A monthly recap of the most important transfers and signings in professional CS:GO for March.
March was a busy month for the CS:GO scene, with players and teams making big moves across the board. Who got the profit and which transfers are arguable? Let’s find out the answers.
G2 benches kennyS to bring in JaCkz
From the outside looking in, this isn't a perfect move. Yes, Kenny “kennyS” Schrub has, frankly, been out of shape in recent months. Though G2 has decided to return Audric “JaCkz” Jug to the active roster, it's not certain that the -JaCkz/+JaCkz roster move will work out.
Overall, it is unlikely that anything will change for G2 in terms of stability, game quality and results.
Dignitas benches H4RR3; signs Lekr0
This is a nice move by the Scandinavian team. Although, it is a pity for Haris “H4RR3” Hadzic. He's not a bad player by any means and he does a lot of work that many viewers might not notice. Albeit, in 2021, for some reason, it did not work out in Dignitas for him.
However, Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson was the perfect free agent to help Dignitas step up to the next level.
SKADE adds SHiPZ
No comments here. With this, Georgi “SHiPZ” Grigorov is the star player of SKADE. The question is, will SKADE be strong enough to get into the top 20? They are already in top 30, so the potential is there, but there's definitely a lot of work ahead of them.
Vitality benches Nivera
Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom has fallen victim to the fact that Vitality is returning to the game with a five-player model. But this choice is a controversial one.
However, everything can still change, and if Vitality doesn't perform well in the near future, Nivera has a chance to return to the main team.
OG signs niko
Based on rumors, OG's goal was to not spend too much money on completing their team.
Not because there is no money, but because they simply didn't want to spend it. Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen was an excellent choice given these conditions, especially since he will fit well into how Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen and Casper "ruggah" Due structure their games. There are two pressing questions we have with this move though:
- Will the strategy they decide on match the ambitions of the team and the organization?
- Will the team have enough time and patience to reach a stable tier 1 level with two new players in the squad?
There's another concern as well. If Niko fits well into the OG squad, there are rumors that the team will consider adding Shahar "flameZ" Shushan or Michał "MICHU" Müller as a fifth player.
MICHU will very likely fit well into OG. But with FlameZ there may be difficulties. He undoubtedly is skilled, but his current team, Endpoint, plays in a completely different style. In Endpoint, FlameZ has unleashed the potential and feels comfortable. So does he really need to leave when it could be so hard to adjust? It's hard to say.
MAD Lions introduces a new roster
The strategy chosen by MAD Lions is great. They manage their resources well and truly seem to understand what they are doing and why.
To start, MAD Lions signed a young, talented and hungry roster for probably what is considered a modest price. The team has very strong staff behind the team with Allan "Rejin" Petersen, Jakub "kuben" Gurczynski, Jonathan "MusambaN1" Torrent, and the result of these players having such support will most likely be visible by the end of the year.
However, this is long-distance work for the next couple of months, so we should not count on tier 1 performances by MAD Lions right out of the gate.
Personally, I have questions about Volodymyr "Woro2k" Veletniuk. He's not the easiest personality and this signing is a key challenge for him in his esports career. At the same time, MAD Lions does not really risk anything by giving him a chance here. In general, the whole roster signing turned out to be budget-friendly and promising.
Extra Salt adds MarKE; motm joins High Coast
This seems like a win-win situation for all involved. Not only is it a boost for High Coast, but an awesome boost for Extra Salt too. Though there are some question marks around them, we will learn the real power of Extra Salt during their European tour.
Spirit and Virtus.pro sign academy rosters
A definite plus for the CIS transfer market. To be honest, I don't really know about young and talented players from the CIS, I’m more focused on the European region, so I won't give a definitive reason for why they decided to go ahead with these. But it does gives these lesser-known players a chance to shine, which is never a bad thing.
C9 drops the squad
Well, the party's over. Unfortunately, the C9 CS:GO project has gone on hiatus, and will probably return only after the end of the pandemic. When LANs become stable, Cloud9 will probably immediately buy back in.
Though C9 had some controversial management decisions and weak results, they had a very strong character as a team and decent a decent game overall. With Alex "ALEX" McMeekin at the head, the team was able to somewhat reliably upset top opponents, but it always felt like something was missing.
In my opinion, the signing of Erick "Xeppaa" Bach was a mistake. The last, critical mistake that led to this outcome. Not because Xeppaa is bad, not by any means, but because he didn't fit C9 and their team dynamic.
Winstrike loses their roster
Worrying rumors surround Winstrike and the loss of their CS:GO roster. According to information we've gathered, Winstrike may have done some wrong to their players with alleged breaches of contracts. However, no public statements, besides the original, have been made by the organization or former players, so judgment should be held until that has happened. Still, the fact that the roster has completely exploded so quickly is sure to impact the CS:GO scene at large.