flameZ, OG’s explosive young signing from Israel could be the key to get them into the top five in the world rankings.
Since their initial founding back in December 2019, OG have been one of the most influential sides in showing off the potential of internationally assembled rosters within the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) scene. Jordanian rifler Issa “ISSAA” Murad helped give Middle Eastern CS fans a face to root for at the likes of ESL Pro League and the BLAST Premier circuit and, whilst the org is still awaiting their first piece of serious silverware, they remain one of the most well-supported teams in the world and capable of giving any side a tough game when they enter the server.
On April 9th, OG announced the signing of Shahar “flameZ” Shushan as their fifth member ahead of the BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown tournament. With a 1.14 rating on HLTV, flameZ is one of CS:GO’s most exciting prodigy players, and the move could well be one of the most impactful ones in the professional scene as the return of LAN events loom on the horizon.
Here’s everything you need to know about one of CS:GO’s most exciting prospects, and exactly why OG might just be destined for greatness on the back of this roster reshuffling.
Destined for greatness: flameZ’s path so far
flameZ began his CS:GO career in March 2018 competing for an Israeli side named exDT, with whom he competed for a handful of months before joining coREA and Team Finest over the following year. He joined up with fellow Israeli players Guy “Nertz” Iluz and his older brother Shiran “shushan” Shushan at Adaptation for three more months, before securing his big move to the UK-owned Team Endpoint as an entry fragger in September 2020.
Over the next seven months or so, flameZ would prove to be undoubtedly the org’s most exciting talisman as the team entered the top thirty in the HLTV world rankings and competed at events such as the BLAST Premier circuit and ESL Pro League for the first time in their history.
And it was at the latter of these two tournaments that flameZ put himself in the shop window for some of the world’s best sides to sit up and take notice of his skills. Despite being in the tournament’s “group of death”, flameZ top-fragged for Endpoint in their 2-0 sweeps of Fnatic and Evil Geniuses with 45 and 46 kills in the two series.
On the back of OG’s elimination from ESL Pro League Season 13, the org made the decision to make the first roster reshuffle since their formation with ISSA joining Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt on the team’s bench. Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen had already signed with the team as their new anchor, but it was clear a new rifler was needed to build on the firepower OG already possessed with Valdemar “valde” Vangså, Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski and Aleksi “Alexsib” Virolainen’s fragging IGL style.
On April 9th 20201, ahead of OG’s upcoming BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown run, it was announced that flameZ had joined as the org’s fifth and final player.
With that, the seventeen-year-old superstar from Israel had completed his rise to the top table of competitive Counter-Strike.
Playstyle – flameZ, the aggressor
flameZ is a rifler who specializes as an entry fragger for the sides he competes in. As is common with players within his sort of age bracket, he boasts an aggressive playstyle, often peeking unorthodox angles and taking on duels that veteran players might not expect to have to contest. Whilst this exuberance is expected with players so raw in their career, it’s a style that an IGL like Alexsib will more than happily encourage and, when compared to OG’s previous style of play, arguably the ‘bite’ that the org had been missing over the years.
His best maps are Inferno, Mirage, and Dust 2 in the pool, slotting in nicely with OG’s most common picks and showcasing his proficiency on the ‘puggy’, duel-heavy options in CS:GO.
His HLTV rating has grown from 1.05 in 2018 and 2019 to the 1.14 it’s on at the time of writing, showcasing his steady growth as his career has progressed, and stats like his 81.0 average damage per round and 1.11 impact rating just showcases how adept the young Israeli is becoming in his aggressive style of entry fragging.
There’s no reason to think that flameZ can’t one day call himself one of the finest Counter-Strike players on the planet, and the Israeli rifler has found himself an org in OG that will allow him to strut his stuff against some of the world’s best, in front of the entire world.