Cover Image Courtesy: Aleksib (Dexerto), Zeus (Dexerto), HuNter (Valiance&CO), KioShiMa (Intel Extreme Masters), Coldzera (Intel Extreme Masters) [From Left To Right] | Thumbnail Image Courtesy: Rawpixel
With the conclusion of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, yet another amazing season of Counter-Strike has come to an end. The season witnessed the rise of Liquid post-Katowice, the emergence of FURIA, AVANGAR surprising everyone with its run at Berlin, and Astralis shutting down the haters by winning its third major in a row, amongst other sensational storylines.
But all was not sunshine and rainbows, as many who were unsuccessful are now looking to make changes within their line-up. With the season coming to an end, the floodgates for player transfers are open. So let’s have a quick look at some of the transfers that might take place this season.
Marcelo ‘Coldzera’ David
It is a well-known fact that Coldzera will not be donning the MIBR jersey any longer. Almost a month before the Berlin Major, the 25-year-old Brazilian CS:GO star had requested to be benched and since then speculation has been ripe about his next move, the two organizations that stand out as the most possible transfer options are FaZe & 100Thieves.
Just a week after being benched, Coldzera posted to Instagram where Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac replied with the comment “#FaZeUp”. This led to speculations of Coldzera being scouted by the European organization, who has always had a mix of highly talented individuals on its roster.
A French insider, neLdireckt, leaked news stating that FaZe would be talking to MIBR about acquiring Coldzera post the Berlin Major and that the player would be willing to pay a part of his buyout amount on his own as well.
With the most recent development highlighting FaZe practising without Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovacs and Filip 'NEO' Kubski, replacing them with a 19-year-old rising star, Helvijs ‘broky’ Saukants and another person going by the name of ‘dickb0mb’, it is likely that FaZe has two openings in its roster.
Also with 100Thieves venturing into Counter-Strike once more and seeking to assemble a new roster, the organization quite possibly has the finances to afford Coldzera’s buyout.
Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen
While ENCE is not at all doing bad for themselves, the Finns aren’t satisfied and want to achieve, even more. This resulted in Aleksib being removed from the roster to make way for Miikka ‘suNny’ Kemppi.
ENCE had to face a lot of flak for this move which had caught Aleksib off guard. Though he really gave one hell of a performance at the major, his time with ENCE has now come to an end, as speculation points towards the Finn transferring to FaZe.
FaZe has had a struggle with finding a good in-game leader since the departure of Finn ‘Karrigan’ Andersen, and Aleksib could be their way out of this problem. The level headed player has proved his worth by leading ENCE to the finals of Katowice and also helped them achieve their highest rank, second, on the HLTV rankings.
According to neLdireckt, FaZe are considering this and would hand over the role of IGL to him, if certain conditions are met.
Nemanja ‘huNter-’ Kovac
The mixed European roster of CR4ZY had a remarkable run through the Berlin Major. Qualifying through the European Closed Qualifier to the European Minor and from there to Berlin Major, it was a long run for the side, putting them under the spotlight as they currently hold the twelfth rank on the HLTV global rank list.
A significant portion of the credit for this goes to Nemanja ‘huNter’ Kovac who is also a cousin of NiKo from FaZe Clan. He has been an excellent player for the side and is now a hot prospect with rumours stating that two teams, FaZe Clan and G2 Esports, are quite interested in him.
With CR4ZY's CEO talking about G2 Esports going behind his back in an attempt to ‘poach’ his players, there have been rumours suggesting an attempt by G2 to get their hands on huNter.
On the other hand, FaZe in their recent practice session had an unknown player by the name of ‘dickb0mb’ which is also the name of the steam group that huNter is a part of, hinting that he was the one playing with FaZe.
Also, earlier this year FaZe did show an interest in huNter, who at the time was a part of Valiance, but after hearing his hefty buyout price the organization backed off. This could be their chance to try and add him to their roster.
Fabien ‘kioShiMa’ Fiey
One of the most talented French players who has been without a team since April 2019 after being released from Cloud9’s roster is suddenly in high demand as Vitality seem to be keen on getting their hands on him as a replacement for NBK.
In a recent interview with HLTV, the two-time major champion said that he would like to end his career by playing for a French team. The timing could not have been more perfect as Vitality who was facing rising tensions and issues had to let go of NBK, as having two IGLs in a team was not benefiting them. Reports claim that G2 Esports might also have two empty slots to offer in the near future.
While G2 is likely more interested in nexa and huNter from CR4ZY, that deal might not be possible as the players are under contract and it would require huge transfer amount to get the hang of those players. So though there might be no reports, kioShiMa would be a perfect fit for this French team as well.
Replacement For Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko
It was with a heavy heart that Counter-Strike bids farewell to yet another one of its legends, Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko. But with Zeus departing Na’Vi after the BLAST Pro Series: Moscow 2019, the Ukranian organization will have only two weeks to find a replacement.
Though no rumours are doing the rounds, one can always speculate an outcome. With AVANGAR announcing that no changes will be taking place in its roster, that is one door shut for Na’Vi, but with other CIS teams doing really well this major they still have options.
One such player who could lead them well is DreamEaters' IGL, Svyatoslav ‘svyat’ Dovbakh. He led a highly inexperienced roster to the legends stage of the Berlin Major, defeating teams like NRG and Vitality, who were way above their weight class. They did finish 15th-16th overall but their run was nothing short of brilliant.
With Edward returning back to Na’Vi’s bench, he too is a possible candidate to try and lead the side that he has been a part of for such a long time. He has a fair share of experience being an IGL and being familiar with the team's chemistry, the integration would be faster and more efficient.
These are some of the predicted transfers for the seasons as per speculations and rumours that have been doing the rounds across the internet. They may not all come true and are based on the clues and hints that were collected from multiple sources.
With this transfer season expected to be one of the biggest that Counter-Strike has ever witnessed and formation of entire new rosters, let’s see what changes take place in the next couple of months.