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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Official: zews parts ways with Evil Geniuses; seeks new opportunities in CS:GO

Wilton “⁠zews⁠” Prado‘s 14-month-long cooperation with Evil Geniuses has come to an end, the coach announced on Wednesday. The Brazilian steps down from the head coach position ahead of the start of IEM Summer 2021, where Peter “⁠stanislaw⁠” Jarguz and co. will compete without him.

The split between zews and the team happened by mutual consent over a difference of opinion regarding the team’s direction, HLTV.org has learned, with the coach noting that he intends to stick to Counter-Strike moving forward.

zews is looking for a new project after parting ways with EG

“I love this game and have dedicated my life to it. This is not about to change anytime soon,” zews said in a statement. “If you or your organization share my values and need a hungry and hardworking individual, don’t be shy to send me a message. I want to hear from you.”

zews‘ accomplishments with Evil Geniuses including climbing to the No. 1 spot in the world ranking in September of 2020 as they won three tournaments in a row during the online era: BLAST Premier Spring Americas Finals, cs_summit 6 NA, and ESL One Cologne NA.

The team started to show cracks soon after that, struggling in European competitions before losing two long-standing members in Ethan “⁠Ethan⁠” Arnold and Tarik “⁠tarik⁠” Celik. The additions of Owen “⁠oBo⁠” Schlatter and Michał “⁠MICHU⁠” Müller didn’t help turn around the team’s trajectory, as last-place exits from ESL Pro League S13, FunSpark ULTI 2020 Europe Final, and cs_summit 8 saw them crash out of the top 30 in the world for the first time.

“I saw our team reach #1 in the world and lift many trophies, while also facing painful losses,” zews wrote in his statement, summing up the turbulent period. “Even though my time here was brief, these are memories that I will not forget.”

zews noted that he is still on Evil Geniuses roster and “will be working alongside them to figure out the best next steps for my future in the near future”.

Evil Geniuses are now:

CanadaPeter “⁠stanislaw⁠” Jarguz
United StatesVincent “⁠Brehze⁠” Cayonte
United StatesOwen “⁠oBo⁠” Schlatter
BulgariaTsvetelin “⁠CeRq⁠” Dimitrov
PolandMichał “⁠MICHU⁠” Müller

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

O PLANO goes official as independent project*

Update: Vito “⁠kNgV-⁠” Giuseppe has released a Twitlonger in which he revealed that, for the time being, Alencar “⁠trk⁠” Rossato will act as a substitute in the six-man roster. The 28-year-old stressed that this could change in the future should the team need to make adjustments.

O PLANO have gone official, the squad revealed via Twitter on Saturday, announcing the team’s imminent return to competition. The lineup that impressed as MIBR at the end of 2020 — joined by Henrique “⁠HEN1⁠” Teles in the meantime —, is finally free to compete after its members parted ways with the organizations they were tied to.

As previously reported by HLTV.org and ge, the players had been negotiating contract releases directly with the teams — MIBR, FURIA, Sharks, and DETONA —, without another organization being involved. “Today we started our journey towards the Major”, kNgV- stated ahead of their debut under the O PLANO banner.

O PLANO aim to qualify for the North American RMR event

The inception of O PLANO was a result of failed negotiations with MIBR in January. With five players contracted to four different teams and only Lucas “⁠LUCAS1⁠” Teles a free agent, the squad spent five months out of action. While O PLANO‘s search for a new organization seemingly did not bear fruit, getting out of their previous contracts allows them to compete in tournaments once again.

The team’s debut under the new name will take place in the open qualifiers for cs_summit 8, the North American Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event, which will take place on May 1-2 and May 8-9. As the squad features six players, and Vinicius “⁠vsm⁠” Moreira was recently cleared to play Valve-sponsored events, it remains to be seen which roster O PLANO will field moving forward.

