It’s a common known fact that In-Game Leaders usually perform worse than the rest of their team in CS:GO. There’s an abundance of examples to prove this. But why do they perform worse than others? Let’s see find out.
Role of a CS:GO In-Game Leader
When Valve forbade the involvement of coaches in making calls and decisions, In-Game Leaders roles became very important in CS:GO. Before that, teams realized they can use their coaches as In-Game Leaders, so they stopped signing experienced players who can fulfill that role. The best example is Zeus from NaVi who was forced out of Natus Vincere when s1mple joined the Ukrainian team.
At that moment, NaVi left without a real In-Game Leader, but they had their coach. However, later on, Valve prohibited using coaches as In-Game Leaders, so NaVi decided to bring Zeus back. Even though he has the worst rating on the team by far, Zeus plays a valuable role in NaVi as In-Game Leader. But he is just one of the numerous In-Game Leaders who perform worse than the rest of the team.
If we look at the best team in the world, Astralis, their In-Game Leader also performs worse than the rest of the team. Hence, it means that it’s not necessarily a sign of a bad team. Regardless, gla1ve is very important for Astralis because he makes amazing calls, and the Danes often drive opponents crazy thanks to gla1ve’s decisions. So, the fact that In-Game Leaders perform worse than the rest of the team doesn’t decrease the importance and value of In-Game Leaders as a role.
What In-Game Leaders do?
Alongside knowing tactics and strategies of their own teams, IGLs need to have a good game sense and they need to be familiar with tactics and strategies of the opponent teams. If we listen to teamspeak of the best teams in the world, we can hear that IGLs don’t only tell their teammates what to do. They also try to predict what their opponents are going to do in next round or what’s their next move.
Anyway, tactics and strategies are just one aspect of IGL role. Besides they have to thoroughly think about every move, they also need to play the role of team captains. That means that they need to have a psychological impact on their team. If everything is going smoothly for them, they need to keep their teammates aware and focused. If the situation is intense, they must avoid putting additional pressure on their teammates’ shoulders.
Also, when the situation looks horrible, IGLs are those who have to encourage their team and give them hope they can come back. Hence, it seems like the game itself is last on the list of IGL duties and tasks. Therefore, it’s absolutely understandable why IGL’s ratings are usually so low.
Why In-Game Leaders perform worse than the rest of the team?
Although it’s true that most of IGLs are not statistics seekers, it’s not the only reason why they usually play worse than others. It’s not like they don’t want to play well. They do, but they can’t, or it’s just too hard for them.
The commentators mentioned NiKo as a perfect example of how an exceptional player can start declining because he became IGL. Simply, when he became IGL he had to take many other things that were happening around him into consideration, which he hadn’t to do when he just was playing the game and was taking frags.
Moral of the story – don’t force star players to play IGL
Apparently, IGLs overthink the game a lot of the times, and they cannot focus on their primary job; shooting at other players. That’s why you cannot get an answer from a non-IGLs as to what went wrong in the match and why they lost. They simply don’t know because it’s not their job.
The biggest problem about becoming an IGL, however, is that IGLs rarely come back. Shox from G2 is the best example as he never looked like the old shox after he became the In-Game Leader. It’s questionable if NiKo will be back at his old form as well. Additionally, some former Top 10 players dropped from FPL after they became IGL. That proves how tough is to be a good leader and a good player at the same time. Only a few players manage to do both things equally well.