Roughly one month after being traded from Team Liquid to OpTic Gaming, one of North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s most seasoned players will once again be looking for a new home.
Following poor performances at both DreamHack Masters Las Vegas and IEM Katowice, Spencer “HiKo” Martin is on the way out at OpTic, according to a tweet from reporter Jarek “DeKay” Lewis.
HiKo fanned the online rumor mill when he announced on Twitter that he’d be traveling to gaming expo PAX East on the same day of the team’s ESL Pro League matches. In his place, the team played coach Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu (with limited success—as OpTic dropped both its games).
The move would be only the latest of a series of struggles the OpTic roster has experienced in 2017.
Only three months ago, OpTic were considered one of the best teams in the world. Following a massive upset victory against reigning Valve Major champions Astralis at the ELEAGUE Season 2 grand finals, OpTic reached an international LAN final shortly afterwards at the Esports Championship Series’ second season. Almost overnight, OpTic were considered to be among the favorites for the $1 million ELEAGUE Major which took place between Jan. 22 to 29. But instead, following a tough set of matches in the group stage, OpTic were eliminated with a 0-3 record.
A few days later, the team’s in-game leader Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz left the squad to join Team Liquid, leading to a trade between the two organizations. HiKo joined OpTic on a temporary basis, spelling an end to his almost two year-long tenure with Team Liquid.
Noted for his clutch play, HiKo became known as one of North Americas strongest CS:GO players in the game’s early days. In 2016, the Team Liquid roster became the first North American team to ever reach the grand finals of a Valve Major.