In Counter Strike, there haven’t been many great support players. This statement feels specially solid when talking about the game’s latest version Global Offensive, which has grown far and beyond the shadow of its predecessors. Whether this is due to the more star power heavy Meta or the lack of top tier strategy based teams, is hard to pin point. Either way the fact remains that not many players from the position have been able to make a lasting impact in the game’s history so far, but in recent years some players have augmented up to the challenge and the most interesting among them would probably be Freddy “Krimz” Johansson. The once unnoticeable player of LGB who went on to become the stable backbone of the greatest CS GO team of all time.
When I first started paying attention to the young Swede during his time at LGB, he looked like a decent player at best. Someone who did his role without having the so called “Playmaker” mentality and never really had anywhere near consistent game impact that he later went on to develop. “Restrained presence” is how I would describe his run at LGB. However, everything changed in the summer of 2014, when he went on to join one of the most well-known eSports organization in FNATIC. The spike in Krimz’s performance during this time was so crazy that it caught everyone off guard, including the opposing super star level players he was going up against. The WWE joke about Randy Orton’s finishing move “Out of Nowhere” never made more sense, Krimz really did reach his peak in a state where he was on almost no one’s raider and performed at a level that was unheard of from a support in CS GO. This was also before Olofmeister really started getting his groove started in FNATIC, so for all intends and purposes Krimz at the time was the “Super Star’ of his new organization. In fact, Krimz for those months was the best player in the world.
Later on in 2015, Krimz dropped off from his insane level of play, but still remained a consistent force in his role. Meanwhile Olofmeister regained his confidence and eventually reached the peak of his career, which as we all know earned him the title of “Player of the year” from most sensible critics. As a result Krimz adapted to a more passive yet equally efficient playstyle to gift his teammates more freedom and boy did it work! It visibly gave people like Olof and Flusha the confidence to start making some ridiculous plays, regardless of which side they were on.
Amazingly, even in a more restricted style and an unfavorable new Meta Krimz remained FNATIC’s second best player early in early 2015. His approach to the game was different than most others and what made him standout was the fact that he could execute both offensive and defensive ideas so flawlessly. All while keeping his limits in the mind, rarely biting off more than he could chew. To this opposition Freddy became an annoying player who would get a kill or two here and there consistently, that one guy who you are not scared off due to his insane skill level, but his mastery of the fundamentals and logical approach to every situation. Then you add in the fact that some maps like Inferno and Mirage were Krimz’s playground, where he could utilize his style to the fullest and it paints a picture of a monster that would give even the most skilled players in the world trouble.
In many ways, Krimz reminds me of the legend of Spain, Andrés Iniesta Luján. Who much like Freddy is a very versatile player. Iniesta is one of those rare gems that could switch effortlessly between roles and be whatever his teams requires him to be. Whether it is to interchange between the different spots, lead the team to victory or be a plain old forward in the heat of the moment, the man could do it all.
Interestingly they have a very comparable approach to dealing with certain situations as well. Iniesta is a player who refuses to panic regardless of the situation, always aware of the greater picture. He constantly thinks on his feet and adapts according to the players he is up against. When up against a bigger player, he sticks to doing quick movements in shorter distance to use their slower movement to his advantage, while building distance, allowing him to quickly turn and keep the pace for an opening.
Likewise, Krimz is always aware of the map he is playing, always prepared for the rush on the CT side and ready to react to the situation on the T side. If he is up against a player like Device or Apex, who are very much capable of out aiming him, then he uses positioning to level the playing field. If he is up against an elusive lurker like Snax or Get_Right, then the focus switches to rotations, making sure his team doesn’t end up getting caught off guard. Both men also gives away much of the spotlight to their teammates. Be it the amazing Lionel Messi or the dominant Olofmesiter, both man are completely fine standing behind the star’s success in the exchange of personal glory.
Such a great combination of properly utilized skill set, adaptive mentality and selflessness makes Freddy “Krimz” Johansson a rare gem in eSports. He is the Andrés Iniesta of Counter Strike Global Offensive and I am glad that I lived in a time where he was at his peak.