One look at Richard “shox” Papillon’s stats on HLTV will reveal a 0.99 rating, 0.65 kills per round, a 47.1% headshot percentage, and a round contribution rate of 67.6% at the time of writing. All in all, these are not the sorts of numbers most CS:GO fans would expect to see from a Major-winning star competing for one of the game’s most resourced orgs.
However, dive past the surface level numbers and it’s clear that Shox is one of the most undervalued greats French CS has ever produced. With fifteen years in the game dazzling alongside some of the most star-studded names within the French community, and a whopping 16 LAN wins to his name along with his sole Major triumph, here’s exactly why shox is one of the game’s most underrated GOATs.
Redefining the lurker role
Out of all the roles in a Counter-Strike roster, lurking is perhaps the most underappreciated in terms of its intricacies. Not only does it require proficiency with all the types of weaponry in the game, but the importance of communication with every member of the side, the ability to read when and how to clutch or save, and understanding all of the nuances behind rotations and flanks all factor in to make it one of the most vital roles. In short, lurking requires a player to have ice-cool veins, but also the ability to call upon the quickest reactions in the server at a moment’s notice.
Not only is shox the all-time leading clutch winner with a frankly absurd 734 1vX wins at the time of writing, but he has evolved and redefined what the lurker role has meant for three separate titles now in the franchise. The French scene was known for embracing the Source era better than most, and it’s clear to see the influence the game has had on Shox and his playstyle even to this day, primarily through his immense spray control and patterns.
A decorated legacy
The Frenchman brought his CS: Source skills with him as CS:GO navigated through its formative years. Ranked as the third-best player in the world in 2013, 8th in 2014, 13th in 2015 and back up to 6th in 2016, shox is one of only six pro players to have attended every single Major in Global Offensive history, playing alongside legendary faces such as Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Kenny “kennyS” Schrub.
He has also taken the reins as a distinctive caller during his stint as the in-game leader during his time with G2, winning ESL Pro League: Season 5 Finals and DreamHack Masters: Malmö 2017.
It was with Team LDLC that shox would etch himself into the history books forever, however, with the French org becoming only the second non-Swedish side to win a Major following their run at DreamHack Winter in November 2014, besting Natus Vincere and the legendary Ninjas in Pyjamas core along the way.
The most charismatic personality in esports?
The CS community is always quick to lambast the French scene for supposedly being held back by constant squabbles and feuds, and shox’s name has repeatedly been thrown around over the years, especially when it came to his relationship with Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt during their G2 days.
The reality, however, is that shox is still one of the most enigmatic, supportive, and genuinely charismatic personalities the esports community has ever seen. Never one to rage or tilt when things are not going his way, he is respectful to his opponents in the server, organizations, and thousands of fans that flock to see him perform in the server.
His supportive elements have shone through most prevalently later on in his career at G2 and Team Vitality, with the 29-year old star constantly seen cheering up his side, applauding their best moments and consoling them through the harder times. He helped steer Vitality through their sticky patch without apEX early in 2021 whilst keeping their spirits up, was instrumental in the growth of Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut thanks to the pair’s close relationship, and the importance of these qualities bode well when it comes to Vitality and their two current prodigies, Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier and Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van.
Charismatic, accomplished and a true icon inside and out of the server, the influence of shox on competitive Counter-Strike has brought countless iconic moments and helped form CS:GO into the jaw-dropping global spectacle it is today.