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G2 Esports Signs CTZN and Virtue, Fabian and SirBoss Out

In one of its biggest roster changes in its history, G2 Esports has signed CTZN and Virtue from Natus Vincere and Fnatic, respectively, to give its new roster an air of lethality once more.

G2 Esports Signs CTZN and Virtue, Fabian and SirBoss Out

Following a quarter-finals exit at the Six Invitational 2020, G2 Esports has signed Ben "CTZN" McMillan from Natus Vincere and Jake "Virtue" Grannan from Fnatic in a bid to return to title-winning glory. The two will be replacing the outgoing loanee of Ferenc "SirBoss" Mérész, who himself was only a stand-in to replace Pascal "Cryn" Alouane, and team captain Fabian "Fabian" Hallsten, who has now been mutually benched. What's more, Virtue's signing also marks the first inter-regional transfer into Europe.

Despite G2 having won three Pro League titles, two Six Invitational titles, a Six Major title and a Minor, after a year of disappointments and the removal of long time members Daniel "Goga" Mazorra Romero and Joonas "jNSzki" Savolainen, the team has largely lost its identity. As explained by Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen in an interview to SiegeGG, the G2 of today is very much different from that before.

Failure to qualify for the Season 9 and 10 Finals, a grand final loss at the Six Major Raleigh, multiple failure to qualify to the Six Invitational 2020, and a first-round lower-bracket playoffs exit at the event after being invited to it eventually lead to the departure of Fabian "Fabian" Hallsten, breaking the longstanding Pengu-Fabian duo that had won the aforementioned titles.

On the G2 Esports website, Fabian revealed that "it was time for [him] to move on" and that he had asked to be traded to another team. As such, he is now working together with the organisation to find himself a new home, though he did reveal that his preferred option fell through -- rumoured to have been Rogue.

Virtue had begun his PC career with Zero Gaming in the Pro League for Season 7, finishing in fourth place before moving over to Dark Sided for Season 8 where he finished in third place. Following this, his potential was noticed as he replaced Daniel "NeophyteR" An on Australia and New Zealand’s best and most successful team of Fnatic, ahead of the 2019 Six Invitational.

Fnatic at the Six Invitational 2020.

In the year since Virtue joined, he has finished joint-fifth in the 2019 and 2020 Six Invitational, joint-third at the Season 9 Finals, and helped Fnatic become the Australian champions at the 2019 Six Masters. Across these tournaments, he was the highest-rated player at the 2019 Invitational, with a 1.33 rating on Ash and Jager, the fourth highest-rated player (and highest rated non-Latin American player) at the Season 9 Finals with a 1.14 rating on Zofia and Jager, and the highest-rated player at the Six Masters Finals, with a 1.36 rating on Jackal and Jaeger.

CTZN, on the other hand, started his professional R6 career at the same time as the current Team Empire player of Danila "dan" Dontsov during Season 3 of the CCS league. Quickly joining the MnM Gaming roster, he began seeing success following the formation of the roster now playing for Natus Vincere. Outside of small LAN events and an ESL Premiership win, the MnM team first got appreciable success when it beat Team Vitality in the Challenger League playoffs to win promotion to the Pro League for Season 10.

CTZN lifting his Pro League trophy.

Signed by Natus Vincere right after, the roster did not qualify for the Raleigh Major and fell in the group stages at DreamHack Valencia to the both the former North American Rogue roster and the current European one. However, it certainly impressed in the Pro League. Despite being middle-of-the-pack at the halfway mark, Na'Vi managed to overtake both G2 Esports and Team Empire in the final few play days to qualify for the Pro League Finals in Tokoname, Japan as the top-seeded European roster. Here, the team came in as the favorite for the title and lived up to expectations by following in Empire’s footsteps to complete the journey from the Challenger League qualifiers to Pro League champions in one attempt.

Since then, however, Na'Vi fell early in the 2020 Six Invitational against Spacestation Gaming and Team SoloMid and currently sits in sixth place in the Pro League, with a mere two wins and one draw across seven games. Due to this, the Season 10 MVP of CTZN has opted to leave Na’Vi in favor of joining the famed G2 Esports roster.

With CTZN and Virtue now joining the team, G2 will have its sights set on the Season 11 Finals in São Paulo this May, with a LAN qualification position just one point away. Should G2 make it to the Finals we would, therefore, see CTZN aim to become the first player since Season 5 to defend a Pro League title, while Pengu will strive to become a five-time champion, including the first and last ever Pro League seasons.

The current Pro League standings in Europe.

 Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen

 Juhani "Kantoraketti" Toivonen

 Aleksi "UUNO" Työppönen

 Jake "Virtue" Grannan

 Ben "CTZN" McMillan

 Thomas "Shas" Lee (coach)

 Kevin "Sua" Stahnke (coach)

 Jack “Fresh” Allen (analyst)

 Fabian "Fabian" Hallsten (substitute)