Recently, North American esports organization Team Liquid became caught up in rumors that Keith “NAF” Markovic would be removed from its CSGO roster. A report claimed that, according to sources close to the Liquid organization, the team was looking at Cloud9 player Timothy “autimatic” Ta as a potential replacement. However, this report was denied by Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip and has since also been refuted by the organization’s General Manager.
Team Liquid’s recent troubles
While Team Liquid’s CSGO roster is currently ranked #1 in the world, the team hasn’t done well in recent matches. After taking 1st place for 7 events in a row, including Season 2 of the Intel Grand Slam, most didn’t expect Liquid to fall in the next event. However, in the StarLadder Berlin Major, Team Liquid was eliminated in 5 – 8th place after a loss to Astralis.
The team also only achieved 3 – 4th in Season 8 of the Esports Championship Series for North America and at ESL One: New York. Even worse was their 9 – 12th placing at the most recent DreamHack Masters Malmö event. Following this lackluster performance, the idea that NAF could be substituted was still bewildering, but more acceptable than if mentioned 3 months prior. The sources in the article claimed that Cloud9 would trade autimatic for NAF, but also said that NAF could instead be sent to the Evil Geniuses roster.
Community members soon reacted to the report. Team Liquid player Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip said, “Do people know things before me or does this usually mean I’m out too?” Evil Geniuses CSGO Head Coach Chet Singh also called the report “fake news” on social media. The writer of the original report has a good track history with previous rumors, which makes this most likely just a blunder on the source’s end.
Denying the NAF roster rumor
Don’t usually reply to this stuff but the messages are getting out of hand.. We have 0 plans on any roster moves. When we read the NAF article it became a nice team meme. Now it’s getting out of hand. Yes we are in a tough stretch. Hard work will get us out of it not roster moves
— Steve Perino (@jokasteve) October 5, 2019
In the statement by the Team Liquid General Manager, he says that the organization is aware of the recent disappointing results. However, Perino writes that “hard work will get [Liquid] out of it – not roster moves”. He also posted a statement to Team Liquid fans, telling them not to start a witch hunt against reporters because they do good work.
Team Liquid’s CSGO roster currently sits at fifth place in Season 8 of the Esports Championship Series for North America. They will also play in Group C of Season 10’s ESL Pro League which starts on October 14. Will Team Liquid be able to recover? Let us know what you think, and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your CSGO coverage.