Steven R. March 17, 2019
Gambit Esports is ready to make some changes to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive division.
The former Krakow Major champion revealed on Twitter that it is releasing coach Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy and trial player Vlаdуslаv "bondik" Nеchуроrchuk. The pair now enter a crowded free agency field, and Gambit joins what is likely to be a hectic shuffle season for the CIS region.
“Even though B1ad3 put a lot of effort, he wasn’t fully able to implement all of his ideas regarding a desired structure of play,” said Gambit team manager Alexandr Scherbakov in a statement. “Having said that, we appreciate his contribution and are certain that Andrey’s coaching career will flourish given that it was his first full-time coaching experience.”
Changes were expected for Gambit.
Though the team was a serious force in 2017, Gambit hit the skids hard in 2018, which led to almost constant roster changes for the organization. It recruited B1ad3 as coach on loan from FlipSid3 Tactics in July, resulting in some initial successes. Those early results didn’t carry over into FACEIT Major: London, which saw the team wash out of the Challengers Stage and become relegated to the minor qualifiers.
That led to more roster changes for the team, with Gambit eventually settling on its 2019 Katowice Major lineup in December by signing Bondik on a trial basis following his split from HellRaisers. Though the team was solid on paper, it failed to make the cut with a fourth-place finish at the CIS Minor Championship.
During his run with the team, Bondik performed ably for Gambit. In its statement on his release, the team indicated it has other plans that he doesn’t fit into.
“Change of coach has also impacted our decision to part ways with Vladislav. This decision was based on the fact that we intend to alter the direction of our team,” Scherbakov said. “We would like to thank Bondik once again for his bright albeit short stay with Gambit.”
Gambit's next move is unclear, though changes to its lineup are likely to continue. The team retains the rest of its CIS Minor Championship roster including veterans Mikhail "Dosia" Stolyarov and Rustem "mou" Telepov. It also has Dmitriy "dimasick" Matvienko, who is currently benched.
CIS rivals like Vega Squadron are openly shopping players while other teams are expected to make changes soon. We could soon see a retooled Gambit Esports.