French Counter-Strike legend Richard ‘shox’ Papillon has signed for Team Liquid as the North American organization continues the rebuilding of its CS:GO squad.
The 29-year-old is the second signing made by Liquid in the off-season following the arrival of highly-rated AWPer Josh ‘oSee’ Ohm from Extra Salt on December 27.
The announcement comes a week after shox bid farewell to Vitality, the organization he had represented since 2019. The French team have reportedly lined up moves for Peter ’dupreeh’ Rasmussen, Emil ’Magisk’ Reif, and coach Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen as part of a major off-season overhaul.
During his two-year spell with Vitality, shox won a handful of international tournaments, most notably EPICENTER 2019. The team ended the year on a high note, IEM Winter and making deep runs at the BLAST Premier Fall Final and World Final events at a time when reports of impending roster changes had already surfaced.
A new chapter in North America
This will be shox’s first international project since a brief spell with TCM-Gaming in 2013 alongside players like Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács and Dimitrios ‘stavros’ Smoilis. He went on to play for the biggest French CS:GO teams, including LDLC, with whom he won his first and only Major title to date at DreamHack Winter 2014.
Shox, who has been competing at the highest level in Counter-Strike since the mid-2000s, and won the DreamHack Winter 2014 Major, told Dexerto ahead of PGL Major Stockholm that he wanted to continue playing for as long as possible. “I want to break the age limit and prove to the world that you can be 30, 33 or 35 and still compete on a tier-one level,” he said.
His signing offers versatility and experience to a Liquid squad that will be looking to return to the top after a disappointing year. The North Americans picked up just one title in 2021, from cs_summit 8, and cut a frustrated figure at the biggest events, crashing out of IEM Cologne and PGL Major Stockholm before the knockout stages.
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Liquid’s roster is expected to be rounded out by Nick ‘nitr0’ Cannella, who is reportedly returning to the team, and to CS:GO, after a Valorant sojourn with 100 Thieves. The 26-year-old played for Liquid between 2015 and 2020, notably leading them to victory in Intel Grand Slam Season 2 after a dominant run between May and July of 2019.
Team Liquid CS:GO roster
- Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski
- Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic
- Josh ‘oSee’ Ohm
- Richard ‘shox’ Papillon
- Eric ‘adreN’ Hoag (coach)