Money can buy talent, but it can’t buy wins.

Falcons sent the CS2 world into a tizzy when it started teasing its new star-studded roster in late 2023, promising a dazzling stack sure to attend the Copenhagen Major. While it mostly delivered on the former, it has officially failed to follow up on the latter. Falcons were eliminated from the Copenhagen Major European RMR A with unexpected losses to teams thought far below its level. 

Fans are quick to chalk it up to bad bracket luck, rough seeding, and any number of excuses. However, looking back through the games, there are three weak spots the team must solve if it wants to live up to its superteam status.

Falcons at Copenhagen CS2 Major, not happening

Image Credit: Falcons CS2
Image Credit: Falcons CS2

No confidence in its map pool

At first glance, Falcons has a pretty even spread for its map pool. The squad plays every map but Inferno, which functions as its default ban. It has decent win rates on Mirage, Vertigo, Nuke, and Overpass over the last six months. A wide map pool should be a big advantage in best-of-ones. But when a trip to Copenhagen was on the line, Falcons’ picking skills locked up. 

In its match against FaZe Clan, Falcons made the confusing decision to ban Mirage to repeat Nuke, declining the only map it had a higher win rate on than FaZe. Against Eternal Fire, Falcons had the option to play on Vertigo, but once against chose Nuke. Notably, Vertigo against AMKAL would be the only map Falcons would win in the RMR after 3DMAX. Falcons has a solid map pool, but that advantage doesn’t count for much when it plays the same venue over and over.

The squad consistently crumbles in the clutch

One of the hallmarks of any superteam is experience. The five players on Falcons aren’t just being paid for their current station. Their rumored $40,000 a month salaries are owed to their extensive experience in top-level competition, which makes it strange that the team consistently loses rounds that should be unlosable. In its Copenhagen-or-bust map against AMKAL, Falcons lost a total of five 1-vs-X situations to the Russian-Kazakh team.

The chokes come both in terms of individual rounds and entire matches. Falcons’ entire Copenhagen RMR run included almost a dozen choked rounds. The biggest heartbreaker is above, with Helvijs "broky" Saukants and a Galil snatching a 2-vs-5 that should have been deep in the bag. You can blame it on firepower, in-game leadership, or a combination of both. Either way, Emil "Magisk" Reif and Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer just aren’t able to replicate the lock-step finishes their former teams were famous for.

Not good enough at CT to specialize

A good CT side can carry a team to greatness, but Falcons sure ain’t G2. Throughout all six games played in its RMR run, Falcons won a total of 28 T rounds out of a possible 78. Its worst T performance came during the AMKAL series, where it won a total of 13 T rounds across three maps. One of those was in Mirage’s overtime before promptly losing 16-13.

Side-specialist teams will always have a place in the meta, but Falcons’ CT side at Copenhagen CS2 Major just isn’t good enough to justify a 35.90 percent T side win rate. The only map where the team’s defense truly shines is Mirage with a 65.6 percent CT win rate in 2024. On Overpass, which is statistically the most CT-sided map in Active Duty, it clocks in at 45.8 percent. The squad’s Nuke CT win rate is just 3.6 percent above average, which is hardly enough to justify picking it for three consecutive best-of-ones.

Is Falcons’ million-dollar CS2 roster salvageable?

Don’t expect Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt to come off the bench just yet.

While it's easy to point at its recent shortcomings and decry the team, Falcons still has quite a few things going for it. Magisk is still a beast on entry, and Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia’s is one of the most successful AWPers when it comes to opening kills. Chalk it up to growing pains, RMR jitters, or the ever-so-vague “team culture.” Falcons will remain a serious threat once its opponents come home from Denmark.

Meanwhile and elsewhere in the world of esports, Falcons' Rocket League team made the RLCS Copenhagen major, but not in CS2. Easy come, easy go.

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