In an official statement, the German organization announced the acquisitions of Florian “syrsoN” Rische and Nils “k1to” Gruhne. The transfer is accompanied by the releases of Owen “smooya” Butterfield and coach Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić. Alongisde this, Johannes “nex” Maget was deactivated to make room for the two new additions.
While both smooya’s exit from the organization and the signings of syrsoN and k1to were reported as early as December 22, nex’s benching and LEGIJA’s departure come as a surprise to fans of BIG Clan.
Smooya took to Twitter to express his feelings about leaving the organization he’s been a part of since April 2018.
“I’ve got so much love for them all, even all the people running the organization from behind it was everything they promised and way smoother than before! I wish them NOTHING but success and I’m really confident with this new roster they will really be able to deliver some juicy results for you guys. And probably even make the major again so watch out for the new BIG stickers coming in 2020,” said smooya in a twitlonger.
Original reports indicated that Ismailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş was on his way out of BIG, but instead both nex and head coach LEGIJA were shown the door. Tobias Herberhold will take over as BIG’s coach.
LEGIJA tweeted a short, sweet goodbye to BIG and his now-former teammates. He added that he plans to continue coaching in 2020.
For smooya and nex, their next destinations are unclear. Smooya expressed a desire to play in North America in another tweet today, possibly adding another option for a still-teamless Cloud9 organization with ties to ATK.
Nex has been silent on his release so far.
With the addition of syrsoN and k1to, BIG adds two more German players to their Counter-Strike squad. BIG’s roster stands as follows:
While BIG found success in several tournaments in late 2017 and early 2018, the organization has struggled in larger events ever since. While the organization recently took home a second-place finish at the WESG 2019 Central Europe and Iberia qualifier, it hasn’t placed higher than fifth at a top tier tournament since the ELEAGUE Invitational in January 2019.
It’s too soon to tell if these changes will have an impact on BIG Clan’s lackluster results. The team is currently involved in Season 2 of the United Masters League, where they currently sit in first place in Group A with a 3-0 record.