Stewie2K: The North American Wonderchild

by Fabio

Stewie2K is one of North America’s most famous and talented CSGO players. He rose to stardom in the Cloud 9 roster that won the first ever Major trophy for an NA team. But he wasn’t always the Counter Strike wonderchild that we know him to be now. In his early days, he was an unknown player on a team called ‘Splyce’. With regards to international competition, the team was barely noticeable. But the Cloud 9 players saw potential and took a chance in him. This would kickstart his career and make him into NA’s most successful CSGO player.

Stewie’s First Months at Cloud 9

When Stewie2K was brought onto Cloud 9 in 2016 as a replacement for the departing in-game-leader, Sean “seang@res” Gares, fans were out of their minds. How in the world did this inexperienced kid get a spot on North America’s (supposedly) best team? What had he done to prove he was ready for such a challenge?

Stewie2K on Cloud 9
Stewie2K on Cloud 9 (via Esports Betting Tips)

At the beginning, his critics were unfortunately proven right. Stewie2K had severe issues fitting in with the team, but that wasn’t really down to his performance or his capabilities. Cloud 9 misutilized him, put him in the wrong roles and positions. In the first few months, he was mostly used as a lurker. While the rest of the team attempted to execute onto bomb sites, he had to patiently bide his time on the opposite side of the map. Then, when the time was right, he was supposed to flank the enemies and eliminate them from behind.

Unfortunately, Stewie2K’s timing was flawed. He would often push through smokes and get killed because the enemy players hadn’t rotated away yet. Many put that down to him being inexperienced and laughed at his constant smoke pushes. But he wasn’t wrong in doing it, he was just in the wrong role.

Stewie2K Steam: The profile of a CSGO superstar
Stewie2K Steam: The profile of a CSGO superstar

When C9 finally put him in the entry position, Stewie2K broke through the roof. The Stewie2K crosshair became feared amongst North American players. Having been ridiculed for his play, he was now known as the ‘smoke criminal’. More often than not, he would run through those and just shred everyone on the other side. He remained this insane CSGO beast for many years to come.

The Road to Major Stardom

His immense progress earned him a permanent spot in the CSGO roster of Cloud 9, where he would see teammates come and go. During his stint with the team, he won a few international trophies. Most notably, they made first place at the ESL Pro League Season 4 in Brazil, against the home soil favorites of SK Gaming. At ESL One Cologne 2017, they got all the way to the Grand Finals, but fell to a much stronger SK that time.

When the ELEAGUE Boston CSGO Major came around the corner, they carried quite a momentum. Having exchanged Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert and Michael “shroud” Grzesiek for Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Tarik “tarik” Celik, they had just won two trophies. But the events hadn’t featured any top teams, so nobody expected Stewie2K and Cloud 9 to break through the roof. Most importantly, FaZe Clan and SK Gaming were hot on the heels of two clean tournament victories. Those were the teams to beat and they certainly looked sharper than ever. 

During the Challengers Stage, C9 put up a convincing performance. When it came to the Legends Stage, however, the line-up of teams proved to be much more challenging. They narrowly scraped through to the playoffs. There, they initiated a victory run of unprecedented proportions. Winning against G2 Esports and SK Gaming, Stewie2K and his mates suddenly found themselves in the Grand Finals. 

FaZe Clan were expected to win, but these expectations were shattered by a Cloud 9 team that played out of their minds. During the Grand Finals, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham outplayed every man on the FaZe roster. For the entire event, Stewie2K had consistently played above average. In the last round, he bravely held onto his spot, even as the FaZe players were barreling on towards him. His stellar entry plays and solid site defense allowed the team to hoist the Major trophy. Finally, a North American team had won a World Championship event – on home soil as well!

Stewie2K Twitter: One of the few instances where foul language might be okay

Stewie2K on Team Liquid

Immediately after winning the 2018 Major, Stewie2K transferred to SK Gaming. The reasons for that are unknown, but the new team didn’t perform to expectations and he was unhappy in his position. He soon found his way to the Team Liquid roster, where he has remained a core player to this day.

One could argue that he has achieved more under the Liquid banner than with the previous Cloud 9 roster. Granted, Liquid haven’t won a Major trophy just yet, but they have been the second best team in the world for over a year now. If Astralis weren’t there, they would undoubtedly have collected half a dozen trophies in 2018 and 2019. Whenever the Danes weren’t in attendance, Liquid would actually win tournaments left and right. Unfortunately, any encounter with Astralis would end in their tournament exit. 

Stewie2K has mostly fallen into the background in terms of statistics. But those numbers are misleading. He contributes massively as a support player and functions as a motivational element. His passion shines through and gives his teammates energy and confidence. He quite literally offers a moral boost, which is crucial in those heated moments on stage.

Read this: ZywOo: The New CSGO Superstar

Where Is Stewie2K Headed?

Right now, the coronavirus pandemic makes it hard to gage the actual performance level of any team in esports. Online play just isn’t the same as competing on offline soil and the teams have all had a shaky presentation in recent months. Liquid appear to be miles away from their usual level of play, but that doesn’t have to mean anything. Only when offline events resume will we find out where they stand and if they’re still a Top 5 team.

Stewie2K is young and probably has most of his career still in front of him. He might not necessarily be a part of Team Liquid forever, but he undoubtedly belongs on a top team. His goal now is to prove that the Boston Major wasn’t just a fluke. Will he win another Major trophy?

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