Banner image: Ubisoft/Joao F.
XSET will trial Javier “Thinkingnade” Escamilla during the Six Invitational Open Qualifier No. 2, a source with intimate knowledge of the team told SiegeGG. Thinkingnade will play from the Las Vegas team house, and is already in the city, according to the source.
The move comes after the team's Dec. 16 announcement that it was parting ways with Xavier "Filthy" Garcia.
Thinkingnade is an SI hammer-lifter and one of the consensus best flank watch players of all time. His presence puts another SI World Champion in XSET’s corner: Nathan “nvK” Valenti lifted the hammer at the inaugural Invitational in 2017.
Thinkingnade recently played for Spacestation Gaming, but was dropped following the Mexico Major due to a momentary collapse of faith that Spacestation publicly said couldn’t be ignored moving into a six month period with no transfer window. In his place, Spacestation signed Alex “Skys” Magor.
XSET has struggled throughout 2021. They were relegated by Parabellum, but there’s a loophole: NAL spots are determined by who holds the license. There are very strong rumors that Ubisoft/FACEIT want the NAL to return to a 10 team league. Therefore, it’s theoretically possible that XSET, despite losing their relegation match, remains in the NAL for another year.
XSET chose not to participate in the first open qualifier due to the relegation match with Parabellum the following week. They lost the relegation match 3-0 – but with a caveat: All three maps went to overtime or max regulation. XSET will field Thinkingnade for this weekend’s SI Qualifier, under the “Drew’s Sparks” moniker.