For those who missed it, Maikelele & fox’s team (formerly qwerty) have been signed by Team Dignitas. The other members of their team include pita, formerly of CLG, RUBINO, who was a player for the ex-Dignitas/North line up, and jkaem, who most recently played for FaZe Clan.
An interesting line up to say the least – RUBINO and jkaem are likely to be the players to push Dignitas through their matches, with Maikelele contributing with the AWP plays occasionally, pita in game leading & fox with his international experience (or so I’m assuming)
For now, I would like to direct attention towards Maikelele and Fox.
Maikelele and Fox are two very interesting players. Not in terms of skill, but in terms of the paths that their careers have taken.
If we take some time to focus on Maikelele’s history. His team list is extensive to say the least. Since 2012, Maikelele has been on 17 teams (including stand in appearances with mousesports (2014) and NIP (2016)). Over this stretch of time, Maikelele has failed to achieve much with the teams he was on as a permanent player. The most notable achievements on Maikelele’s long winded resume would have to be the 2nd place finishes at Dreamhack Winter 2014 and MLG X Games Aspen Invitational in early 2015 with NIP.
Other than that, Maikelele’s career has seen a shortage of major offline achievements while he was apart of a team as a full player.
After a six month hiatus from top flight play after his departure from FaZe, Maikelele was called upon by NIP to fill in while pyth recovered from a serious injury. He traveled to a string of important events with NIP, such as Starladder i-League StarSeries Season 2, EPICENTER 2016, ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals and ELEAGUE Season 2.
At the StarLadder finals, Maikelele was able to capture his first major international title as a stand in for NIP. The following events were disappointing for NIP, barring the Pro League finals where they placed top 4. For a brief tournament, we were able to get a glimpse of the Maikelele that everybody knew existed, but few had seen in a while.
Overrated is the easier word to use to describe Maikelele, but I disagree with this. The better term would probably be under-performer. We were able to see little sparks of the Maikelele we know is down there somewhere, the flashy and game changing AWPer that Maikelele can be, but has not been for a while. We were able to see that with his short stint as a stand-in for NIP in 2016, and it is something that has been missing. His time on G2/FaZe was relatively underwhelming, as he failed to make much of an impact on the game whatsoever.
It was with Kinguin, where he seemed to flourish the most (at least, from a statistical POV), and that was a while ago.
It goes without saying, but I feel like Maikelele has had a really, really long dip in form and has been constantly over-hyped by fans. The over-hype means that we expect more from a player who has been unable to deliver for quite a while now, leaving many disappointed in what has been a trend for a while now – overwhelming hype for a consistency in underwhelming performances.
Also, another point to note is the potential attitude problems. Whilst there have been conflicting reports as to whether or not these attitude problems actually exist, if they actually do exist, those attitude issues actually coming into play would be another issue entirely.
Maikelele has been unable to fit into a team properly for a while, and whilst the announcement of ex-qwerty signing for Dignitas is a good sign for Maikelele, I am extremely concerned as to whether or not he will be able to perform at a level that will justify his place on that team.
Maikelele has been a misfit for many teams for a while now, and it will be interesting to see whether or not Maikelele will be able to maintain his place on Dignitas, whether he will show us the stuff he is capable of, or underperform.
Onwards to fox. Fox and Maikelele are similar in the terms that their fan bases rate them to the sky and back. Fox is a bit of a different case, I feel like. Back in 1.6 and the start of GO, fox was recognized as the best player from his region, largely due to his capabilities with the AWP. Of course, now this isn’t the case, but fox is still highly rated by his fans.
Hype unjustified – you can see it being justified a little bit with Maikelele, but with fox, yes, probably the best player to come out of Portugal overall, but the hype is rather unjustified right now.
Yes, fox was able to to integrate well enough with the SK system during ECS Season 2 finals and the ELEAGUE Major, after they had kicked fnx – but I would put that down to FalleN’s game knowledge and in game leadership above the skill factor – not to take anything away from fox, I’m just saying that FalleN likely found a system to work around fox’s strengths, and thus he was able to flourish and play better.
fox’s inclusion in this team is rather interesting to me. You have RUBINO and jkaem – both strong rifle players, Maikelele I would presume to be the AWPer, pita is the in game leader. What role does fox fill? Sure he can be a support player or secondary AWPer, but I feel like there could be better players out there to fill those shoes.
Or is he more of a leader and troop rallying kind of player whilst pita focuses exclusively on the tactical side of the game?
It is definitely hard to judge what role fox will fill with this team, and whilst they have been together under “qwerty”, with Dignitas, they are able to go and compete in international qualifiers and eventually, or hopefully international tournaments in the near future.
Overall, I feel like the players and Dignitas have both “won” to a degree – Dignitas are able to compete in these loaded prize pool leagues once again, and have a chance to get their share of it. The players are salaried and allowed to compete again, but I also fear that Dignitas signed the wrong team to put under their brand, and that these players are simply getting checks until a better opportunity arises for some players on the team, should that occur.
Only time will tell whether or not the misfit finally fits in, and if the old fox has found his den.