French Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Vitality is exploring adding a sixth member to its roster.
According to an anonymously sourced report from French news website 1pv.fr, Vitality is the latest organization to consider adding a sixth player to its five-man roster. The move would make Vitality the third major team to build an expanded roster, with the report going on to list four potential additions to its roster.
There are four players currently on the short list of candidates for a spot on Vitality:
Originally, reigning major champions Astralis planned to expand its roster to six players in May, just before in-game leader Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and rifler Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth surprised fans by stepping back from CSGO competition. Both cited burnout due to the game’s continuous tournament schedule, even though their absences came after CSGO had moved to online competition following global events. WIN.gg spoke to Astralis’ director of sport Kasper Hvidt after the addition of two free agents, Jakob “JUGi” Hansen and Patrik “e3stag” Hansen, about the thought process behind the moves.
“Having seven players on the roster will allow some players to step back to rest and recharge the batteries at certain times. It will ultimately extend their careers,” Hvidt told WIN.gg.
Read WIN.gg’s complete interview with Astralis’ Kevin Hvidt.
While a report from esports journalist Richard Lewis stated that Astralis’ six-man roster was due to player dissatisfaction with the organization, which was supported by WIN.gg’s own special report, more top teams seemed content to implement the idea anyway. The CSGO player break was rife with rumors that teams were also exploring a six-man roster, but it wasn’t until North American CSGO organization Cloud9 started its September 2020 rebuild that the idea became mainstream.
After his surprise hire, Cloud9’s new general manager and former CSGO commentator Henry “HenryG” Greer briefly mentioned that C9 would include a substitute roster member. He later clarified by saying that C9 wouldn’t sub the sixth player in depending on the current tournament, but the substitute would enter the active roster in case of emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances.
“…he’ll be actively traveling and working with us during practice. The idea is that I want someone there in case anything goes wrong,” HenryG explained.
Players who want the in-depth scoop on HenryG’s grand plan for C9 can find out more by clicking right here.
The idea of a six-player roster is nothing new, with teams having experimented with the idea in the past but ultimately sticking with the traditional five-player roster. While no official reports indicate why these teams turned away from the idea, talk centered around the difficulty of creating and maintaining chemistry among players without constant practice.
That problem remains, but it clearly hasn’t stopped CSGO’s top teams from trying to gain an edge.