After four months on the bench, Richard “Xizt” Landström decided to end his adventure with Fnatic. The experienced Swedish leader today has definitively split up with his former organization with which he has worked since May 2018.
Landström’s second signing with Fnatic was hardly successful. The 28-year-old was supposed to bring the team the tactical stability they needed and bring fresh ideas to the line-up, but eventually it became a symbol of Fnatic’s fall. It was under his leadership that the legendary team for the first time in their history lost the status of a Major Legend, and then failed to qualify for the next Major, which has never happened before for this organization.
Throughout his entire time with the team, Xizt managed to bring his squad to just one success, to victory at the not-so-prestigious PLG Grand Slam 2018. At the end of August last year, he became a victim of a small personnel revolution and landed in reserve.
“The time has come for me to move on. It was an honor for me to play for Fnatic again and I would like to thank the management, players and other people associated with the organization,” Landström admitted in a short statement. However, if you believe the rumors that have been around for some time, he should not remain unemployed for too long. Much was said about his potential transfer to Dignitas, where he would meet three of his former colleagues from the time with Ninjas in Pajamas, i.e. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Adam “friberg” Friberg and Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund.
As a reminder, the composition of Fnatic is currently as follows:
Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson
Jesper “JW” Wecksell
Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin
Robin “flusha” Rönnquist
Maikil “Golden” Selim
Andreas “Samuelsson” Samuelsson – coach
If the rumors become reality, Dignitas squad will be:
The beginning of the new year will not be abundant in tournaments for the world’s top tier Counter-Strike. Currently, there is a winter break for players and it will continue until the first cast at the end of January. Despite this, in the last days of the month, we will witness as many as two events, including one organized by BLAST featuring the new format. So it will be interesting. We invite you therefore to a short guide, concisely presenting upcoming events.
DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020
Already on January 24, we will witness the fight during DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020. A total of eight teams will compete, including Sprout, who became the first team to be confirmed for the first event of the year. The German organization secured a slot thanks to the triumph in the ESL Meisterschaft winter season, the German national championship. Five more participants will receive a direct invitation from the organizers, and the other two formations will be selected as part of the qualification, which will start on 10th of January.
The format of the competition will remain unchanged compared to previous tournaments in the series. In Germany, all teams will again be divided into two groups. Opening and winning matches will be played to one winning map, while all other matches will be held in the BO3 format. A total of four teams will advance to the semi-final, and the winner of the event will receive $ 50,000 and … a ticket to DH Masters Jönköping.
BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020
The first stage of the BLAST Premier spring season will begin on the last day of January. Twelve invited teams were divided into three groups. In each group, we will see the struggles in the double elimination ladder, with all matches played until two won maps. Two best teams from each set will advance directly to the world finals, and the other six will fight for this privilege during the Showdown competition. Importantly, the total prize pool of the event will be over one million dollars, of which $300,000 will go to teams fighting in its first phase.
In January, we will, unfortunately, see only two duels as part of the above-mentioned tournament. In the first one FaZe Clan will take Ninjas in Pajamas, and in the next Team Liquid will face MIBR. Group A matches will last until February 2, and five more will appear three days later. Group C will start their duels on Valentine’s Day and end on February 16, when we will meet the full six who will fight in the BLAST Premier Showdown.
BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020 groups:
Ninjas in Pyjamas
February, however, promises to be a much more packed month for the fans of competitive CS:GO. In addition to BLAST, at least three more top-level events will take place during the second month of the year. ICE London will start on February 4, followed by DreamHack Open Anaheim 2020 and Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV World Championship in Katowice, Poland.
The Beşiktaş Esports adventure with the CS:GO women’s squad lasted less than a year and a half. However, starting the beginning of January it came to an end, which was announced by one of the players, Julia “Juliano” Kiran, via social media.
The international team joined Beşiktaş in July 2018, but they waited a year for the first real success. It was then that they managed to triumph in DreamHack Showdown Valencia 2019 and thus secured promotion to DreamHack Open Rotterdam 2019. However, the battles with men’s teams proved to be too much of a challenge for Juliano and her friends, which ended their participation in the tournament after just two matches, losing convincingly against both AVANGAR and Hard Legion Esports. A few days ago, they reached the runner-up title at the NEST Pro Series 2019, where they lost to North America’s CLG Red in the grand final.
The four-member team decided not to extend the expiring contracts and will now look for a new organization. Quite unexpectedly, however, they will be joined along by a fifth player, since Michael “mimi” Lintrup will be reuniting with her old teammates. The 22-year-old Dane in the past for almost two years already cooperated with the aforementioned Kiran and Zainab “zAAz” Turkie, and recently she could be watched under the flag of Copenhagen Flames, with which she secured participation in the women’s finals of the World Electronic Sports Games 2019-2020. However, we now know that she will be performing with another team at this event.
