A series of roster swaps has hit the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams in France, promising to change the current landscape of the professional scene.
A report at French esports website Vakarm.net has related substantial changes to the rosters of French teams Epsilon, LDLC, and Titan.
The move by Titan has been widely expected for some time. The team, once considered to have an argument for best in the world, has disappointed throughout the summer of 2014, culminating in a placement outside the top eight at ESL Cologne.
While that result was thought to be the last straw, few saw coming the departure of Adil “Scream” Benrlitom. Also leaving the team are Edward “Smithzz” Dubourdeaux and Nathan “NBK” Schmitt.
Their replacements are three players from LDLC: Dan “Apex” Madesclaire, Mathieu “Maniac” Quiquerez, and Hovik “Kqly” Tovmassian.
The reduction of LDLC is a shocking one given the great form the team has shown of late. While Titan was unable to make the quarter finals at ESL Cologne, LDLC was able to go as far as the semifinals. It was there that they lost to eventual champions Ninjas in Pyjamas in the final round of regulation on the third and final map played.
The team could not have come within a narrower margin of making the final at the biggest Counter-Strike tournament of the year, but the draw of better pay and greater organizational stability at Titan was apparently too much for three of the squad’s players to resist.
The three former LDLC players will join Titan’s captain Kevin “Ex6tenz” Droolans and the team’s sniper Kenny Schrub to form the the new Titan roster.
As if this move wasn’t enough, dominoes continued to fall from there. Former Titan players Dubourdeaux and Schmitt have reportedly agreed to join forces with former LDLC player Vincent “Happy” Cervoni in creating a new team to do battle with their former teammates, who will now play under the Titan banner.
In order to complete the team, the trio have raided another top French side, Epsilon. Richard “Shox” Papillon and Fabien “Kioshima” Fiey will be departing Epsilon in order to take part in this new team.
This will come as a devastating blow for Epsilon. The team is thought to rely heavily on the talents of Papillon, their star player and someone who is thought by many fans to be the single best player in Counter-Strike today.
Where Epsilon goes from here and what will become of such teamless players as Benrlitom and Kevin “Uzi” Vernel is still unknown.