shox and the quest to rediscover greatness

With G2 about to play their first match in the ELEAGUE Major Boston's New Champions Stage, we took a look at the numbers put in by Richard "shox" Papillon in Atlanta in his team's 6-0 run in the first two stages.

As the Agganis Arena opens its doors to the public for the playoffs of the ELEAGUE Major, there is a sense of relief and excitement surrounding the G2 camp. Almost a year after one of the worst-kept secrets in recent Counter-Strike history was made public, the French team seem to be finally capable of reaching the heights that many had expected.

It is not like the first year of the new G2 team, headlined by the shox-kennyS combo, was without success. But the sporadic title runs could not erase the image of a team who struggled for form, both online and offline, which was hardly befitting of a roster that no adjectives initially sounded exaggerated to describe.

Following a torrid end to 2017, with early exits at ELEAGUE Premier, IEM Oakland and BLAST Pro Series, and no appearances at the offline finals of Pro League or ECS, G2 looked like an enigma as they travelled to Atlanta, rumour-hungry critics circling like vultures. But, only two weeks on, they are one of the hottest teams still in contention for the Major title, and much of their recent rise in form lies on the shoulders of Richard "shox" Papillon.

After an indifferent year of 2017, shox is back to his best

The 25-year-old took the ingame leadership reins in April 2016 following Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans’s departure as the team sought a new vision after having to deal with countless frustrations. And he certainly surpassed everyone’s expectations, helping to dispel the myth that calling and top fragging could not walk hand in hand. He led the team through their best period ever, highlighted by an international title (ECS Season 1) and two other final appearances (ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals and SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals), averaging ratings of 1.25 or higher at these three events.

At times, it clearly looked like G2 were punching above their weight and that, sooner or later, their flaws would be exposed and they would struggle to remain relevant on the world stage - and that is precisely what happened after the player break. The French team failed to keep up during the final months of 2016, but shox was still named the 6th best player of the year - quite the feat for a player who had spent the better part of the year leading a pack of overachievers.

So when ELEAGUE Major 2017 came to an end and G2 and EnVyUs swapped players, many got excited at the prospect of having shox lead a more skilled roster, with Kenny "kennyS" Schrub - an enormous improvement over Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux - by his side. But 2017 ended up being a rather disappointing year for the 25-year-old, who failed to make the top 20 ranking after four consecutive appearances - three of them on the top half of the list.

shox ended the year with an unimpressive 1.05 LAN rating - significantly lower than his 2016 average (1.15). It was easy to feel the frustration that shox was experiencing at the turn of the year: his best performances had come at events where G2 had not had much success, while he had been little more than a spectator in the team’s title runs, at DreamHack Open Tours (1.06), ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals (1.04) and DreamHack Masters Malmö (1.00). At each of those three events, shox had been ranked fourth in the team - an indication that he had been relegated to a secondary role in the squad’s hierarchy.

But as ELEAGUE Major Boston rolled around, it became evident that G2 had realised that, in order to become a top contender, they needed to unlock shox’s potential and play to his strengths. He led the charge for his team in the New Challengers Stage with an impressive 1.42 Rating and 93.0 ADR, his lowest rating (1.32) coming in the overtime win over Vega Squadron, who had just shocked FaZe in the previous Swiss round.

And while it was easy to play down shox’s stats based on the level of the opponents, there was a clear sign that the Frenchman’s fortunes were turning: those had been his three best maps in a row on LAN since April 2017, when he had helped the team to cruise past the Swiss stage at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals with convincing wins over NiP, HellRaisers and SK.

During the qualifier, Dan "apEX" Madesclaire revealed that shox had gone back to being the team’s lurker as they required him to be their star player, and the 25-year-old also openly discussed this matter, confessing that he needed to give "way more responsibilities" to his teammates in order to feel comfortable with his own game again. Freed from the shackles of a strict system, shox continued to play at an extremely high level in Atlanta, helping G2 to make another flawless Swiss run, this time in the New Legends Stage, boasting a 1.30 Rating and a 1.33 Impact (ranked third in the team) and a very high 83.8% KAST (joint highest overall with apEX).