The end of the year is always a summary period, but many people decide to emphasize not only the past twelve months but even the whole decade! The creators of Counter-Strike decided to take such a step, who through social media organized a vote for the best action of the last decade.
In total, eight games were selected that took place over the years, and not only during the Major, but also other events. So we will find, among others almost iconic plays in the style of defusing a bomb over the burning flames by Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer during ESL One Cologne 2014 or the double no scope by Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev from ESL One Cologne 2016. Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski also earned himself the nomination. The player until recently associated with Virtus.pro on the occasion of ESL One New York 2016 independently bounced bombsite B, which was already mastered by the players of Natus Vincere.
You can vote via Twitter using the posts below. The top two of each vote will go to a kind of “final” during which the best of the action will be chosen, which will receive the title of Play of the Decade.
Based on your replies, we have 8 finalists for CS:GO’s play of the decade. Vote on your favorite from each poll. The top 4 vote getters will be in a winner take all poll tomorrow to determine the winner. Each poll will take votes for 24 hours!
This is it! The Polish era at Virtus.pro has come to an end — the Russian organization has officially announced the termination of cooperation with the Polish CS:GO squad. At the same time, they immediately presented a new team with players related to AVANGAR.
VP has been associated with the Polish Counter-Strike scene since the beginning of 2014, when it involved a team consisting of Filip “NEO” Kubski, Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas and Jaroslaw “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski. Shortly after the start of cooperation, the new acquisitions of the organization reached for their triumph in Major, and in the following years settled permanently as the world leaders. In 2017, however, a crisis began, which could not be resolved until today. The roster revolution that was carried out at the end of 2018 did not help, thanking veterans for their cooperation and engaging new, young players. For the last time, we were able to watch Poles flying the Virtus.pro flag on the occasion of cs_summit 5, which ended last night, where they managed to reach the semi-finals.
“This is an important day for VP, as we are opening a new chapter in our history with Counter-Strike,” admitted Roman Dvoryankin, general manager of Virtus.pro. “It is also a great addition to our world-class team Dota 2, which will allow us to be more competitive and bring even more reasons to boast to fans around the world. We currently have one of the youngest teams in the world, both in Dota 2 and CS: GO, and this is a solid foundation for the future development of the organization.”
“Six years with the Polish team was an unforgettable experience and I would like to thank our fans who have done an exceptional job supporting us during this period. VP would not be what it is today without the pillars built by our players. Therefore, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you listed here: TaZ, NEO, pasha, byali, Snax, MICHU, Vega, snatchie, phr, TOAO, morelz, OKOLICIOUZ, KubiK, Junior and kuben — thank you for everything you did for us,” he added.
The last composition of Virtus.pro was as follows:
Michał “MICHU” Müller
Michał “snatchie” Rudzki
Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski
Arek “Vega” Nawojski
Tomasz “phr” Wójcik
Jakub “kuben” Gurczyński – coach
The organization itself, however, does not disappear from our radars. Instead, they decided to start cooperation with the runners-up of the last Major from AVANGAR, who currently occupy the 15th place on the HLTV ranking. Dzhami “Jame” Ali and the company in a slowly ending year performed in a total of several prestigious tournaments and in addition to second place at StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 they also managed to triumph in BLAST Pro Series Moscow 2019 and DreamHack Open Rio de Janeiro 2019.
At the same time, they have already secured a spot in ESL One Rio 2020 games that will start with the new legends phase. “This is a fascinating moment for all of us. We are excited as we are becoming part of one of the largest esports brands in the world, and we will do our best to bring the VP back to the top of CS rankings,” Jame said in a statement. “On behalf of our team, I would like to thank the AVANGAR management for their faith in us. We would not be here without their support.”
Until now, during the construction of its CS:GO team, Gen.G Esports division operated only in North America, but there are many indications that now the organization’s attention has turned to Asia. According to Jarek “DeKay” Lewis, the last vacancy in the newly formed team may be occupied by Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand.
The Indonesian has represented TYLOO for over two years and we can say that he is even the biggest star of the team. Together with his companions, the 24-year-old had three times the opportunity to show himself at the highest-ranking tournament, the Valve Major, but in recent months the form of the Asian squad was not sensational. It is true that TYLOO reached the CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 semi-final, but this result can be treated as an “accident at work” more than a hard-earned effort. BnTeT and the company from the beginning of October ended their participation in prestigious international competitions three times.
One of Lewis’s sources adds that Gen.G’s management was about to submit their first inquiry about Ferdinand, whose contract with his current employer is expected to expire by the end of the year.
If BnTeT actually decides to join Gen.G, then the composition of this team will be as follows:
Damian “daps” Steele
Timothy “autimatic” Ta
Kenneth “koosta” Suen
Sam “s0m” Oh
Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand
Chris “Elmapuddy” Tebbit – coach
Earlier we announced that a young talent Sam “s0m” Oh would be joining the new team as well. In the meanwhile, Gen.G will be playing with Hunter “SicK” Mims as a standin.