O PLANO are now:

BrazilVito “⁠kNgV-⁠” Giuseppe
BrazilHenrique “⁠HEN1⁠” Teles
BrazilLucas “⁠LUCAS1⁠” Teles
BrazilLeonardo “⁠leo_drk⁠” Oliveira
BrazilVinicius “⁠vsm⁠” Moreira

BrazilRaphael “⁠cogu⁠” Camargo (coach)

BrazilAlencar “⁠trk⁠” Rossato (substitute)

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

flameZ completes OG lineup – Official

Shahar “⁠flameZ⁠” Shushan has completed OG‘s lineup, the organization has confirmed. The 17-year-old up-and-comer effectively replaces Issa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad on the roster, several weeks after the Jordanian player and OG decided to part ways on the back of a string of disappointing results at the beginning of 2021.

flameZ was one of the Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen-led side’s two biggest targets alongside Michał “⁠MICHU⁠” Müller, who was reportedly still being considered as a potential signing until early April.

flameZ completes OG’s lineup ahead of the BLAST Spring Showdown

This marks the second change in the European team in less than a month following the addition of Nikolaj “⁠niko⁠” Kristensen, who joined OG as a replacement for Nathan “⁠NBK-⁠” Schmitt after the Frenchman was benched due to in-game differences in late February.

“With Nikolaj and Shahar now joining the roster, we are confident that we can keep pushing the team towards the highest levels of Counter-Strike,” OG’s COO, Charlie Debs, said. “Shahar is an amazingly talented young player who already understands what it takes to perform at the highest level, and we will do our best to offer him the right tools to bloom even more this season.”

The Israeli player has been transferred from Endpoint, where he made his name as an up-and-coming star in recent times. He averaged a 1.13 rating over the course of a seven-month tenure with the British organization, helping them reach the top 30 in the ranking and most recently qualify for the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown.

The same tournament is where flameZ will play his debut with OG. His new team has been pitted against Astralis in the first round of the single-elimination bracket, which will kick off on Tuesday, April 13.

OG‘s lineup is once again complete:

FinlandAleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen
United KingdomMateusz “⁠mantuu⁠” Wilczewski
DenmarkValdemar “⁠valde⁠” Bjørn Vangså
DenmarkNikolaj “⁠niko⁠” Kristensen
IsraelShahar “⁠flameZ⁠” Shushan

DenmarkCasper “⁠ruggah⁠” Due (coach)

FranceNathan “⁠NBK-⁠” Schmitt (benched)
JordanIssa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad (benched)

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Official: MAD Lions bench roeJ, HooXi

MAD Lions have moved roeJ and Rasmus “⁠HooXi⁠” Nielsen to the bench, the organisation announced on Monday. The news comes one day after 1pv.fr reported that both players would be removed from the starting lineup as the organisation planned to build an international lineup, an intention that roeJ has confirmed.

roeJ is the only player remaining from the Tricked lineup that signed with MAD Lions in December 2019. The 27-year-old most notably helped them to win Flashpoint 1 a few months later, before the team underwent several changes. HooXi joined the team in October 2020 and led them to a 5th-6th place in Flashpoint 2.

roeJ is set to leave MAD Lions after a year-long tenure with the Spanish organisation

The move comes after MAD Lions made three roster changes within the last month and a half. In January, they brought in Thomas “⁠TMB⁠” Bundsbæk from AGF after selling Frederik “⁠acoR⁠” Gyldstrand to mousesports, and in February they parted ways with coach Luis “⁠peacemaker⁠” Tadeu and most recently lost Ismail “⁠refrezh⁠” Ali and Rasmus “⁠sjuush⁠” Beck to Heroic.

roeJ has stated in a Twitlonger that the departures of refrezh and sjuush caused MAD Lions to work towards assembling an international lineup that does not include him. “I am still hungry as ever to compete and I know I have a lot to contribute for a team who wants to achieve big things in CS,” roeJ said. “I am open to both Danish and international offers.”

As for HooXi, he didn’t specify if he’s also open to international offers, but stated that he’s available if a team need a “hard-working IGL”.

