CSGO team shockingly cuts player mid-series in pro tournament


North American CS:GO team Strife made the stunning decision to remove Danny ‘cxzi’ Strzelczyk from the roster mid-game, during their ESL Challenger League match against MIBR on March 17.

Strife elected to cut cxzi in the aftermath of a 16-5 defeat to MIBR after only the first map of the best-of-three series in ESL Challenger League, a $50,000 online tournament for teams based in North America.

cxzi finished the game at the bottom of the scoreboard with 5 frags and 17 deaths to his name, which contributed to his 0.45 HLTV rating – one of the worst performances of his career.

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cxzi (second to the left) with his team after winning Fragadelphia 16 earlier in March

Austin ‘AAustiN’ Urb came in as a substitute for the second map of the series, Dust2, where Strife were also soundly beaten by MIBR, this time by a 16-6 scoreline.

After a lengthy break between maps, the removal of cxzi mid-series was announced on stream by the casters, who could not hide their shock at the decision.

According to Dust2.us, Strife will add Matthew ‘D4rtyMontana’ Paplawskas as their new fifth player. Following the defeat to MIBR, the team currently sit in fifth place in ESL Challenger League’s  Group B with a 2-3 record.

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A subsequent story from Dust2.us revealed that Strife and several team members were accusing cxzi of being inebriated during the match based on erratic plays and alleged slurred speech. The player acknowledged that he had “five drinks” hours before the match but denied being intoxicated.

“At the end of the day I’m the only one that will actually know how I felt people can make assumptions about how I was speaking or so on and get the ‘evidence’ against me but that doesn’t prove anything,” he told Dust2.us.

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The decision to remove cxzi came as a surprise to many given Strife’s recent burst of success. The team, currently ranked 54th in the world by HLTV.org, won Fragadelphia 16 at the start of the month and then beat Evil Geniuses in the first open qualifier for PGL Major Antwerp American RMR.

However, they would not be able to secure one of the 16 spots at the LAN event, which will feature teams from all over the Americas.

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