Damien “maLeK” Marcel has parted ways with G2 Esports, according to a statement from the team. The head coach had been with G2 since November of 2018. His three year tenure comes to an end after a recent second-place finish at the PGL Major Stockholm 2021, though the change was in the works before the event.
“Today marks the end of a great adventure,” maLeK said via a post on his Twitter. “I’ve been G2’s head coach for three years and well that went fast! The decision to part ways took place a few weeks before the major and I loved every moment of our last run with the boys.”
Today, we part ways with @G2maLeK_
Thank you Damien, for your three years of hard work and dedication to our team. Your passion for Counter-Strike is unmatched and we'll miss having your energy on the server.
Best of luck in your future endeavors ♥ pic.twitter.com/yiGXXsCj3O
— G2 Esports (@G2esports) November 16, 2021
In 2018, G2 still fielded a French roster built around Richard “shox” Papillon. MaLeK led the team through a rebuild that saw them shift to an international roster with Nemanja “nexa” Isaković and Nemanja “huNter” Kovač. After the team acquired superstar Nikola “NiKo” Kovač, the expectation was that results would follow.
Over the online era, G2 have floundered with the only noteworthy results coming at LAN events. Despite reaching the grand finals at significant tournaments, they have consistently fallen short of the mark with losses to powerhouse Natus Vincere at the PGL Major 2021, IEM Cologne 2021 and IEM Katowice 202o.
A report from 1pv.fr suggests that Luka “emi” Vuković is being considered to take up the role of head coach. Emi coached Valiance and CR4ZY while current G2 players, nexa and huNter, were still on the roster. He also played alongside NiKo on teams like iNation in the past.
MaLeK’s departure from G2 marks a further shift away from the French roster, towards an all-Balkan roster. The report also suggests that player moves could be on the horizon for G2, with AWPer François “AmaNEk” Delaunay as one of the likely candidates to be pulled from the roster.
As for maLeK, the 35-year-old coach is now taking time to reflect and consider future opportunities.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.