After the last professional event in 2018, the BLAST Pro Series Lisbon, players and teams were off to a well-deserved break.
Yet, countless rumours are spreading around the scene as everyone attempts to predict the future roster changes for certain teams who underperformed in 2018.
This is our list of every important CS:GO roster changes and how these could affect the best CSGO teams in 2019.
We will try our best to keep these changes in chronological order.
FaZe Clan bench Finn “karrigan” Andersen
This was the first bombshell on the scene. karrigan had no place in this FaZe roster because he was stripped from his IGL role as Nikola “Niko” Kovač stepped up with in-game leading. Furthermore, karrigan was unable to bring anything else to the table, as he’s heavily limited when it comes to raw aim. There certainly are better options, especially if Niko decides to keep leading the team.
Moreover, after just a couple of weeks from benching karrigan, FaZe announced that the player will be loaned out to the North American roster, Envy.
Epitácio “TACO” de Melo and Wilton “zews” Prado joined MIBR, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip joins Liquid
No one was expecting this CS:GO roster change in 2019. Liquid was on a roll as they were runner-ups in almost every event they attended in 2018. However, they were never able to beat reigning kings, Astralis and they decided that they wanted something more from this roster. Yet, many are scared that they’ve maybe just ruined a great roster!
TACO is a perfect support player and he is what made Liquid so good in 2018. On the other hand, Stewie2K is definitely an upgrade when it comes to firepower, but I do not think this is going to do a lot for them in order to beat Astralis. Furthermore, they lost one of the best coaches on the scene, and this will definitely haunt them if they are not able to find a suitable replacement.
Liquid was on the lookout for a while, and they’ve finally found a coach for themselves. A former Liquid player, Eric “adreN” Hoag was a mastermind as an active player, but who knows how good his coaching will be since this is his first gig.
BIG signs İsmailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş
Ever since Space Soldiers parted ways with their players, it was evident that one guy would have a lot of offers laid out in front of him, that being XANTARES. He is a brutal rifler who is capable of winning rounds by himself. A perfect addition for any team, and in my personal opinion, BIG has hit a jackpot with this Turkish player. They were always lacking a star to help out Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz, and now finally, he has the help he needs. This is one of the best roster changes in 2019.
XANTARES replaced Johannes “nex” Maget who will undergo surgery and hence he had to be benched by the German organisation.
Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev joins FaZe, Janko “YnK” Paunović announced as a new coach
Definitely the biggest CS:GO roster change in 2019. Ever since Niko took the IGL role, it was necessary to find a replacement for karrigan. They did exactly that with AdreN. Dauren is a Major winner who was rated as one of the best players in the world while he was playing for Gambit. Definitely a great addition to this squad.
Secondly, Robert “RobbaN” Dahlström stepped down as FaZe’s coach and he was quickly replaced by YnK. We all know who Janko is. A former analyst in every popular event, he tried his best with MIBR, but he fell short as he was released by the organisation. Even though he achieved some decent results with the team, they simply had no chance against Liquid and Astralis. It is going to be interesting to see what YnK will be able to do with this superstar roster.
Virtus.Pro forms new roster
There is not much to say about Virtus.Pro. Definitely, a legendary organisation that won everything in the professional CS:GO scene. However, their results in 2018 were really disappointing as They were unable to qualify for the Major in Katowice. This led to an outburst and eventually, the legendary roster was disbanded.
However, Virtus.Pro CEO announced a new roster straight away, as Poles will try their best to get Virtus.Pro back on the winning track in 2019. This is how their roster looks like now:
- Michał “MICHU” Müller
- Michał “snatchie” Rudzki
- Paweł “byali” Bieliński
- Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski
- Mateusz “TOAO” Zawistowski
- Jakub “kuben” Gurczynski (coach)
Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro joins Cloud9 on a trial
2018 has been a turbulent year for Cloud9 when it comes to roster changes. They have been all over the place, signing players from Europe in order to regain their lost glory. Even though they had a complete roster, Cloud9 had to do another CS:GO roster change in 2019. Their in-game leader, Maikil “Golden” Kunda Selim had a lot of health issues recently and he needs time to recover.
Former Swole Patrol player, Zellsis, definitely has a lot to prove and it is going to be interesting to see how he will adapt to their tier one skill and strategy.
compLexity bench Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, Ronald “Rambo” Kim(coach) leaves
Even though this North American organisation had a couple of solid results in the last quarter of 2018, it was not enough. The organisation wanted a lot more from this roster, and they demanded changes. It all started with yay, as he was probably the weakest link in this lineup. Furthermore, their former coach, Rambo did not get an extension with the organisation and his adventures with compLexity ended here.
Next, compLexity benched potentially their best player, Bradley “ANDROID” Fodor as they were desperate for change.
Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland joined compLexity. Former Rogue player parted ways with the organisation simply because he wanted to up his game to the next level, and compLexity is definitely an upgrade when compared to Rogue.
Ivan “Johnta” Shevcov leaves HellRaisers, Amiran “aMi” Rehviashvili unveiled as a new coach
HellRaisers is a team filled with raw firepower and potential. They are heavily relying on their stars, Özgür “woxic” Eker and Issa “ISSAA” Murad, and their latest addition is a Major winner who is definitely going to bring a lot to this team, Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov.
However, HellRaisers’ coach decided to part ways with the organisation due to internal disagreements with some of the players. aMi has been designated as the new coach. He’s been part of the team for a while now, mainly as an analyst. This will be his first coaching position, so it’s going to be interesting to see if he will be able to do anything special with this team.
Vitality bench Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer, Alex “ALEX” McMeekin officialy joins the team
There is a lot of hype surrounding this French roster. Right now, they are voted as the best French team on the scene without even winning a big title yet. Even though other French rosters are on the verge of falling apart, Vitality is standing their ground in order to prevail. However, if you want to be the best, you have to get rid of the dead weight, that is exactly what Happy is.
After ALEX announced that he is quitting LDLC, it was clear that Vitality and he had an agreement. Not long after, Happy was benched and ALEX left the legendary CS:GO roster, his signing was announced on Vitality’s official page. He is a great addition to this roster as he is a great aimer and an excellent leader who will surely improve this roster.
Ismail “refrezh” Ali joins OptiC
Refrezh is definitely one of the biggest European prospects. He was an excellent player for Fragsters, but he was way above the competition there. He proved his worth once he played as a stand-in for Cloud9 as he was their best player throughout the entire event. This is one of the most underrated CS:GO roster change in 2019. Ismail is a great rifler who is capable of winning rounds by himself and he will definitely help OptiC raise their level in 2019.
Vladyslav “bondik” Nechyporchuk joins Gambit
Bondik was all over the place in 2018. At one point he was loaned out to Chinese organization TyLoo. After that spell ended, he was brought back to the active roster in HellRaisers. However, once Hobbit joined the team, someone had to go, and management decided to part ways with Vladyslav even though he was not the worst player on HellRaisers by any means.
However, he found a home for himself in Gambit. Gambit got themselves a very smart player, an excellent lurker and an even better clutcher. However, he was never consistent and that is his main problem which needs to be addressed. If bondik is able to perform at a high level consistently, he will definitely be able to carry his team to great heights.