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OG CS:GO bench ISSAA and proceed with “rebuilding phase”

Scott Robertson

OG has pulled the trigger on their second CS:GO roster change in less than a month. OG and Issa “⁠ISSAA⁠” Murad have agreed to part ways 15 months after he joined the original starting roster by mutual decision.

OG issaa

The era of ISSAA is over. Image via BLAST Premier.

OG has struggled to find consistent results during the online era. Fans can trace these struggles back to issues with ISSAA. However, it’s not his fault, as he’s been fighting high ping issues that stem from living in Amman, Jordan. He’s been unable to relocate to a local boot camp at their headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. The team’s start to 2021 has been especially rough. Early exits from BLAST Spring and IEM Katowice, failing to advance past qualifier for DreamHack and capped off with another early exit at ESL Pro League.

Coach Casper “⁠ruggah⁠” Due said that he was disappointed to make this move but acknowledged it was necessary for both parties. “After evaluation over time, it became clear to both parties that for ISSAA to flourish and OG to keep improving, changes were needed and these paths had to continue separately. I’m a bit sad we couldn’t give ISSAA the optimal situation to bang heads, since he has proven throughout his career that he is a player capable of challenging the very best on the server.”

This is OG’s second CS:GO roster move in less than a month. Nathan “⁠NBK-⁠” Schmitt moved to the bench in late February. As of now, the starting roster consists of Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen, Mateusz “⁠mantuu⁠” Wilczewski, and Valdemar “⁠valde⁠” Bjørn Vangså, with Nikolaj “⁠niko⁠” Kristensen competing as a stand-in. Per the announcement, the team is entering a self-described “internal rebuilding phase.”

The team will be holding tryouts to fill the two full-time CS:GO roster slots. There is a plethora of talent available to the organization. Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom recently moved to the Team Vitality bench. Kenny “kennyS” Schrub did the same with G2, although OG has an AWPer in mantuu already. Some former Team Envy talent in Buğra “Calyx” Arkın and Michał “MICHU” Müller are available as well. Other lurker talent is out there like mousesports’ Robin “ropz” Kool. But OG would have to shell out the big bucks.

OG will have several eyes on it as it has a few weeks until it competes at the BLAST Spring Showdown.