BIG AWPer Florian ‘syrsoN’ Rische is no longer part of the team’s starting lineup, multiple sources have told Dexerto.
The German player made the decision to bench himself after his team’s elimination from IEM Katowice, sources said. BIG finished the Polish tournament in 13th-16th place following defeats to Spirit and G2 Esports in the group stage.
syrsoN will not take part in BIG’s qualifying campaign for IEM Brazil, which begins on February 8. BIG Academy AWPer Marcel ‘hyped’ Köhn will start in syrsoN’s place and is expected to be promoted to the main team on a permanent basis, in light of syrsoN’s decision.
hyped is widely regarded as one of the most promising talents in the German CS scene. He has averaged a 1.16 HLTV rating in the last three months and was named the MVP in BIG Academy’s title-winning campaign in ESL Meisterschaft Autumn 2022.
A longtime BIG member
syrsoN joined BIG from Sprout in January 2020 and quickly established himself as a key figure for the German side. He was ranked the tenth best player of 2020 by HLTV.org after helping BIG to win a number of international tournaments and reach the top spot in the world rankings in a year when esports shifted to online-only competitions.
BIG have not found the same level of success since that fabled year. International success has been hard to come by, and the team has also struggled for continuity. Due to health issues, Josef ‘faveN’ Baumann missed a number of events in 2022, including IEM Cologne and the IEM Rio Major. syrsoN himself sat out Elisa Masters Espoo 2022 after returning a positive test days before the event.
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The German team have had a rough start to 2023. Prior to IEM Katowice, BIG placed 7th-9th in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups, which means they will have to play in the Showdown tournament to qualify for the circuit’s Spring Finals in Washington, D.C.
syrsoN’s contract with BIG runs until the end of 2023. With the season having just started, it could be a while before he lands a new home, unless a team decides to pull the trigger on a roster move before the qualifiers for the BLAST.tv Paris Major.
BIG will face Monte in the opening round of the IEM Brazil closed qualifier, which has two spots at the Brazilian event up for grabs. Later this month, the team will travel to Malta to compete in ESL Pro League Season 17.
Dexerto reached out to BIG, who declined to comment for this story.