A quick look at shox’s LAN stats shows just how dominant he has been at the Major, after a year in which his level had significantly dropped, compared to 2016. It is a fair assessment, however, that G2 were not properly tested in Atlanta - their only top 10 opponent being Cloud9, who have looked somewhat shaky -, and it is only natural that shox’s numbers will drop once the competition toughens up, in Boston.

Still, the immediate positive response to G2’s new system makes it hard not to envisage a bright future for the Frenchmen and for shox, who has rediscovered his joy. The time may have come for G2 to finally reach a Major final - after being within touching distance of one in Cluj-Napoca -, but even if that is not the case, fans of the French team will still have a reason to rejoice: the shox we all knew is back.

France Edouard 'SmithZz' Dubourdeaux
Edouard 'SmithZz' Dubourdeaux
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
1161
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1580
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1535
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
Belgium Kévin 'Ex6TenZ' Droolans
Kévin 'Ex6TenZ' Droolans
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
1393
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.15
France Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub
Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.14
Maps played:
1589
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.11
#1
 | 
Lithuania Tocha 
first
2018-01-26 16:53
#6
China o_O 
second
2018-01-26 16:53
#12
 | 
Korea Derepaer 
2018-01-26 16:54
#22
China o_O 
no
2018-01-26 16:55
#24
 | 
Korea Derepaer 
agreed
2018-01-26 16:56
ShoxieJesus is back to life!
2018-01-26 17:51
#74
 | 
Korea Derepaer 
ty
2018-01-26 17:51
Shox is propably the best CSGO player out there if you think about the whole deal. Can IGL properly and frag with every weapon. Hope he gets well. FaZe should pick him now. Final step to the greatest of them all. 100% guaranteed major win.
2018-02-03 17:37
NO!
2018-01-29 01:50
shox > NiKo
2018-01-26 16:54
#33
SmithZz | 
Australia Kyr0xZ 
+1 XD
2018-01-26 16:57
#57
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
faze flair gtfo true tho shox > world
2018-01-26 17:23
#63
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
true tho, the second you dropped G2 which is your main team i suppose they went fucking 6-0 playing better than ever
2018-01-26 17:26
#62
 | 
Europe H0wLinqDawN 
Nt faze hater Go kys D1ck retardhington
2018-01-26 17:26
Shox is the best cs player in the history of men.
2018-01-26 16:55
#30
f0rest | 
Sweden Jnordz 
to bad he aint EVER on a top 20 list then, french cs overrated
2018-01-26 16:57
Did u start watching cs in 2017?
2018-01-26 17:00
#45
 | 
France Kabby 
excuse me what ?
2018-01-26 17:06
#50
France Bouf 
newfag didn't watch shox on his prime, pathetic lol.
2018-01-26 17:12
i love shox man. Seeing him back in form makes me so happy man, hope he keeps going, best ever.
2018-01-26 17:32
you're retarded o.o
2018-01-26 18:57
But in Sweden you sex your own sister which is worse than the England cs scene.
2018-01-26 22:30
#137
shox | 
United Kingdom dezmondo 
no, never, just top20 for the last 5 years in a row. 2013 - 3rd 2014 - 8th 2015 - 13th 2016 - 6th 2017 - 17th
2018-01-28 01:09
shox cheater
2018-01-27 15:17
Hello
2018-01-26 16:53
#3
 | 
Brazil firekzzz 
NICE !
2018-01-26 16:53
Kappa
2018-01-26 16:53
he;s gonna get raw ass fucked by c9 anyways
2018-01-26 16:53
#49
France Bouf 
Good meme.
2018-01-26 17:11
Nice b8
2018-01-26 17:16
True
2018-01-26 16:53
#9
 | 
