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EPL Playoffs- Heroic seem to lack courage

Heroic has been considered a top 5 contender for a long time now. Led by cadiaN, one of the most experienced IGLs in CSGO, the Danish roster have been attempting to fill the hole left by Astralis as the best team from Denmark, and while they’ve succeeded in that department, they’ve been falling short of meaningful victories. 

The talented Danish squad has been in the eyes of the world for more than two years now. After a miracle run win at ESL One Cologne 2020 Europe, they’ve been fighting for titles in essentially every big tournament, but with no real success. The team swept Vitality in a 3-0 upset with Niko and b0RUP on the lineup, and unfortunately that win seems like the outlier. 

They’ve seen their roster upgraded with refrezh and sjuush from MAD Lions, and although they are irrevocably stronger, the victories have not arrived. They were consistently taken down by Gambit in the online era, fumbled a theoretically easy Flashpoint 3 win into a shaky G2 and a weak NIP, and have been in Navi’s shadow for the last few months. 

The problem is, they can’t even consistently show up as the number two team. Vitality looked much better than them at the end of last year, and every time a big lan or “lan-lite” tournament comes around, they seem to crumble in the playoffs, even before meeting an opponent like Navi. 

EPL S15 is just another chapter in this disappointing book. They had an impressive showing during Group Stages, dropping only a series against Navi. They got over their apparent kryptonite in Astralis and were headed into the playoffs as favorites to at least make the finals since they had by far the easiest side of the bracket— Liquid into NIP into ENCE. 

Alas, the Heroic story just repeated itself again. They fell apart in their first series, losing 2-0 to a very shaky-looking Liquid team. Yes, the NA roster did look considerably better than what they’d shown during Group Stage, but they still got convincingly beaten by NIP in their following series. 

Heroic has the talent to win these games, they have an experienced IGL and a squad that made no player changes when most of the top teams have undergone considerable transformations. They’re running out of excuses. 

Despite this, what should they do? They have the strongest roster coming out of Denmark, their players are undeniably talented and their IGL is a legend in the scene. So what changes are there to make? Is Xizt the right fit for the team? Or is a more hands-on coach needed to make the team perform in the big matches? 

Whatever they decide to do, something must be done, sooner rather than later. Gambit was dominating the online era, Vitality and Navi stood tall when offline sort of came back, but now there are no excuses. Are Heroic going to step up and beat Faze in the race to first place, or do they just lack the courage?

Images via BLAST