In an astounding move, Team Liquid have dumped their clutch ace and star AWPer, Joshua Marzano, known in the CS:GO cosmos as jdm64. For those who don’t know jdm64 – and who doesn’t? – Jdm64 is the man who pulls Liquid fat out of the fire, when their backs are to the wall, and all his team-mates are dead. Jdm64 is the man who can be trusted to go up against the best in the world in an all-out firefight, and win. He’s the clutch artist.
So why is he being dropped?
Is this the first sign that the end of the world is coming? Liquid management don’t think so. For those of you who think that we’ve been praising jdm64 a little too much, here’s an example of his gameplay. This is just a small demonstration of his brilliant AWPing skills. Jdm64 is good, believe you me. He’s not one of the stone-cold-killers on SK Gaming’s roster. But he’s good.
Who will be replacing jdm64?
The Canadian Renegades member Keith Markovic, known as NAF, is due to replace jdm64. By doing so, Liquid move out their dominant AWPer, but nitr0 will now be taking over that role. NAF has a hybrid style, so he could play the role if necessary too. So could Twitzz, another member of Liquid with a hybrid style. Jdm64 has been on the Liquid Roster for nearly two years now, and has been their AWPer all through their period, performing admirably.
A shift in strategy
Phasing him out could mean that the team is choosing to opt for a dramatically different strategy from what they’ve been using so far. This dramatic change could point to a shift to a ‘killer strategy’ of the sort that has served SK Gaming so well, where sheer firepower and killing skill decides the outcome of a match, rather than the complex and devious tactics favoured by a team like Astralis at their best. NAF will show what he’s made of right away, as Liquid engage in battle in the CS_Summit 2. For those who are curious about the change, here’s zews himself explaining the team’s thinking on the roster change.
So what happens to jdm64 now?
There are lots of slots for a good player on a lot of pro teams out there who could use a great AWPer, even if Team Liquid doesn’t, so it’s likely that jdm64’s future is assured. AWPing is a very specialised skill, and not everyone has the right mindset to make the complex tactical decisions that it demands. This means that a good AWPer is likely to be snapped up by just about any team with an empty spot on their roster. We certainly hope to see this utterly calm and controlled sniper in action again soon, and for a long time to come.