Olivia R. October 6, 2019
Team Liquid general manager Steve Perino has come forward to shut down rumors that they are removing Keith "NAF" Markovic from their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster.
"Don’t usually reply to this stuff but the messages are getting out of hand. We have zero plans on any roster moves. When we read the NAF article, it became a nice team meme. Now it’s getting out of hand. Yes, we are in a tough stretch. Hard work will get us out of it, not roster moves," Perino tweeted.
He then went on to say that the "amazing insiders" within the Counter-Strike scene should be given a lot of credit, although "this one was a miss."
The message from Perino was a response to a report by Rush B Media. Rush B Media reporter Will Land announced that he has updated his story to reflect Perino's statement. He also said that he briefly spoke with Perino about the rumors and the GM's "classy" response to the report only made him respect Team Liquid even more.
"Just to clarify: This wasn't something that was made up out of thin air. Myself and the Rush B team went through the same protocol I've done for any other roster story I've done, all of which were accurate. It has become apparent this was different and the info was incorrect," Land tweeted.
Rumors that NAF is leaving Liquid surface
Rush B Media had reported that sources close to Team Liquid informed them that NAF was being removed from the active roster due to "brewing personal issues" and less-than-stellar performances at ESL One New York and DreamHack Masters Malmo.
The outlet also reported that Cloud9 was possibly looking to trade their star player Timothy "autimatic" Ta for NAF. Land had written that Evil Geniuses was also a possible new home for the Canadian.
Shortly after the story was published, Liquid AWPer Jake "Stewie2k" Yip responded to the report on Twitter. He hinted that he would know if a change was happening, unless he was also on the chopping block.
"Do people know things before me or does this usually mean I'm out too?" Stewie2k tweeted.
Team Liquid fights to keep top spot in CSGO scene
Team Liquid enjoyed an utterly dominant run during the spring and summer. The North American squad won six live events in a row, including prestigious tournaments like ESL One Cologne, the ESL Pro League Season 9, and DreamHack Masters Dallas. Those victories saw Liquid become the top-ranked team in CSGO and made them the clear favorite to win the StarLadder Berlin Major.
That made it all the more shocking when Liquid was soundly defeated by Astralis in the quarterfinals. The struggles didn't end there, though.
Three weeks later, Liquid lost to Astralis once again in the semifinals. From there, the team suffered a disastrous early elimination at DreamHack Masters Malmo, which saw Liquid eliminated in 12th place after taking shocking loss to OpTic Gaming.
Despite their recent shortcomings, Team Liquid is still considered a top CSGO team and Perino has faith the squad can turn things around. They'll be hoping to rebound in the near future at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen and IEM XIV Beijing.