Jacob “Pimp” Winneche is leaving Team Liquid to a new home that’s “to be determined,” the team said in a press release.
The 21-year-old Danish star “requested to be transferred [from the team],” Team Liquid founder Victor “Nazgul” Goossens said in a statement. His impending transfer will be negotiated by other teams as Team Liquid actively searches for a fifth player to fill his vacated spot on the roster. Pimp will act as a stand-in for Team Liquid in their ESL Pro League Season 5 matches until his replacement is found. Liquid currently holds second place in the league’s North American standings.
For his part, Pimp said he didn’t feel playing for Team Liquid fulfilled his “personal expectations and goal.”
“Nor do I feel I can provide the commitment necessary to continue with the team on a long term basis,” he added. “I am not done as a player by any means, and I am actively looking for another team with a vision similar to mine.”
Pimp replaced Ukrainian star Oleksander “s1mple” Kostyliev, who left for Na’Vi, last June—a move fans weren’t initially happy with. But Pimp became a key player in many of the team’s performances in the latter half of 2016. He proved himself at ESL One: New York, where the team placed in the top four after a loss to the newly stacked, s1mple-led Na’Vi. That team later went on to win ESL One: New York after defeating Virtus Pro in the grand finals.
Pimp’s departure comes while the team seems to be in a state of rebuilding for long-term improvement in 2017. Last month, Spencer “Hiko” Martin was replaced by OpTic Gaming’s former in-game leader Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz. It seemed that Hiko’s declining lurking/site solo-ing abilities weren’t cutting it for the team anymore. Liquid pounced on the opportunity to pick up stanislaw because they were “searching for a designated IGL for some time” due to the coaching rule change. The acquisition of a North American star similar to Pimp’s individual talent could yield better results for a struggling Liquid in 2017.