For the first time since assembling their superteam in August 2017, FaZe Clan has opted to make a roster change to combat a string of disappointing results and the vaporization of karrigan’s authority as the in-game leader. The Dane was shipped out entirely, to be replaced by Gambit’s AdreN (meaning two players on the team are major winners now). Nominally, NiKo picked up the mantle of in-game leader after the coup against karrigan but it remains to be seen whether he’ll continue as the IGL after the roster change.
In a move that could potentially end up just as important, analyst extraordinaire and MiBR’s ex-coach, YNk also joins the fray, replacing RobbaN, the Swedish stalwart who has been with the organization in some capacity since early 2016. His connection with NiKo goes back all the way to his playing days – ending his career on a roster alongside the Bosnian back in 2015. The higher-ups at FaZe clearly bank on their shared history having a positive knock-on effect on the side, a change that’s sorely needed after a set of disappointing performances in recent months.
Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev (1990) also needs no introduction to CS:GO fans, being a fierce competitor in the game since 2012, being one of the five members of the doomed CIS superteam dubbed Astana Dragons, then spending some time in the wilderness before joining up with Gambit Esports. In 2017, they’ve managed to win the PRL Krakow major in one of the biggest upsets in Counter-Strike history – and while the team has never really managed to live up to those highs, AdreN and co. did pick up a few other titles along the way, winning Acer Predator Masters Season 1 and 3, Adrenaline Cyber League 2017, DreamHack Open Winter 2016 and Austin 2017 and some other events.
AdreN’s individual prowess is second to none, capable of inflicting damage with a rifle or with the AWP – it will be interesting to see whether 2017’s 17th-best player per HLTV will be capable of reinventing himself in an environment that couldn’t be any more different from what he’s just left behind at Gambit.