If you have been following Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene for a few years, it’s no news to you that immediately after a Major ends – sometimes even before – rumors about roster moves start popping up. This is the post-Major shuffle season!
This time is no different, and if anything, the post-Major shuffle will be even bigger this time around. After all, the PGL Major Stockholm was, for many, the final step Counter-Strike needed to start closing its online era that started in early 2020. This means that many teams who were impacted through these past months – such as North American organizations – will try to finally reorganize and get the best rosters possible for the upcoming year.
In any case, the post-Major shuffle season has already started. Astralis has announced new players, G2 has announced their coach departure and more has happened. However, we will be now addressing the spiciest rumors going around here – and there are plenty of them.
So, let’s get right into it. Here are the most interesting leaks roaming around the Counter-Strike community right now.
REVIVING THE DREAM
Most Brazilian fans are fond of 2016. That year, the roster that played for both Luminosity Gaming and SK Gaming brought two Majors to the country, and for the first time, brought Brazilian Counter-Strike to the top.
Over the years, however, the reputation built by Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “coldzera” David and other key players from the country slowly diminished. As of now, Brazilian CS is a shadow of its past, but it seems that four of the five players who put the country in the map are aiming at a reunion.
The original report came from Jaxon, and it originally said that FalleN and coldzera were looking to build a roster together. However, shortly after, Jaxon sources apparently confirmed that both Fernando “fer” Alvarenga and Lincoln “fnx” Lau were also going to be part of the team. This means that besides Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, who now leads GODSENT, the two times Major winning roster would be back in action. Sounds great, right?
REASON TO BE WORRIED
FalleN has been leading and AWPing for Team Liquid for the better part of 2021. Coldzera played for FaZe until he signed as a stand-in for Complexity in September. These two haven’t been playing on the same level they once did, but they are still competent players, especially the former.
However, the same can’t be said about fer and fnx. While most doubts regarding the latter come from his lack of performances in CSGO, fer has been playing recently, and he isn’t impressing anyone.
Since joining 00Nation, fer and his teammates have a whopping 20%-win rate. To make matters more worrisome, fer has been one of the worst performers in the team. He has averaged a 0.89 HLTV rating in his five games with 00 Nation.
So, when taking this in account, it’s not difficult to see why even some hardcore fans of the legendary Brazilian lineup aren’t fully confident in this reunion. If this team is going to work, then everyone, especially fer and fnx will have to put in the effort and break everyone’s expectations.
Still, if anything, this project will definitely be interesting to follow. Reunions like these haven’t been quite popular in Counter-Strike – but who knows – this might be the one that’s going to change everyone’s mind on these kinds of projects.
THREE DANES ARE HEADING TO FRANCE
Astralis and Vitality both had a mixed year in 2021. The former suffered with their AWPer leaving to NiP earlier in the year, and across the months, rumors have always been circulating about players leaving the team. For Vitality, the team more than ever counted on Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut to have any results, and unfortunately, they suffered from it. ZywOo is still a great star player but he alone isn’t enough in a scene so competitive as premier Counter-Strike is.
For Astralis, the team has shut many rumors as soon as they left the Major. The team announced roster moves already, and we will already see them in action later this month. Vitality, however, will have some more days with their current roster, but rumors have made clear that changes are on the way.
Leaked by 1PV, it seems that the Danish trio currently benched by Astralis is going to play alongside ZywOo starting next year. This means that, Emil “Magisk” Reif and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen are going to Vitality after the shuffle season. In their way out are Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van and Richard “shox” Papillon. Alongside with dupreeh and Magisk, Danny “zonic” Sørensen will also come to Vitality as the team’s coach.
SOLVING THE MOST OBVIOUS ISSUES
For Vitality, the clear issue they have at hand is that the team can’t follow ZywOo’s level. After the player break, the team’s captain Dan “apEX” Madesclaire has definitely improved individually, and Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier keeps being a strong player that keeps supporting the team. Unfortunately, though, it seems that shox, and especially Kyojin, haven’t attended Vitality’s management expectations.
With dupreeh and Magisk on their way, Vitality will, at the very least, get a firepower boost. Both players have been a quieter year in 2021, but they still were reliable fraggers that Astralis could count on. It was clear, though, that they got weaker alongside with Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz at their final months with Astralis. This means that with an AWPer as good as ZywOo, both will find themselves on a situation not too different than the one they were back when Astralis was in the top of the world rankings.
Overall, this roster move seems to be incredibly good for Vitality, and also for the Danes coming in. It seems that the organization fully trusts zonic, and he has the same pieces he once had dominating Counter-Strike. For ZywOo, he finally will be on a team that can make the most out of his skillset, and this is not an opportunity to waste. Every piece seems to be in place to make 2022 an incredible year for Vitality.
Rumors regarding the future of Team Liquid’s CSGO division have been surfacing for a while now. It wouldn’t be surprising to know that the organization isn’t happy with their current results, and their Major run was definitely disappointing.
However, it’s not clear what’s going to happen with Liquid in the post-Major shuffle as rumors got mixed with speculation. Rush B Media leaked that Liquid’s current captain, FalleN, would be leaving the team. Alongside him, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip would also be exploring options for his future. This initial rumor seems to be pretty close to be confirmed, but who’s going to replace these two?
