Specifically, the organization has removed Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt from his role on the starting roster and will be exploring other options for a fifth player. The team released a statement on the matter on their Twitter page.
“The team has shown amazing results but a change was needed as the squad in its current form, with 2 in-game leaders, reached its limits,” Vitality said. “NBK’s professionalism, talent, and dedication played a big part in the many achievements recorded since the creation of the squad. However, the entire team had a hard time being consistent recently and a big decision was mandatory to go forward.”
Vitality started the Starladder Berlin Major on extremely shaky ground, losing to Syman Gaming 8-16. They also lost to DreamEaters in their third match of the Challengers Stage, forcing them to win two best-of-threes in a row to keep their title hopes alive. Vitality defeated HellRaisers and Grayhound Gaming to advance to the Legends Stage.
After a pair of early wins over FaZe Clan and North in the next stage, Vitality fell 0-2 to ENCE Esports. This time, Vitality rebounded much quicker, winning their next match against Mousesports handily.
The good times ended there for Vitality. They started the Champions Stage with an elimination loss to Avangar, whose Cinderella run has since brought them to the Grand Finals of the tournament. While their result wasn’t bad, they clearly expected more with the firepower they have on the roster.
As for NBK, he seems to be taking the roster moves in stride. On his personal Twitter account, he said that he would be finding an international team and would continue to play at the highest level.
For Vitality, they’ll have no shortage of top tier talent to look for in free agency, and their roster will retain budding superstar Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. They may have had some troubles at the Berlin Major, but with the right free agency pickup they could be at the top again very quickly.