In just under 24 hours, the hopes of watching an all-time legendary Counter-Strike pick-up team were dashed.
On March 3, benched OG CS:GO player Nathan “NBK” Schmitt announced that he and a handful of other currently inactive or recently released pros would be competing at the DreamHack Masters EU open qualifier. He was set to join Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács (ex-Na’Vi), Michał “MICHU” Müller (ex-Envy), Robin “flusha” Rönnquist (currently inactive Fnatic), and Rigon “rigoN” Gashi (ex-c0ntact).
Just a couple of hours later, though, he took down the tweet showing off the lineup competing as PogChamp and revealed that flusha wasn’t allowed to join them. While NBK didn’t confirm the reason why, it’s assumed that it’s because flusha is still on Fnatic’s bench and Fnatic are expected to be invited to the DreamHack main event.
So NBK posted the new lineup a few hours later, revealing that another former Envy player, Buğra “Calyx” Arkın, would replace flusha. But NBK had “another twist” to reveal today, the day of the actual qualifier.
“I won’t be able to play the open qualifier tonight because of some ruling despite being on the bench,” NBK said. “Quite annoyed but it is how it is, would’ve been fun. Sorry.”
The reason for NBK and flusha’s inability to compete stems from the “license restrictions” section of the open qualifier signup. “Academies are not allowed as long as the main team is part of the same or another qualifier,” the rule reads. While this lineup certainly wasn’t an academy team, NBK and flusha are both still signed to OG and Fnatic, even though they’re inactive.
Both teams are expected to receive invites to the DreamHack Masters main event, meaning that NBK and flusha can’t play for another competing team. GuardiaN confirmed via Twitter that the team wouldn’t participate.
These players now won’t have an opportunity to showcase their talents together during a pivotal moment in all of their careers.