Kazakh CS:GO pro Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov has signed a contract with Gambit, the organization announced today.
Hobbit is one of the players from the Gambit lineup that won the PGL Kraków Major in July 2017. The 26-year-old was one of the key pieces of that roster but he's failed to see the same success since then. Hobbit most notably played for HellRaisers between 2018 and 2019 and recently finished a stint with Winstrike.
Hobbit rejoins Gambit as their in-game leader, a role that he hasn't filled before. He's the sixth player of the Gambit Youngsters roster and the organization intends to test this possibility over the next couple of months.
"Even though Abay [Hobbit] is an extremely experienced player, our CS:GO team will retain Youngsters tag," Gambit said. "We agreed that this lineup will 'mature' as soon as we become a stable top 30 in the world according to HLTV or qualify for a Major."
Gambit Youngsters recently entered the top 30 of HLTV's world rankings for the first time following their win at the Eden Arena Malta Vibes Cup four earlier this month. The Russians beat LDLC in the grand finals and jumped to 28th on HLTV's list.
The rest of the squad is all younger than 20, so Hobbit could have a huge influence on their careers. He's helped Gambit win trophies before, including a CS:GO Major. The veteran, however, will have to prove his value as a captain since he hasn't been putting up big numbers in terms of frags.