1PV, the same portal that leaked Vitality’s upcoming roster move also claimed that their sources point to Vitality’s shox coming to Team Liquid. It’s unknown which role he would take on, but another piece of rumor – which isn’t as reliable as these – might point that at least he wouldn’t be Liquid’s new captain.
According to Upcomer, 100 Thieves’ VALORANT roster could be on the verge of doing some roster changes during the off-season. One of these changes might involve Nick “nitr0” Cannella, who, according to Upcomer’s sources, is considering getting back to Counter-Strike.
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON
Now a VALORANT player, nitr0 has made plenty of fans in Counter-Strike during his time leading Team Liquid. He was the man on charge of the Team Liquid that defied Astralis reign in 2019 and even took the spot of best team in the world for a while.
As Team Liquid failed to achieve their ambitions at the Major, some fans clearly would love to see nitr0 back. He might not have ended his CSGO career with a bang, but he was the man that led Liquid to their best days.
Still, nothing is confirmed at this point of the shuffle season. Upcomer has made clear that Liquid is one of nitr0’s options for a possible return to Counter-Strike. This means that he could very well join another team that fits his requirements as the player made clear in the past that he’s interested in staying in North America.
Finally – let’s not ignore the rumors about shox going to Liquid. The legendary player hasn’t been the star he once was in his golden days, but he still is one capable, and most importantly, experienced player. If Liquid fails to find a leader, he could be the man taking up the role. Otherwise, he could become a supportive player in case the team plans to do more roster changes than the rumored ones. Particularly, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team benching Michael “Grim” Wince after his underwhelming performance at the Major.
REINFORCEMENTS COMING TO G2 IN THE SHUFFLE SEASON
This Tuesday, 1PV reported that G2’s coach, Damien “maLeK” Marcel would be leaving the team. In a few hours later, G2 confirmed the coach’s departure. However, also included in 1PV’s report was that the organization could be up for two roster moves during the shuffle. One of these would be a replacement for their current AWPer, François “AmaNEk” Delaunay.
AmaNEk certainly is considered by many the weakest link in G2’s ranks right now. This is further backed up by his performance at the Major: he was rated the worst player in the server in the event’s grand-finals – and that wasn’t the only time this happened.
Fortunately, we also got to know some of the names being considered to replace AmaNEk. According to the Brazilian portal DRAFT5, a Russian insider has confirmed that G2 approached at least three players. These being Aleksey “El1an” Gusev, Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov and Natus Vincere Jr. star player Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov.
ONE CHANGE AWAY
Whether G2 is really looking at m0NESY and the other players listed above or not, it’s pretty obvious that the team is looking for some roster changes. After all, they have been this close of defeating Natus Vincere, but G2 has always missed the final piece of the puzzle they need to finally do that.
At the end of the day, it’s no surprise that AmaNEk is the one leaving in this shuffle. As good as he might be at times, he often disappointed G2 when they need him the most. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the AWPer G2 needs – and deserves – and if they’re looking for a good AWPer, the Eastern European region is the right place to look at.
Then, we can’t ignore the rumor that G2 might be looking for another roster change. 1PV claimed that the team would also be looking at someone to lead the team in 2022, and there aren’t clear names to who could take on the role.
Much like Vitality, G2 is looking for the final pieces for their roster. Unlike Vitality, they haven’t the right names for it, but it seems that they’re closing in. They acknowledged their faults, and it’s time to start the trials.
LUCK IS NOT ENOUGH
Astralis has already announced two new pieces to their roster. Coming from Complexity, Benjamin “blameF” Bremer and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke are the latest additions to the Danish brand. But these two might not be the last.
According to DRAFT5, Astralis is on the lookout for another AWPer. Yes, Astralis current AWPer, Philip “Lucky” Ewald just got signed back in August. However, the organization doesn’t seem happy with his contributions to the team.
In Stockholm, Lucky was the second-worst rated player following HLTV’s rating system. Unfortunately, nowadays an AWPer can’t perform like that, and he didn’t impress many before. It’s unfortunate, since Lucky didn’t have any high tier experience before signing with Astralis and if this rumor comes true, the organization would be cutting his opportunity to shine in a matter of a couple of months. Still, as a premier organization, Astralis doesn’t have many options if they want immediate results.
Hopefully, we also know the name Astralis is looking to replace Lucky with. This man is Asger “farlig” Jensen, who mostly recently played for FunPlus Phoenix before the organization left Counter-Strike.
As far as stats goes, though, farlig will have plenty to prove in Astralis. The 22-years-old Dane doesn’t have stats far above Lucky’s, and he didn’t face the same level of opposition as Lucky did recently.
It seems that Astralis might be looking at getting a six- or seven-men roster until they find the perfect AWPer for the team. It will take time, but Astralis might be one player away from competing with the best again. Who knows, they might even get the right pick during this shuffle.
MORE COMING SOON!
It’s the post-Major shuffle season, and these are just some of the rumors around. So, make sure you follow us in order to not miss a beat!