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It’s a week of disappointing departures, or indeed, rumoured departures. Teams, players, but never the ever-reliable TLDR newsletter.
Do you ever have that dream where you’re on a football pitch, or a basketball court, or indeed Mirage, playing in a professional game, and you feel woefully, woefully underqualified? You’re letting your team down; you can’t move, and your hands and legs stop working?
No? Just us?
Regardless, it’s good to know it happens to the best of us. In what can only be described as a relatively long fever dream — for it were not long enough to be considered a tenure - AZR’s time at Sprout is over.
We’re not saying we’d be any good on a pro team, but… well, maybe it would take about 45 days to figure out that we were just making it up as we were going along. It took Sprout 45 days to get rid of AZR, which is an incredibly short amount of time.
Say what you want about AZR - who was at best entirely unspectacular in his brief stint with Sprout - but that’s not enough time for any IGL to make their mark.
We’d imagine there’s more under the hood on that one.
Speaking of being out of one’s depth, Viperio have replaced two players. MMS finished the RMR as the lowest-rated player in his group, a whole 0.13 rating points below the next lowest player.
And that player was AZR.
The other outgoer is Gizmy, who was the second highest-rated player on the team, to be replaced by Ping and Tadpole. If you told us to guess some vaguely UKCS-sounding names…
Team Spirit might also be making changes following their, frankly, embarrassing performance at the RMR, but according to a screenshot of a post on a Russian social media site from a guy we’ve seen once or twice, it won’t be the ones we expect.
It definitely could be nonsense; we’re aware of that. But speculation is fun, so JONAS LIFE I MY BLOG & CS:GO I SOURCE 2, our good friend, today you are the truth.
It asserts that magixx, Patsi, and w0nderful will ALL be leaving Spirit and replaced by academy players, namely donk, zont1x, and artfr0st. Spirit’s academy team has been impressive - Patsi, KaiR0N- and s1ren have all impressed since the step up - but this is mad.
All three of those players have shown glimpses of being genuinely great players, and it seems insane to replace all of them.
Just insane enough to work.
Tune in to this week's episode of Overtime on Inferno, where your favorite hosts aizyesque and Logan Ramhap go deep on the biggest news in CS:GO:
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Rio Rumble. We’ve got underdog stories, heartbreak, and titanic clashes, the likes of which have only been seen in… well, most other CS events. But this one is in Brazil.
We’ve done our best to summarize the group stage brawl, but there was so much we’ve had to miss out on a few games, so keep that in mind.
In group A, the hard-hitting NAVI refound its heavyweight status and hit all its opponents with a knockout punch. Their final opponent, BIG, was the underdog of this group. The scrawny Germans only just last week struggled to fight against opponents their own size, so coming into Rio, the odds weren't in their favor. Their opening win was a rough scrap against 9INE, fine, but the impressive part was when they qualified for playoffs by knocking Heroic down to the lower brackets.
Heroic still managed to go to the playoffs themselves from lower brackets despite having to sub for their coach Xizt in mid-map because Jabbi felt unwell. Xizt still had a higher rating than CadianN for the series, anyway.
Over in group B, the Brazilian Panthers at FURIA had to be the ones to fly their national flag high. Fellow countrymen, Imperial failed in Group A, leaving the stakes for ART’s men extra high. Still, they delivered with style. They had to take a few punches against fnatic, but their showing against FaZe made it all worth it. They hit the heavyweight champions of the world down a peg and secured spots in the arena with their adoring home crowd. Yet, it wasn’t perfect. That’s because Cloud9 had to rain on their parade in the seeding match. No longer having to save any strats for the major might have helped nafany overcome the massive hurdles of… MIBR and OG. huh, maybe he didn’t need the help.
Still, after the disappointment they had at the RMR, it’s good for them to make it to a playoff, even if they didn’t have the hardest path. Then, our final playoff contender: Vitality. Losing to OG in their first round didn’t bode well for the French-led, Danish-filled, and Israeli-starred fusion. But they got their fists up and got back to fighting. They managed to KO both MIBR and FaZe in 2-0 fashion before having a closer but still far away series with OG. Despite flameZ efforts.
The playoff games are:
#1 🇩🇰 Heroic Vs. 🇧🇷 Furia
#2 🇪🇺 Vitality Vs. 🇩🇪 BIG
#3 Winner #1 Vs. 🇺🇦 Na’Vi
#4 Winner #2 Vs. 🇷🇺 C9
Grand-Final:#5 Winner #3 Vs. Winner #4
Illustration by NovaH. Source: Astralis/Xyp9x
In 2021 Xyp9x signed a four-year deal with Astralis. Since then, he has averaged a 0.95 rating and now, with two and half years remaining on that ill-fated deal, he has been benched.
Well, not officially.
Because it’s Astralis he’s not benched; he is just ‘helping’ out the Academy team out of the kindness of his heart and remains part of the now six-man active roster.
It’s nearly as bad as when flamie was sent to play with NAVI Junior. It’s a horrible way to end your career — though not as bad as what MSL and aizy have been cooking.
Xyp9x, in fairness, has brought this upon himself. When he signed that four-year deal, he knew that this was the only way it could end. He knew that he was placing money and security over his short-term reputation.
Anyway, we’re sure with time, Xyp9x’s reputation will recover to what he deserves. We remember Winston Churchill for his wartime leadership, not his questionable reign in the 1960s.
It’s just embarrassing to see the Clutch Minister in Academy games. With his salary, we’re sure he will survive. But that doesn’t make how far he has fallen any less sad.
Xyp9x’s replacement is 19-year-old Altekz, Astralis Talent’s best player of 2023 and a fellow B Anchor on Mirage. We called it; just saying.
It is the natural move for an organisation that rarely spends big in the transfer market. The kid deserves a shot.
But is it the type of move to satisfy the team’s now-rabid — I mean, just look at the comments here — fanbase?
Xyp9x has been given the push, but figures like Kasper Hvidt (who gave Xyp9x that four-year deal) and gla1ve seem to have survived, at least for now.
Changing your support player rarely turns a terrible team into a great one. It’s the type of move to push you over the edge, not to save a team that can’t even qualify for a Major.
For Astralis to buck that trend, gla1ve will have to get the absolute best out of Buzz and Altekz, as well as recover his own form to a more stable level.
It’s not impossible, but this move is only the first step in a very long journey for Astralis.
🗓️ Time to slow down
🏆 Grand Slam News
🔥 Shots fired