Mousesports CSGO, an Overview of the Team’s History

by Fabio

The German-based organization mousesports has fielded half a dozen teams in CSGO and has a rich history in classic Counter Strike. The team was founded in 2002 and first featured a CS 1.6 roster. During that era, the Germans were an international esports powerhouse. Fatih “gob b” Dayik led the team into battle and helped them win countless trophies. In CSGO, things didn’t immediately look rosy for the Germans. 

Mousesports in Counter Strike Global Offensive

In 2012, they took in a number of notable players. At the end of the year, their roster consisted of Michele “zonixx” Köhler, Manuel “approx” Zeitz, Johannes “nex” Maget, Tobias “Troubley” Tabbert and Finn “karrigan” Andersen. But mousesports CSGO struggled to achieve the same kind of prominence as in CS 1.6, which led to quite a few shake-ups for the roster.

Within less than a year, they had already completely replaced the previous line-up. A few notable players fell in and out of the roster in a short amount of time. Casper “cadian” Möller, Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz and Aleksi “allu” Jalli were just some of them. The team started to gain some traction after Fatih “gob b” Dayik was signed. The player was a 1.6 legend and was heralded as one of the best tacticians of the game. Not only did this revitalize the support of the German community, it also gave them a tactical foundation. 

gob b and his mousesports colleagues
gob b and his mousesports colleagues (via mousesports Twitter)

But the team kept signing and kicking players. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact dates, but it appears as if mouz CSGO never had one set line-up for longer than three months. For an in-game-leader, this must have been hell to work with. Obviously, the team struggled to get themselves into the higher levels of Counter Strike competition.

Mousesports CSGO: The Departure of gob b

Towards the end of 2015, mouz CSGO had to make a difficult decision. They felt that they were moving nowhere with their current line-up and wanted to add more firepower to the roster. But which player could they replace?

They eventually opted to cut the in-game-leader, gob b, who wound up going to North America to moderate success. Many fans felt that his farewell was handled shamefully. The organization only put out a tiny statement to say goodbye. After all that gob b had done for and achieved with the squad, this must have felt like a stab in the back. 

This decision came at a crucial turning point in CSGO history. Previously, fast and frag-heavy teams, such as EnVyUs and fnatic, had dominated the standings. Slowly but surely, they were being replaced by tactically sound teams, like Natus Vincere and Luminosity Gaming. In an era where the in-game-leaders started to become ever more important, mouz CSGO opted to remove theirs. In itself, that move was a bad idea. However, through sheer luck, they wound up signing the best player that would ever compete under the mousesports banner. 

NiKo CSGO Made Mousesports Competitive

Mousesports had no idea of what a star player they had sitting on the bench. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač had a brief stint with the main squad in 2015, before being moved to the sidelines. He was then re-introduced to the team as a replacement for gob b. During that time, something just clicked in him. His personal performance improved so massively that he quickly became one of the best players in the world.

NiKo is arguably one of the best players in the world
NiKo is arguably one of the best players in the world (via liquipedia.net)

But still, no results for mousesports. They continually fell short in all international leagues, for a multitude of reasons. For one, they had no tactical foundations. Their playstyle mostly relied on players finding raw frags and apart from NiKo, no one was really up to that task. So even when NiKo made his 30 kills per map, mousesports couldn’t win against the top teams. 

Their second mistake was giving NiKo the leading duties. Why did they force this additional work onto their best player? NiKo – more than any other mouz CSGO player – should have been free to focus on his insane fragging. Instead, he had to command the other players around the map. Obviously, he wasn’t really able to. 

We can only imagine what mousesports would have looked like with a seasoned leader next to NiKo. In the end, the Bosnian transferred to FaZe CSGO, where he found guidance under karrigan and immediately started winning trophies.

Post-NiKo Struggles

The reformed line-up wasn’t able offer any improvement immediately. They only started climbing in the rankings after announcing a few European signings. Slowly, they phased out the old German guard and brought in fresh talent like Robin “ropz” Kool. This move signalled a shift in the organization’s mentality. Their aim was to become an international team, just like FaZe Clan. At the start, they lacked the players to have the same kind of impact as FaZe. 

But over time, mousesports CSGO improved. In 2017, they finally won an international event again. At ESG Mykonos, they narrowly defeated Team Liquid CSGO in the Grand Finals. Granted, it was a smaller tournament, but they managed to show resilience and beat some world-class teams. In the following year, they fought themselves through to the Grand Finals of ESL One New York, beating fnatic, Gambit and Liquid to win the Grand Finals. Finally, they had solidified themselves as an international contender. But their success was short-lived. In 2019, once again, they overhauled their roster.

Mousesports re-signed karrigan and brought international top-talent to the roster
The team re-signed karrigan and brought international top-talent to the roster (via liquipedia.net)

Mousesports CSGO: The karrigan Line-Up

Mousesports appear to have learned from their mistakes. Their newest roster is now spearheaded by karrigan, who has been a part of mouz CSGO before and has led numerous other teams to trophies over the years. Chris “ChrisJ” De Jong and ropz CSGO have remained on the roster, but they are complemented by Özgür “woxic” Eker and David “frozen” Čerňanský. Particularly woxic CSGO has been an absolute beast with this line-up. In 2019, they had a three-event winning streak at the CSGO Asia Championships, EPL S10 Finals and cs_summit 5. They ended the year with a second-place finish versus Vitality at EPICENTER.

Read this: Cloud 9 CSGO: How NA Won Their First Major

It has taken them a couple of years, but mousesports have finally understood the importance of strategy and tactics in CSGO. With karrigan, they boast one of the sharpest minds in the game. Even if he doesn’t frag like a superstar, he can make sure that the other players do. There is more than enough talent in this roster. As soon as offline events are back, we will see them in action and start to see their real prowess.

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