‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Gambit have announced that Hobbit is now open to transfer on twitter earlier today. This is the tweet:
Gambit Esports announces an opening of transfer negotiations concerning Abay "HObbit" Khassenov of Gambit CS:GO pic.twitter.com/lDu2eotoAj
— Gambit Esports (@GambitEsports) September 18, 2018
The timing of this tells us a few things. The first is that Hobbit is on some level dissatisfied with the current situation in Gambit. It’s easy to see why as they had won the Major, but after Zeus left they were never able to find an in-game leader nor any level of consistency in the team.
While Hobbit’s performance has been poor after his breakout year as a rookie, the potential is still there. When we look at his sophomore slump, it’s clear that there were a bunch of mitigating factors surrounding it, the biggest being a lack of a true in-game leader. As a player he’s shown good versatility, incredible potential, and a willingness to do what is required of him. Assuming that the CIS squads have the same view of him as I do, then there are three choices for Hobbit going forward.
The first is Na`Vi. While Na`Vi are in the playoffs of the Major, it’s clear that there is some discontent in their camp. There have been rumors circulating around and should the team explode, then Hobbit would be the perfect pick up for the team. Even if the team didn’t explode, I’d still try to get Hobbit for Na`Vi as he has worked perfectly with Zeus on his time during Gambit and he is a soldier. Someone who is willing to do whatever is required of him in the game.
The second is HellRaisers. While I don’t think they have the spending power of Na`Vi, they do have the other good in-game leader in the region. ANGE1 has continually proven his worth over and over again. If ANGE1 got Hobbit to join in place of someone like Deadfox, that team could be cracking into the top 5 placings in the world. It’s a longer shot than Na`Vi, considering Na`Vi should have more money to use.
The third potential choice is Virtus.Pro. Virtus.Pro is under a strange situation where they have two choices going forward. They can either build around NEO as the in-game leader with rising Polish talent. Or they can create a international all-star team like they did early on in CS:GO. If it’s the latter, I think they could get Hobbit. As for what team I’d build around him, it’s hard to say without knowing what is happening in Na`Vi’s camp. Let’s assume for a moment that no one in Na`Vi leaves.
If the VP squad wants to go international, I’d try to combine the best of HellRaisers and Gambit into one team. So it would be: ANGE1, AdreN, Hobbit, woxic, and ISSAA.
I don’t think that’s an actual viable choice given how much it costs (at least in the past) to get someone out of a HellRaisers contract. However there is an alternative that is likely just as strong. According to Dekay’s article, Mouz wants oskar out. At the same time STYKO is on trial with Cloud9. I say VP take them both so the lineup is: ANGE1, AdreN, Hobbit, oskar, and STYKO.