French esports organization Team Vitality announced that Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt would be placed on the bench.
CSGO Update: we decided to remove @NBK from the starting roster. The team has shown amazing results but a change was needed as the squad in its current form, with 2 in-game leaders, reached its limits.
— Team Vitality (@TeamVitality) September 7, 2019
Team Vitality is currently ranked #2 in the CSGO World ranking as of Sept. 2, with Team Liquid at #1. However, despite the organization’s results in the past year, Team Vitality was knocked out of the StarLadder Berlin Major in a 5 – 8th placing. The organization has correlated this recent blunder to conflicting opinions between its two in-game leaders.
“NBK’s professionalism, talent & dedication played a big part in the many achievements recorded since the creation of the squad,” wrote Team Vitality in the statement to bench NBK. “However, the entire team had a hard time being consistent recently and a big decision was mandatory to go forward.”
The current roster consists of Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, and Alex “ALEX” McMeekin. Rémy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam is the coach. With the benching of NBK, Alex McMeekin will now hold the in-game leader role on Team Vitality.
Before the benching announcement, NBK handled leading when the team played as counter-terrorists. ALEX would only lead the team while on the terrorist side. This seemingly complicated setup apparently worked for a while. NBK said in an interview that the team understood the system and could focus “100 percent” on each side. However, just a few months later, it looks like it led to internal conflicts instead.
NBK is a French player who started his competitive career on Counter-Strike: Source on teams like Dreamrar, ROCCAT, and VeryGames. When he transitioned to CSGO, he played for organizations like Titan Esports, Mercenary, Team LDLC, Team EnVyUs, and G2 Esports.
He joined Team Vitality in October of 2018 where the organization went on to place 1st at 2018’s DreamHack Open Atlanta. The organization proceeded to win 2019’s Chaerloi Esports tournament, Beyond the Summit’s cs_summit 4, and Season 7 of the Esports Championship Series Finals. Vitality also placed 2nd at 2019’s ESL One: Cologne along with a 3 – 4th placing at ESEA Season 31’s Global Challenge and Chicago’s Intel Extreme Masters XIV event.
Team Vitality hasn’t revealed who they will pick up for the remaining fifth player. Some rumors hint at Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey possibly joining the roster. Team Vitality will have to solve this fast as they play at BLAST Pro Series Moscow on Sept. 13. NBK helped Vitality win several of their events this year.
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