Poland ramones1 
yes
2018-01-26 16:53
ez
2018-01-26 16:54
wtf
2018-01-26 16:54
#14
 | 
Kuwait marrrwin 
FUCK I THOUGHT IT SAID SHROUD :(
2018-01-26 16:54
shox > NiKo
2018-01-26 16:54
SK fan :D
2018-01-27 00:50
#16
 | 
New Zealand bop1t 
shoxie :D
2018-01-26 16:54
SHOXIEJESUS
2018-01-26 16:55
ShoxJesus is back
2018-01-26 16:54
#21
 | 
Hungary raffai 
G2 WILL WIN THIS MAJOR <3
2018-01-26 16:55
no Happy no major winning french lineup
2018-01-26 16:56
yes happy no major group stage
2018-01-26 16:58
never forget shox's aimlocks on cache & cobble
2018-01-26 16:56
Proof
2018-01-26 19:16
#128
 | 
Portugal RKO23 
tell me why should i care about this?
2018-01-27 10:17
#26
 | 
Sweden Div-\ 
Come on shoxie, bring the fucking trophy to france.
2018-01-26 16:56
#67
 | 
France Minaax_ 
+1 =D
2018-01-26 17:30
#27
 | 
Malta 74c00 
-smithzz -nbk Ez
2018-01-26 16:56
#79
Lucky | 
France Daniska 
wtf NBK he's fucking good right now
2018-01-26 18:44
#102
 | 
Malta 74c00 
If they make changes its either apex or nbk out first
2018-01-26 21:33
#28
 | 
Spain akproxx 
best of the best
2018-01-26 16:56
stats after six games LOL
2018-01-26 16:56
#31
 | 
Germany Hampel 
EZ FOR PAPILLON
2018-01-26 16:57
coldzera>>>>>>>>>>shox>>>>>>>>>>>niko
2018-01-26 16:57
this is a weird addition to the harry potter series
2018-01-26 16:58
HEAVENS OPENS FOR THE COMEBACK OF SHOXIE
2018-01-26 16:59
#37
 | 
Brazil lulbrazillul 
Shox overrated
2018-01-26 16:59
stats after six games and 3 of them were in quali lmao
2018-01-26 17:02
So you're doing a stats comparison with 6 bo1's against mostly shitty teams? lol
2018-01-26 17:04
Yeah, just turn your cheats back on like NBK did. You'll be great
2018-01-26 17:04
#42
 | 
Spain JasonRacism 
ShoxieJesus
2018-01-26 17:04
Nice
2018-01-26 17:06
It's coming back bois
2018-01-26 17:07
shox and his quest to kill the evil Lord DeLai
2018-01-26 17:07
#48
fnx | 
Poland neverbait 
new cheat coder haaha
2018-01-26 17:10
#51
 | 
Spain Alser 
come on guys comparing 2017 stats to 2018 stats when he's played 6 maps in 2018 is disingenuous
2018-01-26 17:14
#52
Friis | 
Poland Austinn 
Lets go shoxie
2018-01-26 17:15
#53
zorte | 
Russia yuko^^ 
i dont give a fuck i want to see the fucking match xDXD
2018-01-26 17:15
Major so delayed, HLTV putting out content even in between
2018-01-26 17:16
#56
 | 
Denmark beastd 
LUL
2018-01-26 17:21
top3 all time overall - complete player
2018-01-26 17:24
#64
 | 
Slovakia ypsylonnn 
After a year they realised it wow
2018-01-26 17:27
shox <3
2018-01-26 17:29
<333
2018-01-26 17:29
6-0 because they met shit teams
2018-01-26 17:33
Shit teams like renegades?
2018-01-26 17:58
vega, qbfire, flash, c9 etc
2018-01-26 17:59
Where's renegades though?
2018-01-26 17:59
what do you mean?
2018-01-26 18:00
you are so salty haha
2018-01-26 20:13
My team went 6-0, so why would I be crying?
2018-01-26 20:14
Because you dont want to get hurt by adding the context of G2 matches in it.
2018-01-26 20:16
See?
2018-01-27 00:50
That was hard to watch, such wasted talent with retardpex of all people IGLing on mirage. Hopefully this next french shuffle they add Ex6tenz. I'm flattered you bookmarked this by the way, but it's fine. I'll root for G2 again when they get their shit together.
2018-01-27 00:53
Ex6TenZ xddddddddddddddddddddddddd I didnt bookmark your comment. I wanted to make a comment on this page in general and then got reminded of you saying so much bullshit like a salty fanboy.
2018-01-27 00:55
Yes, in my eyes Ex6tenz is the last hope for the french scene if they -apEX and +Ex6, although he's overrated, he can probably step his shit up and save this team. I mean it's that or Happy, and we know how that went. Just free these players from IGL ffs.
