Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella has been replaced with Michael "Grim" Wence on Team Liquid's CS:GO squad.
The news first came to light through a report by Jarek “DeKay” Lewis, which claimed Team Liquid were looking for a change following average results in 2020. The rumour said about removing nitr0 with 19-year old Grim, who had an exceptional past few months in another team, Triumph.
Nitr0 stepping down from the roster came as a bit of a shock to Counter-Strike’s community, as he was the longest-standing player in Team Liquid, playing with the team since 2015.
This year’s achievements however have been far below the expectations set by the squad, especially following their successful 2019 when Team Liquid won several S-Tier tournaments, as well as Intel Grand Slam season 2 in a record-breaking time frame of 63 days.
In the past few months, Team Liquid failed to raise a single cup. Poor form and no signs of improvement from the squad were warning signs for fans, which pointed to a possible roster change.
Shortly after the report went public, the organisation confirmed the rumours in response to Rush B Media. In response, Team Liquid stated the change is indeed true, and Grim will be starting for the team at DreamHack next weekend.
UPDATE: In reply to request for comment, Team Liquid said;— Rush B Media (@RushBMediaGG) July 29, 2020
"We can confirm that Michael "Grim" Wince 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."
Grim had been a part of Triumph since February of this year. His performances in the cs_summit 6 and DreamHack Open Summer North America drew interest from Team Liquid, as he reached 1.34 rating over the past three months.
Following speculation on Twitter, nitr0 himself confirmed his departure.
Until next time, friends.— Nick Cannella (@nitr0) July 29, 2020
The topic has been also picked up by Liquid’s co-CEO, Steve Arhancet. In a brief video posted on Twitter, he confirms the team’s CS:GO division will be making roster changes - underlining how tough it is to make them properly, by taking care of the benched players itself, and also ensuring the squad with the best possible replacement.
We know the news today in cs has taken people by surprise, and we don't want to leave anyone in the dark - but, we just need a little more time to make sure we do what's right by our players and the community pic.twitter.com/b2ANuVPON3— Steve Arhancet (@LiQuiD112) July 29, 2020
The next event for Team Liquid is DreamHack Open Summer 2020 North America, in which we will see Grim in new colours. It's still unclear whether this change is permanent, something which will likely be addressed in the inevitable statement from the organisation.