The New Year not only brought on the ELEAGUE major, it also signaled the end of many player contracts. With so many players available and on the open market, roster moves are happening left and right. I have already written about mousesports benching Chris “chrisJ” De Jong for Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný. Here’s a look at all of the possible roster moves in the works.
Finalizing the Shuffle and the Ripple Effect
With ESL Pro League starting in a few days, teams are expected to announce their finalized rosters soon. Reports are coming out that the French super-team will finally be assembled under G2 Esports including:
• Richard “shox” Papillon
• Nathan “NBK” Schmitt
• Kenny “kennyS” Schrub
• Dan “apEX” Madesclaire
• Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro
• Eduoard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux (coach)
A second French team is in the works, being headed up by Vincent “Happy” Cervoni. It seems that EnVyUs are looking at this potential lineup made up of:
• Vincent “Happy” Cervoni
• Cédric “RpK” Guipouy
• Christophe “SIXER” Xia
• Alexandre “xms” Forte
• David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljevic
• Damian “maLeK” Marcel (coach)
Some notable omissions to this shuffle are Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans and Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom. It seems that Ex6TenZ will once again be left out of the two best French lineups and has aired his frustrations on social media.
It seems uncertain whether or not ScreaM will join a French team after receiving an offer from FaZe Clan. FaZe may be looking to replace Phillip “aizy” Aistrub who is reportedly joining North. The Danish team may have a slot to fill since it is also reported that Reuben “RUBINO” Villarroel will be removed and will join up with fellow Norwegian, Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad who is looking to create his own team. If ScreaM decides not to join or if the deal falls through, it may still be possible to see him on a French team.
Undoing the Swedish Shuffle
Before the major, rumors were stirring that Fnatic and GODSENT may be in the midst of another Swedish shuffle. It was reported that after the major, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist and Jesper “JW” Wecksell planned on rejoining Fnatic. Their addition would mean the removal of Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun and Simon “twist” Eliasson who could then possibly fill out GODSENT. However, Fnatic’s COO, Patrik “cArn” Sättermon has denied this move is happening. Also, twist’s performance at the major may convince Fnatic to hold on to him. If this move does go through, it will undo the original Swedish shuffle that broke up the Fnatic lineup of early 2016 who went on a tear and won six events in a row.
Another Swedish team, qwerty, has just recently disbanded. Simon “atter” Atterstam announced through social media that the team has disbanded. This throws players like Mikail “Maikelele” Bill who has played for Ninjas in Pyjamas and FaZe, and John “wenton” Eriksson who played with Fnatic, back into the pool of available Swedes.
Brazilian and NA Swaps
SK Gaming has played their last few tournaments using Ricardo “fox” Pacheco as a stand-in after benching Lincoln “fnx” Lau towards the end of 2016. While nothing has been announced, it looks like fnx will join the lineup of Immortals. He has been added to Immortals’ ESEA roster and João “felps” Vasconcellos has been removed. It also looks like SK has found their replacement for fnx in felps, who has recently posted pictures of himself wearing SK gear.
Team Liquid and OpTic Gaming have already made public the fact they will be swapping in-game leaders. Liquid just announced Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz as their new in-game leader and it has been reported that he will be replacing Spencer “Hiko” Martin who is set to head over to OpTic. Liquid added Wilton “zews” Prado as a coach late last year but have consistently struggled with finding someone to successfully lead in-game. With so much talent and potential on the roster, Liquid hope stanislaw can be the answer. OpTic removed stanislaw at one point last year, but they only found success after reinserting him into the lineup as in-game leader.