Nitr0 returns to CSGO and Team Liquid after Valorant stint

Helena Kristiansson/ESL

Team Liquid have confirmed the return of Nick ‘nitr0’ Cannella to their CS:GO squad after he spent over a year competing in Valorant.

The 26-year-old is the final piece of Liquid’s puzzle for 2022 and the third signing during the offseason, following in the footsteps of Josh ‘oSee’ Ohm and Richard ‘shox’ Papillon, brought in from Extra Salt and Vitality, respectively.

Nitr0 retired from CS:GO in August 2020 to pursue a career in Valorant. He signed with 100 Thieves, joining a star-studded roster that included his former Liquid teammate Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin.

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nitr0 at Valorant Masters BerlinColin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
After over a year playing Valorant, nitr0 returns to CS:GO

After a promising initial period, during which 100 Thieves won First Strike North America, the team lost some steam and saw Sentinels take over as the strongest side in the region. They finished 3rd-4th at the VCT Stage 3 Masters in Berlin but, crucially, missed out on a spot at Valorant Champions after placing third in the last-chance qualifier.

Before the end of the year, 100 Thieves announced that nitr0 had been transferred to another organization. In the farewell post, they praised how the player had “helped to create a winning culture and lifted us to championship heights.”

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Returning to Liquid

In a Reddit post on December 10, nitr0 revealed that he decided to return to CS after watching some matches. “It reignited my passion for the game,” he wrote. It’s likely that nitr0 was referring to PGL Major Stockholm, which smashed CS:GO’s viewership record and was the fourth most-watched esports event of 2021.

On Liquid, nitr0 will reunite with Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski, Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic, and head coach Eric ‘adreN’ Hoag. The quartet was part of the team that enjoyed a dominant run in 2019, winning a series of international events and the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 title inside 63 days – which prompted ESL to change the rules and increase the difficulty of the challenge.

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Liquid will hope that nitr0’s return will vault the team back into title contention after a difficult year. They won only one tournament in 2021, cs_summit 8, and were generally lackluster despite the high-profile signing of two-time Major champion Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo.

Team Liquid lifting IEM Sydney 2019 trophyESL
nitr0 won several international events during his first Liquid stint

As the season came to an end, Liquid announced that FalleN, Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip, and Michael ‘Grim’ Wince had been placed on the inactive roster. The Brazilian confirmed on January 14 that he will be part of the Brazilian ‘Last Dance’ project, a new team that has been linked with Imperial, while the North American pair are expected to join Evil Geniuses and the new Complexity roster, respectively.

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Team Liquid CS:GO roster

  • Jonathan ‘⁠EliGE’ Jablonowski
  • Keith ‘⁠NAF⁠’ Markovic
  • Josh ‘oSee⁠’ Ohm
  • Richard ‘shox’ Papillon
  • Nick ‘nitr0’ Cannella
  • Eric ‘adreN⁠’ Hoag (coach)

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