More updates on SPROUT’s lengthy roster drama
Australian CSGO star Aaron “AZR” Ward has been officially signed and given the ropes to lead Sprout's squad.
The star has returned to the competitive scene after ten long months away, following his official exit from EXTREMUM. AZR was sitting on the bench for seven months until he could finally be a free agent following the squad's disbanding due to failure to qualify for the PGL Stockholm Major in 2021.
It is no shocker that Sprout has been under construction for quite some time now. Since the German side's former IGL Ismail “refrezh” Ali decided to bench himself from his position as the Dane a little while ago, the position has been up for grabs. Before this, they had a series of trials with several players having come and gone — some acting as stand-ins, while others lasting for only a couple of days.
After much deliberation and testing, we're proud to announce that @Azr will be our new @CSGO IGL! It was a tough decision, but with his proven leadership abilities, we are confident that AZR will be a valuable asset to our team. Thanks for the patience and as always #GrowSprout🌱 pic.twitter.com/7UAxLz8bJy
— Sprout (@sproutGG) March 3, 2023
In the last few weeks, it appears that shifting Rasmus “Zyphon” Nordfoss to the inactive roster and then bringing him back again while adapting to the difficulties that refrezh had to go through due to his speech impediment did not solve the issues that the team was having. There was a lot more under the surface.
The team had been eyeing someone with the right in-game leadership qualities from back in December 2022, and had landed on players such as Mikkel “Maze” Sparvath, and even tried out their coach Danny “BERRY” Kruger as a stand-in during CCT Central Europe Finals.
Despite the long struggle to find the perfect fit, Sprout has finally decided to lock the deal with the famed Oceanic region professional AZR. After he left EXTREMUM, he went indie serving as IGL for Encore at the Closed Qualifier rounds of IEM Rio Regional Major Ranking, missing 1st place by a thread. He played alongside peers such as Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai during these events, whom he has an age-old professional association with.
In any case, filling in for refrezh in Sprout isn't the first time that the 30-year old has had to step in for a crucial spot. In fact, back in 2018 when he was still with Renegades, he showed up as captain in place of Noah “Nifty” Francis. With his insane leadership skills, the squad breezed through to the playoffs at both Starladder Berlin Major and Intel Extreme Masters Katowice.
Following the German side's official announcement, the real question is — will AZR prove his leadership abilities and stick around in Sprout's squad for the long run?
While it may be hard to keep track of their frequent roster changes, here is Sprout's current lineup at a glance:
- Coach: Danny “BERRY” Krüger (Denmark)
- Rasmus “Zyphon” Nordfoss (Denmark)
- Aaron “AZR” Ward (Australia)
- Laurențiu “lauNX” Țârlea (Romania)
- Adrian “XELLOW” Guță (Romania)
- Victor “Staehr” Staehr (Denmark)
Be sure to check back again for updates on other roster changes and more exciting CSGO news on the roll.