The Bizarre Brilliance Of The autimatic/flusha/suNnY Trio
If the popular CS:GO roster trend were a restaurant chain, it would be IHOP: The International House of Players. Dad jokes aside, more and more organizations invested in Counter-Strike are abandoning the idea of forming a team from one region, and instead are picking and choosing the best players from around the world.
With North American Counter-Strike currently trending downward in its never-ending cycle between thriving and pitiful, several organizations moved from NA to international rosters over the past year. Complexity built the juggernaut, Cloud constructed the Colossus, Envy created…a team. These rosters are constructed with long-term goals in mind, and if there’s an organization out there is looking to play the long game, then there’s an interesting player trio that’s formed that they should absolutely have their eyes on.
How did this trio form?
On January 7th, it was reported by Jarek “DeKay” Lewis and DBLTAP that the trio of Timothy “autimatic” Ta, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, and Miikka “suNny” Kemppi have been actively approaching organizations about the prospect of playing together. At the time of that reporting, both autimatic and suNny were sitting pretty on the respective benches of Gen.G and ENCE. Just a day later, flusha followed suit when he was moved to the inactive roster of Fnatic. In an interview with Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, suNny confirmed the trio’s plans to play together.
Each player ended up inactive in a unique way. Autimatic had been an excellent contributor, along with teammate Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand, for Gen.G in 2020, especially in the first half of the year. But after the team’s performance dipped, rather than rebound the team simply fell apart, with Sam “s0m” Oh and Damian “daps” Steele leaving for VALORANT. The rest of the Gen.G players and coaching staff were made available for transfer at the end of the year.
Flusha finds himself on the Fnatic bench after his third stint with the team. His first was part of the team’s legendary era of dominance from the end of 2013 through 2015. That ended with a disastrous swap with GODSENT, but after the trade was reversed, Fnatic didn’t find as much success as prior. After half a year with autimatic and Cloud9 from late 2018 to early 2019, flusha returned to Fnatic again, and while they got off to a hot start, the latter half of 2020 was a resounding disappointment with little to no deep runs at any events.
In late 2019, suNny made his return to ENCE after an extended tenure with mousesports, but he hardly received a welcome greeting upon doing so. SuNny was brought in after the team removed in-game leader Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen. The move was widely criticized by fans and analysts, and thus any poor performance from suNny ended up under a glaring microscope. After a year of poor results for the team that was capped off by drama caused by internal issues, suNny was moved to the bench by mutual decision.
The trio’s potential
So just how good is this trio of players? And how well do they mesh with each other? Autimatic perhaps has the easiest case to make for what he brings to a team. He’s a former Major winner who’s as deadly with the AWP as he is with any other rifle. He had a 1.09 player rating from the beginning of 2020 through cs_summit 6, and a 1.07 rating across the whole year. His flexibility and proficiency are a must-have for any team looking to compete.
Flusha brings a wealth of experience and pure skill, as a three-time Major winner who can hit shots so nutty he’s literally been accused of cheating his entire career. Even after a poor second half to 2020, he still finished the year with a positive 1.03 rating. Prior to the dip halfway through the year, that rating was up to 1.07. He’s played with autimatic before and clearly enjoyed his time doing so, and a change of scenery could be just what he needs heading into 2021.
The negativity surrounding suNny and the impossible-to-meet expectations for ENCE have created this false narrative that he isn’t a good player. Was there a fall-off in production from his time in mousesports? Yes there definitely was. But he was also playing in a no-win scenario with a less-than-ideal team chemistry situation. While allu was the star at their BLAST Spring Showdown victory, suNny was a huge contributor at that event, including a standout performance against his old team in mous. With his flexibility as a rifler or an IGL, his dropoff means teams can buy low on him and get a ton of value for it.
While ENCE’s chemistry was questionable at best, the potential of these players getting along looks much higher on paper. After a slow start, autimatic and flusha achieved some impressive results together on Cloud9. They earned second at the ELEAGUE Invitational, third at BLAST Lisbon, and one series win against FaZe away from making playoffs at the IEM Katowice Major in 2019. Flusha was even serving as IGL at the time. SuNny almost joined the C9 roster when flusha was departing, which could easily have been a smarter choice then joining ENCE. The experience and versatility that comes with all three players means high potential for the trio.
Potential fourth’s & fifth’s
The good news for the trio is that there is no shortage of talent that could potentially fill the other two slots in this lineup.
As mentioned earlier, much of the success that came to Gen.G came as a result of the autimatic-BnTeT partnership. Given the Indonesian import is as available as his teammate is, it would be beneficial to potential organizations to keep this duo together.
There’s also Twistzz, fresh off his extended run with Team Liquid. Twistzz and autimatic played together on TSM in the early stages of their career, and while there’s been detailed rumors about some supposed beef between them, four plus years as professionals mean they can in all likelihood cooperate were they to team up today.
There’s a big list of other players available as well. TACO is out of his MiBR contract and looking for a new team. Ex-100 Thieves and ex-Chaos players are still available, although the number of Chaos players available are reportedly dwindling. But which organizations are looking to take on a new roster?
Who needs a new team?
Well, this may be grasping at straws, but the social media manager for BeyondTheSummit and ESEA tweeted a mockup image of the trio with BnTeT and Astralis’ Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen together in Guild Esports jerseys. That alone may be nothing, but Guild’s Esports Director Grant Rousseau replied that it “wasn’t a bad look at all.” Bubzkji has been Astralis’ nuclear option as of late, subbing in when the team plays on Nuke, but it would be fascinating to see him perform as more than just a glorified sub.
Other teams are potentially considering entirely new lineups as well, like FunPlus Phoenix and reportedly, c0ntact Gaming. Both are founding members of Flashpoint and thus have motivation to retain an active CS:GO lineup. Additionally, suNny confirmed in the previously mentioned interview that he has been in contact with GODSENT.
Hopefully this trio gets their wish and signs somewhere together where they’re given ample time to get acclimated to playing with each other. This trio may seem bizarre at first glance, but it has the chance to be brilliant in the long run.