2018-01-27 00:57
#144
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
c9 very SHET
2018-01-30 19:17
shoxieJESUS <3
2018-01-26 17:48
Should have been this way allllllll along
2018-01-26 19:00
#84
 | 
Poland Ryunar 
so sexier
2018-01-26 19:17
#87
 | 
United Kingdom Lightning_DC_ 
It’s not the same G2 core from Cluj 2015 (who went on to become FaZe), so whilst the last paragraph is relevant in terms of G2 the org it’s not relevant for this team of five. Ironically, the core of this team won that major for nV, beating old G2 in the semis along the way.
2018-01-26 19:39
And that's the context that I went for. The prospect of the first Major final in the organisation's history. Still quite the achievement, I'd say.
2018-01-26 20:40
#99
 | 
United Kingdom Lightning_DC_ 
Totally man, sorry if it came across like I was bashing your article! It was a good read.
2018-01-26 20:46
Thanks mate <3
2018-01-26 20:46
#111
 | 
North America Catterific 
Thanks for the jinx MIRAA ;)
2018-01-27 00:57
:( sadface
2018-01-27 00:57
#94
 | 
Brazil Collee 
Most exciting CS:GO player to watch when he was on his peak. If he keeps improving he'll become my favorite player to watch again
2018-01-26 20:19
#98
 | 
Netherlands Deji 
shoxie god
2018-01-26 20:40
godhox
2018-01-26 20:47
HLTV so good at jinxing recently.
2018-01-27 00:50
#106
ceh9 | 
World mukas17 
lul
2018-01-27 00:50
#110
 | 
Brazil AnthonySilva 
lul
2018-01-27 00:56
#114
 | 
Brazil SUPERB1OR 
lmaooo
2018-01-27 00:58
#115
Estonia rYm 
nice try
2018-01-27 01:06
RiP
2018-01-27 01:10
#117
 | 
France Deadfish 
are you guys mocking him lol, he just lost
2018-01-27 01:32
#118
 | 
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
the quest continues
2018-01-27 01:32
LOL
2018-01-27 01:33
will this thread get locked? tune in next time
2018-01-27 01:33
#121
 | 
Brazil hugoooo 
Once again, an HLTV article reveals to be the disgraces omen.
2018-01-27 03:54
2018 just started, calm down the fuck...
2018-01-27 04:00
quest to leave the clouds
2018-01-27 04:23
LUL
2018-01-27 04:47
LUL
2018-01-27 04:48
LUUUUUUUUUUL
2018-01-27 04:51
#127
 | 
Sweden ThorinEk 
well this shit kinda jinxed
2018-01-27 10:15
Lol great padded stats against tier 381616193 teams. Gets destroyed in first bo3
2018-01-27 14:27
shox is cheating 100%
2018-01-27 15:18
#132
 | 
Brazil lyr3 
lmaaaao
2018-01-27 16:03
#133
 | 
Colombia AlejoBuh 
nice joke
2018-01-27 18:54
Rip
2018-01-27 20:34
Kkkkkkkk
2018-01-27 21:25
#138
 | 
Iceland caverat 
ayyyy lmao
2018-01-28 01:09
kys
2018-02-08 13:39
#156
 | 
Iceland caverat 
ez report
2018-02-08 19:17
#139
 | 
World euqin 
Noice
2018-01-28 13:14
#140
 | 
Norway SlimeThug 
THIS IS RUDE!
2018-01-28 17:04
#142
 | 
Sweden ThorinEk 
the quest continues
2018-01-30 19:16
#143
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
lets go <3
2018-01-30 19:16
#145
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
Most mechanically talented player in cs:go history <3
2018-01-30 19:18
Nice quest you got there shox Let me grab my beer
2018-01-30 19:26
#147
 | 
Germany VeryNiceGuy 
n1 jinx >.< Have a nice day! -VeryNiceGuy
2018-01-30 21:55
ty for the jinx lul
2018-01-30 21:56
#149
 | 
United States cananigfrag 
ONE FOR THE FUTURE! flashbacks ;-;
2018-01-30 23:47
So what if he is inviduell better? G2 is still shit so It dosent matter, he can go Q solo on faceit
2018-01-31 15:21
Wow, that's so inappropriate
2018-02-01 21:47
PogChamp Kreygasm keep up the greatness please shox
2018-02-08 13:39
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