While many placed Spencer “Hiko” Martin as the most-likely candidate—primarily based on a streamed conversation involving eLevate’s Will “RUSH” Wierzba—team management said that nothing had been decided and Mendez was still on the roster. Today, sources have contacted the Daily Dot to provide further information about Martin’s potential acquisition.
Sources close to Team Liquid clarified that Martin was indeed the main target. But they explained that one of the main stumbling blocks around the deal had been committing to the player’s salary demands.
“Hiko will definitely be subbing for the team to see how things work,” one source said. “But Team Liquid want to play it safe before signing him. He’s asking for a high sum, about two and a half times the salary of the rest of the squad, and they need to see that it really works before giving him that much.”
Martin has been on the lookout for a new team after Nihilum released its lineup at the end of July. The roster briefly tried their hand in the ESL One Cologne Qualifier under the name Maximum Effort. They failed to win a game and went out bottom of their group with losses to Mythic and eLevate.
The source also made it clear that while other potential players were on a shortlist, Martin was the number one choice. Another source said Martin had spoke of visiting the Team Liquid offices a few weeks ago, although they couldn’t be sure if it was related to any potential transfer or his role as a Twitch partnership manager.
When we asked about other players who might be on the shortlist, they explained that after Martin there was “a bit of a drop off in quality” but they did add that Team Liquid co-owner Steve Arhancet had been a long time admirer of the Brazilian team that had recently joined Luminosity.
For the most part, it seems Liquid will be hoping that the team’s upcoming performances with Martin would justify the expenditure.
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