It's back to square one for Team Liquid. Despite having seemed to land on their feet with the pickups of Oliver "Vonethil" Lager and Jared "zombs" Gitlin during the frenzied Overwatch launch period leading up to their 2nd place finish at Agents Rising, it emerged today that both players have decided to pass up on the chance to play for Liquid.
Team Liquid's captain Tim "dummy" Olson happened to mention the roster changes on his stream so I reached out to him to seek some confirmation the situation:
"We've been evaluating Vonethil and zombs for the past two weeks, but they've decided to pursue a different opportunity instead of signing with Liquid."
Olson wouldn't be drawn any further on the players' reasons for leaving. At the time of publishing neither player had responded to a request for comment.
During an interview at Agents Rising, dummy described how Vonethil had actually reached out to Team Liquid when he heard they were running try outs. The Swede quickly gelled with the team, even taking up the main calling duties alongside his Support role. Whilst Vonethil had already been making a name for himself with IMPULSE 11, zombs seemed to come from nowhere - a diamond in the rough making his competitive Overwatch debut with a top ten team.
After encouraging results online in the Alienware Monthly Melee, both players were brought to Los Angeles for the Agents Rising event at the expense of Team Liquid for further evaluation, but neither had actually signed to the organisation. We can only speculate as to why they decided not to play professionally for Liquid, but it's not hard to imagine that Agents Rising served as a shop window for these two free agents.
It is of course my duty to oil the gears of the rumour mill - this may only be the tip of the gossip iceberg. There is still a vacant spot at Rogue and a number of top players are reported to be homeless including André "iddqd" Dahlström and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson's - who knows what will happen?
The roster for Team Liquid (still) is:
- Kevin "AZK" Lariviere
- Tim "DaHanG" Fogarty
- Tim "dummy" Olson
- Adam "MESR" De La Torre