Spencer “Hiko” Martin and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham were the two most prestigious North American free agents in January 2015. Hiko had replaced Joshua “Steel” Nissan on the iBuyPower lineup and was helping them lock down a new organization. Only a few weeks later, though, every player from the old iBuyPower lineup outside of Skadoodle was banned indefinitely by Valve for match-fixing. Thus, Hiko and Skadoodle were left teamless. A number of options presented themselves, but one particular option is unknown by many and nearly happened.
Mikail "Maikelele" Bill was kicked from Ninjas in Pyjamas that March
It’s difficult to gauge how well the presumed lineup would have performed. At the time, none of these players was considered among the best in the world. Many were outcasts from their previous respective lineups for one reason or another. That said, they all have unique characteristics, and it’s possible they would have been capable of some impressive runs against top competition -- just like Kinguin’s semifinal run at DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015. It can be argued that Skadoodle would have been a significant upgrade on the AWP over fox, bringing them to an even higher level. One downfall would have been a lack of leadership, which Skadoodle has been known to struggle with.
Hiko would go on to bounce around for a few more months before joining Team Liquid and later helping North America reach a Major Final for the first time in CS:GO history. Since leaving Liquid, Hiko spent some time on various lineups, including a brief stint on OpTic Gaming, and now plays for Rogue.
Had this crazy roster move move transpired, Skadoodle might not have ever joined Cloud9. It’s tough to imagine a world without him, especially after their amazing run to win North America’s first CS:GO Major in Boston earlier this year. It’s quite possible he would have joined at a later date anyway, with the lack of committed and talented AWPers in the region. Either way it’s a tantalizing mind exercise and came closer than many realized to happening.
Photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack