One of Europe’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams has dropped one of its long-time players in favor of a rising talent.
Hell Raisers, who are based primarily in Ukraine, have struggled through the latter part of the summer season.
A disappointing third-place finish at the Star Series playoff final followed an even more disappointing performance at ESL Cologne, the biggest Counter-Strike tournament of the year. Hell Raisers were knocked out of the event by eventual champions Ninjas in Pyjamas, but only after absorbing a humiliating defeat to French side Epsilon in which the Ukrainian team managed to win only a single round against Epsilon’s 16.
In the wake of these results, the team decided to make a change. This would mean parting ways with veteran player Dauren “Adren” Kystaubayev.
Kystaubayev was understanding of the move in a statement given on the team’s Facebook page.
“It’s not a secret that our last results were unsatisfactory, to say the least. It was necessary to change something and all this went that way,” Kystaubayev said.
Understanding as he may have been, Kystaubayev also made clear both in his statement and on Twitter that he would not be leaving the competitive scene any time soon.
Team captain Kirill “Angel” Krasiov insisted the decision was unanimous.
“The decision (was very) hard, but we came to it together,” Krasiov said.
Hell Raisers seem to have found an immediate replacement.
Shortly after the news broke, fellow Ukrainian team A-Gaming announced it was parting ways with Aleksander “Simple” Kostyliev.. The 16-year-old is one of the country’s most impressive young players. Rumors immediately began to circulate that Kostyliev would be joining Hell Raisers, and these were confirmed earlier today when he played with the team in league matches.
Kostyliev will likely be stepping into the position of sniper for the team. Some fans have hoped to see Yegor “Markeloff” Markelov, one of Counter-Strike 1.6’s most dominant snipers, step back into the role with Hell Raisers. But the addition of Kostyliev make’s such a shift unlikely, even if Markelov does occasionally put a scoped rifle to use.
The news follows a flurry of roster movement by the top teams in France, and may be a result of the discontent some teams have felt following the results of ESL Cologne.
I’M NOT DONE YET, BOYZ 😀
— Dauren Kystaubayev (@AdreNcs) September 8, 2014
Image via Hell Raisers/Facebook