Wave of changes hit top Counter-Strike teams
In the space of one day, a wave of change has hit some of the top teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
French team Epsilon was the first domino to fall.
The squad was only recently formed after a grand reshuffling of players in France. Results for Adil "Scream" Benrlitom's Epsilon have been mixed since then, though they did manage to qualify for this weekend’s SLTV Star Series playoff final in Kiev, Ukraine.
Only days before that event, the team made a change.
Joey “Fxy0” Schlosser, considered one of the top snipers in France and one of Epsilon’s best players, has been released from the team. According to Epsilon, Schlosser was dropped because his attitude didn't match with the rest of the team. That came as no surprise to fans familiar with Schlosser’s history in the French scene, as he has previously parted ways with teammates for similar reasons.
Replacing him will be former Counter-Strike 1.6 player Christophe “Sixer” Xia. The move represents a risk for Epsilon as Xia has no professional experience with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Xia will join the team for this weekend’s Star Series playoff, as will Turkish stand-in Engin “Maj3r” Kupeli. He will temporarily take the place of Gordon “Sf” Giry, leaving Epsilon with two relatively unfamiliar players in the tournament.
Eastern European side Dat Team followed Epsilon with a move of their own.
Dat broke through in the European region with an ESL Cologne qualification earlier in the year, a run highlighted by stellar play from Russia’s Egor “Flamie” Vasilyev.
Now, the team will be adding its biggest name to date as Dauren “Adren” Kystaubayev has officially joined.
The news comes as no surprise. Following his departure from Hell Raisers, Kystaubayev has been playing with Dat Team. his addition to the team seemed a mere formality by the time it was announced.
Then there's Denial Esports. The American team has been trying to break the stranglehold held by Cloud9 and iBUYPOWER at the top of the North American scene. But a poor showing at the CEVO-Pro playoff final left the group with more questions than answers.
Change came soon after.
The addition of Nick “Nitro” Cannella is likely to give the team a more dynamic edge. Like Xia, Cannella has roots in Counter-Strike 1.6, but Cannella’s experience with Global Offensive is more of a known factor. The dynamism will come in the form of Cannella’s rifle play, which should be an improvement compared to the departing Preston “Junv3nile” Dornon.
Dornon’s removal from the team was unexpected, especially considering that he had been serving as captain for the team. But the last-place finish at CEVO’s final was apparently enough to drive the team to look for more in the way of raw skill.
Screengrab via ScreaMBenrlitomOfficial/Facebook