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Counter-Strike is no stranger to unexpected roster changes. Over the last twenty years, a number of attempted supposed super-teams have come and gone, each trying to make unconventional line-ups work in different ways. However, not every swap comes to fruition, and oftentimes, as you will find out, can be stopped at quite literally the last minute, and alas all we have of these moves is what we know through various leaks and rumors. These are the five craziest Counter-Strike transfers that almost happened.
While it may seem somewhat strange to think of now, back in September of 2015, NiP were close to breaking point. An extremely bad run of form in the year after the organisation’s first (and to-date only) major win at the first ESL One Cologne major had made tensions extremely high. There were talks of NiP legend f0rest leaving, and shortly before the team had fired Natu as coach, following a disappointing quarter-finals exit at the previous major.
Over in G2, a similar situation was unfolding. Ocelote was reportedly not happy with his team’s recent results, and was seeking a change. Titan had recently bought Belgian superstar ScreaM, leaving the team’s firepower resting on the shoulders of Norwegian anchor Rain.
After extensive talks, shocking rumors began to leak from both the Ninjas and G2 camps. The Swedish organisation were looking to buy Rain out of contract, and put him on their line-up. A buyout was reportedly agreed to, and Rain even took Swedish lessons. However, at the last second talks fell through and both teams remained somewhat intact. NiP would eventually kick Maikelele and Allu, while G2 would transition to the French line-up we know today.
The summer of 2015 had been a good one for Cloud9. A string of second and third-place finishes had once again put American Counter-Strike on the map, with the leadership of Seangares beating out some of the best teams in the world. Nothing lasts forever, however, and ultimately they began to stagnate, going out in the group stage of several major tournaments.
As mentioned before, around this time Ninjas in Pyjamas were in a similar predicament. A run of successful tournaments was very much over, and the team was looking for a shake-up to revitalise it. And, unbelievably, GeT_RiGhT the most likely candidate to leave. The Swede and Seangares were very good friends outside of the game, and eventually this led to talks between the two teams for a transfer that would see GeT_RiGhT leaving to join the North American organisation.
The move was done. More than done. GeT_RiGhT had arrived at the airport, ready to fly to Los Angeles, when he received a call from Cloud9 management. His ticket had been cancelled and the move was being called off. This last minute change of heart was reportedly due to concern from Cloud9 that GeT_RiGhT could potentially learn of their strategies ahead of the Cluj-Napoca major, and that this would put the team at a disadvantage if they decided not to continue with him after an initial “trial” period, specified in his contract.
This never-to-be transfer is probably the most well known of all. If this move had happened, it may have changed how Counter-Strike looks today. No Cloud9 win in Boston, perhaps? Would NiP have seen a second era of dominance?
Fate can often be cruel. As it turns out, the two teams were drawn into completely different groups at the Cluj-Napoca major.
Coldzera is considered by many to be one of the best players to ever pick up the mouse, and the best Brazilian player to touch the game. He cemented his impact with two major MVPs under his belt, as well as a string of other championships. However, after one of the most dominating runs in Counter-Strike history, MIBR’s historic Brazilian squad fell apart. Despite having some of the best talent in the game on their side, they began to go out into groups or make disappointing quarter-final exits at a number of tournaments.
This caused major tension within the team. Coldzera reportedly fell out with fellow Brazilians Fer and FalleN, and was in disagreement over how the team was being run as a whole. At the same time, MIBR were very close to picking up Tarik from Cloud9, adding another American to the line-up.
Shortly before this debacle, North American organisation Team Liquid had bought support player TACO from MIBR, and were looking fantastic for it. They had gone from a team that never quite achieved their potential to challenging for a number of titles. This was under the guidance of former MIBR coach Zews.
The bombshell was dropped in July of 2018, when reports surfaced that Coldzera was in talks with Team Liquid to join. He was reportedly motivated by his former coach and teammate, both of whom were good friends of his when they played together, to come to Los Angeles and join the team.
However, in the end Liquid were not willing to pay MIBR’s huge asking price for Coldzera, and he ended up staying with his compatriots. Team Liquid would go on to finish in second place at all but two tournaments in the entirety of the rest of 2018, losing to Astralis multiple times. Could Coldzera’s firepower have been the missing piece of the puzzle, to push them over the edge?
Eventually, TACO moved back to MIBR. Team Liquid bought former Cloud9 player Stewie2K from the Brazilian squad. MIBR would make the semi-finals at the London and Katowice major, while Team Liquid were once again bested by Astralis in London, and shocked by underdogs Ence in Poland, and went out in the quarter-finals.
We’ll be following up with our top 2 craziest CS:GO transfers that almost happened later this week, so check back soon!