The CEO of one of the biggest brands in esports has denied a report that his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster is set to see further changes in the near future.
OpTic Gaming’s CEO, Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez, claimed the Slinghshot story, which reported that Team Liquid was looking to acquire Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas and Will “RUSH” Wierzba, was based off of assumption. A source told Slingshot that the deal had a “50/50 chance at happening,” and would mean that current Team Liquid players Josh “jdm64” Marzano and Jacob “Pimp” Winneche would be replaced if the move goes through.
Slingshot’s CS:GO reporter Jarek “DeKay” Lewis, who has broken multiple stories in competitive CS:GO circuit, fired back at the OpTic CEO in a Reddit thread, noting a pair of other organizations that had denied his reports in the past, only for them to end up being true.
Even if mixwell and RUSH remain with OpTic, however, it’s obvious the team has not been in the best shape since the loss of stanislaw. Following the former in-game leader’s departure, the team has struggled to achieve any noteworthy results—OpTic placed last at two consecutive LAN events in February. Additionally, DeKay has reported that the team’s current replacement for stanislaw, former Team Liquid veteran Spencer “Hiko” Martin, will not continue with the team, something that may give credence to SlingShot’s most recent report.
No matter the situation, OpTic’s CS:GO squad is currently playing at a level far below the heights it reached during the latter half of 2016. During this time, the team looked to be one of the strongest in the world with a victory at the ELEAGUE Season 2 grand finals on Dec. 3, and a second place finish at the Esports Championship Series on Dec. 11. Both events saw the team face reigning Valve Major champions Astralis in the grand finals.
Despite 2016 being one of the most successful years out of any North American CS team in the past decade, it now looks as if the has a hard year in front of them.