CS:GO

Team Liquid reportedly drop nitr0 from CSGO lineup for rising star

by Andrew Amos

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Team Liquid's IGL Nicholas ‘nitr0’ Cannella is set to be benched for the upcoming DreamHack Open, with Michael ‘Grim’ Wince taking his spot.

Update, July 28 (7:45pm PT): After news of his possible benching broke, nitr0 in a tweet has said: "until next time, friends."

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Team Liquid also confirmed the roster shuffle, at least for the upcoming DreamHack event, to Rush B Media: "We can confirm that Grim will be starting for Team Liquid at Dreamhack next weekend. We're not ready to share more at the moment, but we will have more to share with the community soon."

The move is only confirmed for Dreamhack however. Nitr0 could potentially make his return after the event, although it appears that it will be a more long term move.

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Team Liquid's co-CEO Steve Arhancet posted a video shedding more light on upcoming changes to the roster.

Earlier: Team Liquid are reportedly looking at benching long-time CS:GO star Nicholas ‘nitr0’ Cannella after the team’s disappointing string of results in the last 12 months. The front runner to take his spot on the roster is Triumph’s Michael ‘Grim’ Wince, according to sources.

Liquid are one of the few CS:GO rosters to have stuck together over the last 12 months. It was one of their hallmarks and their strengths, having won numerous events early in 2019 after the switch, and looked poised to continue that form in 2020.

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However, a disappointing online showing has forced the team to go back to the drawing board, and one of the original members is on the chopping block.

Team Liquid lifting IEM Sydney 2019 trophy
ESL
Team Liquid are looking at replacing nitr0 after struggling to replicate their 2019 success in 2020.

Nitr0 is reportedly being replaced on the roster after a five-year stint at the organisation, according to DBLTAP. Nitr0 has already stepped down according to the report, after discussions about his potential replacement started over the last few weeks.

The jack of all trades has been underperforming on Liquid since the move to online play, with a HLTV rating of just over 0.9.

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Despite recent performances, nitr0 has carved himself a legacy as one of NA’s best players of all time. With Team Liquid, he made it to the finals of the Cologne 2016 Major, and in 2019 helped lead them to a string of big wins, including IEM Sydney, ESL Pro League Season 9, and ESL One Cologne.

Nitr0’s departure will be the team’s first roster change since December 2018, when they picked up major winner Jacky ‘Stewie2k’ Yip from MIBR. The main name in discussions to replace him is Triumph rifler Michael ‘Grim’ Wince.

The 19-year-old has been a standout performer for Triumph, who has been slowly cementing themselves as a team to watch in North American Counter-Strike. His performances as cs_summit 6 turned the heads of many, including his 123-kill game against MIBR.

Grim playing for Triumph in CS:GO
Alex Maxwell for DreamHack
Grim has made a name for himself in 2020 on Triumph.

Grim has been competing since 2017 on teams like SoaR, Dignitas, and Spacestation. His stint with Team Liquid will be his first with a tier-one organization in CS:GO.

The reported swap comes just days before Team Liquid are set to take to the stage again after the player break. The team will compete in DreamHack Open Summer, ESL One Cologne, and Pro League Season 12 over the coming months.