According to 1pv.fr’s report, MAD Lions are in talks with players such as Simon “⁠twist⁠” Eliasson, Michał “⁠MICHU⁠” Müller, and Bogdan “⁠xsepower⁠” Chernikov to link up with TMB, the only player from the Danish team that will make the transition to the new squad.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Official: OG bench NBK- | HLTV.org

Nathan “⁠NBK-⁠” Schmitt is out of OG‘s starting lineup, the organisation and the player announced on Friday. The news comes one day after French outlet VaKarM reported that the 26-year-old had been benched.

NBK- had been one of the more criticized players on OG‘s roster alongside Issa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad following a rough start to the 2021 season. The international team were eliminated in the early stages of cs_summit 7, failed to qualify for the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, and didn’t make it into the IEM Katowice playoffs.

NBK- had been playing for OG since the organisation entered CS:GO 15 months ago

In a recent appearance on ‘HLTV Confirmed’, in-game leader Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen had said that they were having a lot of discussions about what they could do to right the ship.

“The early 2021 results have been quite rough on us, and the team felt the need for a re-adjustment to keep moving forward in its quest to its first trophy,” OG said in an official statement.

“Rare are the squads who don’t undergo difficult changes after such a long period of time sticking together. The team has decided that bringing in a breath of fresh air could be the required step to bounce back.”

NBK- also put out an official statement and revealed that he is prepared to be a dedicated in-game leader moving forward if it’s the right project, adding that he’s eager to bounce back.

“We went through a lot and reached decent success but ultimately we didn’t agree on how to consistently perform at the highest level,” NBK- said. “We have all tried to bring the group and OG to the highest level the way we thought was right and this is what I will keep from this roster and this past year and a half.”

The 26-year-old said that working with people from different backgrounds made him a better player and person, thanking his ex-teammates for the experience.

“With that said, I am very confident in my abilities to keep competing in tier 1 CS and in what I can bring to any roster both in and outside of the game,” he said. “I started and I will keep working with a sports psychologist and performance coach to keep improving on a daily basis and be the best teammate possible in the future. CS and winning trophies have been my #1 priority in my life for the past 11 years and will continue to be. For the right project, I feel that I’m ready to take the lead (IGL) and a lot of responsibilities if needed, but that’s not a necessity to me and I can adapt.”

OG will have to find a replacement before ESL Pro League Season 13, which will kick off on March 8. Their roster currently looks as follows:

Finland Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen
Denmark Valdemar “⁠valde⁠” Bjørn Vangså
United Kingdom Mateusz “⁠mantuu⁠” Wilczewski
Jordan Issa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad

France Nathan “⁠NBK-⁠” Schmitt (benched)

Denmark Casper “⁠ruggah⁠” Due (coach)

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Official: Extra Salt sign FaNg

Extra Salt have announced the signing of Justin “⁠FaNg⁠” Coakley, confirming an earlier report by HLTV.org that indicated the organisation was in discussions with the Canadian talent.

FaNg hit his stride in 2020, taking part in three MDL seasons and in a number of other events and qualifiers. Over 181 maps, he averaged a 1.09 rating, and was a stand-out performer in IEM Beijing-Haidian North America for Rugratz, averaging a 1.11 rating against the likes of Liquid and Chaos.

FaNg has signed his first professional contract

The acquisition of FaNg completes the starting lineup of Extra Salt, who secured the services of the former Cloud9 roster last month. However, the team have previously stated that they are also interested in exploring a six-man roster.

With the player break nearing its end, Extra Salt will make their debut with their new roster soon. A Twitter reply from the organisation’s CEO, Daniel van Flymen, indicates that the team intend to compete in ESEA Premier Season 36, slated to kick off on January 17; however, Extra Salt could make an early appearance in the Mythic Winter Cup, which will be held this weekend and will have $5,000 in prize money.

Extra Salt are now:

South Africa Johnny “⁠JT⁠” Theodosiou
South Africa Aran “⁠Sonic⁠” Groesbeek
United States Ian “⁠motm⁠” Hardy
United States Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm
Canada Justin “⁠FaNg⁠” Coakley

South Africa Tiaan “⁠T.c⁠” Coertzen (coach)

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