and brought on kioshima. Give him a seventh player and I feel confident in saying that he could have potentially created a running rotation.
Overall, while I think this would be a cool idea to see, I don’t think it’s viable as most players would rather play on a worse team than be the 6th or 7th player on a better team.