Team Liquid confirms the return of nitr0 as CSGO captain

Steven Rondina • January 15, 2022 1:42 pm

At long last, Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella is returning to Team Liquid’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team.

The organization confirmed the return of its former captain on Twitter. The decorated shot-caller has been playing on 100 Thieves’ Valorant lineup, but is instead returning to his old game and his old organization in a blockbuster transfer.

To celebrate his return, Team Liquid put out a dramatic video that shows nitr0 polishing a Captain America shield. The implication is that nitr0 is set to return and usher in another golden age of North American CSGO.

nitr0 leaving Valorant for CSGO

Speaking with Launcher, nitr0 discussed the decision to return to CSGO after a stint in Valorant. While he didn’t criticize the game, he did discuss how he didn’t really feel at home in Valorant after spending the bulk of his adult life playing in the CSGO ecosystem.

“I really enjoy the community. I have relationships with most of the professional players in the scene just because I’ve been around for like eight years now in the Counter-Strike scene. Going into Valorant, obviously there were some newer names… In the Counter-Strike scene, I had a pretty good relationship with most of the pros,” nitr0 said.

For nitr0, coming back to Liquid was a “no-brainer.” He also expressed his excitement at the idea of reuniting with former teammates Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski and Keith “NAF” Markovic.

What happened to nitr0 and Team Liquid?

Team Liquid benched nitr0 in August 2020 after a few disappointing tournament losses. 

Though Team Liquid was still placing top four in basically every event it competed in, it finished in a disappointing fifth place at IEM Katowice 2020. From there, it failed to dominate in online regional leagues against other North American teams. This prompted the team to drop nitr0 in favor of a younger name in Michael “Grim” Wince. They also dropped coach Eric “adreN” Hoag.

The decision was a disastrous one for Team Liquid. The team’s performance was wildly inconsistent after nitr0’s departure, with placements ranging from top four in IEM Katowice 2021 to getting swept out of the 2021 BLAST Premier Spring Showdown by a struggling Dignitas.

The team recently saw the departures of Grim, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip, and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo. Alongside nitr0’s return, Team Liquid is adding Extra Salt’s Joshua “oSee” Ohm and French CSGO mainstay Richard “shox” Papillon.

The new Team Liquid lineup is currently set to make its debut at the 2022 BLAST Premier Spring event with a group stage match against FaZe Clan.

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