It turns out that Vitality and Astralis' successful examples can start a new trend for a six-player roster. I'm sure that at least several organizations will sign a rotation player in the coming months.
Jarek "DeKay" Lewis has already tweeted about Na`Vi's plans for Valeriy "B1t" Vakhovskiy as their sixth player for this online era.
In my opinion, a sixth player won't do any good for many teams and may even be a bad idea for some of them.
What’s needed to successfully use a sixth player?
First of all, a team needs a clear understanding of how, when, why, instead of who and on which maps they could use a rotation player.
For starters, you will have to find out which composition of players on a particular map at a long distance can show the best efficiency. It will take time for the team to determine this. A month or two, maybe more. First it should be discussed in theory and then the team will take time to work out different options in practice matches.
We must not forget that before signing a sixth player, the main roster also can't afford to forget about training. After some time, the team will build a system that, based on the opinion of the management, coach and players, will allow them to effectively manage resources.
Alternatively a sixth player can be used as a substitute for third maps in bo3 matches, or during bo5 games. But it's even more difficult than preparing a rotation player for specific maps because this way it will require much more flexibility from said player.
Perhaps it's not possible at all (at least for now) because this way the team will lose stability and the player might underperform due to not playing his comfortable position or his unusual map.
There is also the atmosphere in the team and the personal factor. If a player is ready to come in as a sixth player, he's probably okay to play only a couple of maps, he agrees to not play in all five games in one event but only in two or three of them.
But what will the player or players who are replaced say about these substitutions? And are teams in general ready for a six-man roster?
Why will a sixth player not work out in many teams in the near future?
The integration of a sixth player is a long and extremely time-consuming process, of course, without guaranteed results in the long run.
You expand the roster and change it, but also you need to maintain the structure of the game, the relationships within the team and not drop the level of your play. Also you need to find the right player for the team, which can also be a difficult task.
For now it worked out for Vitality. At least the first couple of months of Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom's performance in Vitality inspire optimism but we don't know what will happen, for example, in six months.
On the other hand we have Astralis and Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen. Lucas played only two games on Nuke, and I don't want to talk about the summer—still, Astralis had forced substitutions. But anyway I think that eventually Astralis will succeed.
Why might it not work for other teams? It seems to me that many teams are not ready for this yet. However, different teams may not be prepared in different ways.
Someone is not ready in personal terms, someone lacks stability even in a five-man roster, someone makes roster changes every couple of months and sees the solution to all their problems in transfers, and some teams are not structured enough.
For example, if Na`Vi add B1t to their rotation, I don't think it will work well. I can't say anything specific, just have a feeling somewhere inside that this is not the most promising move.
I think that over time, in a year or two, most of the teams in the scene will be ready to introduce a sixth player to the roster but this option is not useful for everyone right now.
Author: Slava "innersh1ne" Britvin, twitter