FaZe Clan have announced the surprise addition of Counter-Strike legend Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski to their CS:GO roster.
NEO is a legendary figure in Counter-Strike, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time in CS 1.6. He spent the vast majority of his time in CS:GO under Virtus.pro, with the legendary line-up that won the ESL One Katowice Major in 2014 and were renowned for their unique ability to routinely return to an elite level of play.
In more recent years, however, the Virtus.pro squad did eventually enter a decline that ultimately prove terminal, with the line-up making its first change with the departure of Wiktor ‘TaZ’ Wojtas in early 2018. NEO himself ultimately parted ways with Virtus.pro in February 2019.
The move marks a surprise return to an elite team for NEO, whom many had expected to either retire or play out his final competitive games in a tier-two squad. It had, however, been reported by CyberSport the day before the official announcement.
He replaces the most recent addition to FaZe Clan, Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev, and is set to fill the role of in-game leader for the team.
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AdreN was added to the team on January 6 as a stand-in for benched in-game leader Finn ‘karigan’ Andersen, although it was star player Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač who took over in-game leadership.
The move never quite produced the course correction that FaZe Clan were looking for, however. Though they picked up titles at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019 and BLAST Pro Series Miami, FaZe have yet to replicate the kind of consistency and peaks of play that defined much of the karrigan era.
The official announcement of NEO’s addition describes him as a “substitute”, perhaps implying that he will be standing in on a trial basis before his addition to the team is made permanent, but he is set to join the active line-up immediately.
NEO’s very first match for FaZe will take place on the same day as his addition, May 13. Not only is he immediately dropping into active play in ECS Season 7, but his debut will be against none other than Virtus.pro themselves, at 5 PM CET.
FaZe Clan’s starting roster:
- Håvard ‘rain‘ Nygaard
- Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač
- Ladislav ‘GuardiaN‘ Kovács
- Olof ‘olofmeister‘ Kajbjer
- Filip ‘NEO‘ Kubski