Mousesports is off to a rocky start in the new year.
Two weeks removed from its poor performance at the IEM Katowice European Minor, the organization announced the benching of players Chris “chrisJ” de Jong and Martin “STYKO” Styk, as well as coach Sergey “lmbt” Bezhanov, on its official website. Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, Robin “ropz” Kool, and Tomas “oskar” Stastny remain on the team’s active roster.
It’s a wild turn of events for the European stalwarts. After a strong closing run in 2017, Mouz transformed into one of the world’s best CS:GO teams in 2018, highlighted by first-place finishes at StarLadder Season 4 and ESL One: New York. Despite that success, Mouz was plagued with consistency issues that spurred the team to replace STYKO with Polish star Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski in June.
The switch to Snax did see Mousesports raise a trophy in New York, but chemistry issues badly affected the team, and Snax was dropped in favor of a returning STYKO just a few months after the two had first been swapped.
The move proved to be a wash in the short-term, with Mouz performing well at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals while looking less impressive at other events. The team entered the European Minor in January as the clear favorite, but was eliminated in the group stages after sustaining a pair of losses to Valiance. According to the team’s website, that upset required a “major change” to the roster.
It’s a tough blow for all three departing players, but it’s a particularly unceremonious end to ChrisJ’s five-year run with the team. Joining in 2013, he helped Mouz transition from a squad struggling to return to its past glory to one of CS:GO’s more reputable teams. Few have had longer uninterrupted tenures with a side, and few have been more closely tied with a brand than ChrisJ with Mouz
Mouz is not scheduled to compete in February, giving the organization ample time to complete a new roster. Its next scheduled event is StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, which begins March 30.