It looks like Team Liquid will be without their CS:GO franchise player Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski for the second half of the year. Instead of him, the team probably wants to compete with Robert “Patsi” Isyanov from Team Spirit and Aleks “Rainwaker” Petrov from Bulgaria.
This would see them move to the European region for the CS2 release. The news was first shared yesterday by Russian insider Aleksey “OverDrive” Biryukov and later confirmed by others. Liquid is reshuffling the roster to become a majority European team.
Change is big surprise
Liquid has had only four players since the departure of Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella on 31 May and up until that point no one would have thought that EliGE could also leave the team. The 25-year-old is a legend in North American FPS circles and had been part of the team since March 2015. EliGE played a crucial role in their Win at Intel Grand Slam 2019. According to the insiders, there is a last chance that the Orga will change their mind after all and not sign the two players in favour of EliGE after all. We will probably find out tomorrow at the latest.
— OverDrive (@ABOverDrive) June 19, 2023
Liquid is not the only big-name organisation considering big roster changes. Vitality, Natus Vincere and Cloud9 are also reportedly looking at their options for the second half of the year and especially for the release of CS2 in the summer.
OG lineup changes
OG is also restructuring, with plans to reportedly add players Maciej “F1KU” Miklas, Nemanja “nexa” Isaković, and Iulian “regali” Harjău to the roster for the second half of 2023. In the process, the coaches are also expected to change, with Casper “ruggah” Due likely to take on a different role in the organisation. From the previous version of the team, only F1KU remains after Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar and Abdul “degster” Gasanov were dropped.
Shahar “flameZ” Shushan and Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen have left the team after their contracts expired. It is likely that flameZ will join a higher rated team (Vitality?). Nexa returns to the active OG team after retiring in February for personal reasons. Regali joins the team as a free transfer after his previous team, Copenhagen Flames, filed for bankruptcy and ceased their Esport operations.
Will Vitality replace dupreeh with flameZ?
According to insider Alejandro Gomis, flameZ will replace Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen. Negotiations are said to be in the final stages already. His agent had confirmed that his contract was expiring and that he was in talks with several top-10 teams.
Sources: flameZ 🇮🇱 is close to join Team Vitality 🇫🇷.
He will replace Dupreeh 🇩🇰 on the team that won the recent Paris major.
Read on @blix_gg ⬇️https://t.co/vA93n3BCJs
— Alejandro Gomis (@anonimotum) June 19, 2023
Vitality has been in good form lately, making three grand finals, winning two of them, including the BLAST Paris Major 2023. This victory has made dupreeh the most decorated player in CS:GO history, with five major wins, winning the Intel Grand Slam S1 and a host of other trophies in his cabinet.
We’ll see what other wild changes the teams will make, but we can’t wait until the first CS2 season finally starts!