With over 50 distinct roster changes between Pro League teams since the Pro League Season 8 Finals in Rio last November, there’s an awful lot to catch up on - you can read about each of these changes right here or sit back and check out the Top 5 biggest changes below:
5th Place: Pino Joins Ninjas in Pyjamas
While NiP made just 1 change this transfer season, it was a big one. Replacing pzd in the team comes Gabriel "Pino" Fernandes, an ex-pro from Season 4 and a veteran of two other FPS’s competitive scenes - Battlefield 4 and PUBG. Since the age of 14 he’s been playing against players such as Nesk and mav in major BF4 tournaments and, since his 3rd place finish in LATAM during Season 4 of R6’s Pro League, he’s also been a part of the 2nd placed team in the PUBG premier Season of the ESL Brazil Premier League two months ago.
He now joins a struggling NiP team as their not so secret weapon unleashed first during his team debut last month against FaZe Clan in which he dominated one of the strongest looking rosters in LATAM history - 16 kills and 3.2KD ended their Season 9 opener in a thrilling fashion, 7-5, showing that NiP is back on track thanks to their new star
4th Place: Team Vitality’s Collapses
While technically now a Challenger League team, the news of ZephiR, RaFaLe, Heaavens and BiOs all leaving the massive French organisation of Team Vitality is a truly momentous moment in the history of French R6. With 3 members of the Season 8 Vitality roster having played together since all the way back in Season 2 of Pro League on the XBOX this was perhaps the longest consistent roster in Siege history which is now no more after a weak Season 8 performance led to Biboo leaving on the penultimate playday followed by two more player departures last week.
These changes mean that the roster is unlikely to be able to keep their spot in Challenger League Season 9 as it contains just two members of the main roster from last Season, Spark and BriD, meaning, should Team Vitality keep the roster, they’d be needing to requalify from the upcoming open qualifiers later this month.
3rd Place: Millenium’s Reformation
While we knew Millenium was getting a new organisation for Season 9 many people expected this to be Team Vitality so when it was announced that the organisation LeStream would be picking up the roster with the exception of Liven and Renshiro, two of the best-known members of the team, more than a few people were surprised.
Not only is this a huge change to the recognisable lineup but their choice of replacements in UUNO and Alphama means that with 2 French, 1 German, 1 Finnish and 1 Belgian on LeStream, Pro League now lacks a French team for the first time in its 3 year history - a real end of an era. These changes, however, means that UUNO, risze and AceeZ, three of the top fraggers in Europe, will be on the same team next Season which should be quite a performance to watch out for.
2nd Place: DarkZero’s Big Entrance
An organisation as big as SK Gaming leaving Siege would usually be the main story after a roster change such as this but that story was virtually eclipsed by who replaced them. DarkZero Esports is a brand new organisation bringing in levels of investment unheard of in other teams as the SK roster welcomes the coaches of BKN and BC and a brand new gaming house:
DarkZero has took the #3 team in North America, added in an ex-coach and ex-player of Evil Geniuses and offered them seemingly endless resources - this is a dream situation for players around the World and really could be a revolution in North American R6S, the end to the consistent Rogue/EG domination and a real statement to other teams/orgs around the World that investing in teams takes you far.
Special mention: LaXInG Replaces LaXInG on Cloud9
This change was simply too ridiculous not to mention - just four days after Cloud9 made the shock move to drop their star fragger of Gabriel "LaXInG" Mirelez, Cloud9 made another shocking move in welcoming him right back onto the team. These changes surprised everyone in the scene on both occasions especially as it came just as the rest of the team just moved into their own new gaming house with LaXInG expected to follow the following week.
1st Place: The LATAM Super-Team
Similar to DarkZero, Team Liquid also just made a change that could push them back to being the top contenders in their region - they took their Pro League winning roster, added the Team Captain of their main rivals, FaZe Clan, and one of the top fraggers in the region, Paluh to create what’s, on paper, the strongest roster we’ve seen yet from the LATAM region - a LATAM Super-Team.
The roster started off with a very rough start with losses to Immortals and Trust Gaming but also took G2 Esports to an inch of a loss off-stream at DreamHack Winter which implies the losses were due to a lack of a functioning map pool so soon after formation - with the Pro League being rather delayed this Season they have had plenty of time to practice on their rusty maps and get their two new players in the loop for what should be an exhilarating Season 9 in Latin America.
And so there are my highlights of the post Season 8 transfer season - 5 teams have been effectively been reformed and are ready to make their mark as Pro League and the Six Invitationals both near. Keep track of these team’s games and any more announcements this transfer season right here at SiegeGG!