As the new season of competitive CS:GO begins, numerous transfers and roster changes have taken place, with some teams striving for improvement, others seeking to rebuild, and others seeking a fresh start. The BLAST Premier: Spring Groups, the first major tournament of the year, saw some teams, like FaZe and Outsiders, compete with substitute players.
However, as the IEM Katowice tournament approaches, many players have returned to their teams. In January 2023, two particularly noteworthy comebacks occurred, which we will examine in this article.
Deadly Duo’s Returns
The professional CS:GO scene is about to see the return of two veteran duos, both of whom have made a significant impact in their respective teams. These players have been absent from the competitive stage for some time but are now back and ready to bring their skills to the forefront.
Rain & RobbaN
FaZe Clan’s star CS:GO rifler, rain, and head coach, Robert “RobbaN” Dahlström, have rejoined the team’s active roster for the IEM Katowice 2023 tournament. Rain was unable to participate in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups in January 2023 due to the birth of his first child and RobbaN was absent for personal reasons. During their absence, FaZe played with stand-in player Patrick “es3tag” Hansen and Edward Han as their temporary coach.
The return of rain and RobbaN has elevated FaZe’s chances of emerging as the champions in the Polish competition. Fans can follow their latest matches and results on the https://cover.gg/ platform. With their return, FaZe also has the chance to secure the Intel Grand Slam Season 4 title and pocket the $1,000,000 prize.
Shox & SmithZz
The French CS:GO scene is about to see a legendary player make his return, as Richard “shox” Papillon reunites with former teammate Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux. Along with the other members of the roster, Jeremy “kursy” Gast, Ryan “Neityu” Aubry, and Paul “Day0s” Niel, they will attempt to qualify for the upcoming BLAST Paris Major. Shox will take on the IGL role in this reunion.
The current lineup will attempt to qualify through the open qualifiers and the RMR tournaments. If they succeed, they will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the RMR with the goal of competing in the Major in front of a home crowd.
GODSENT’s Comeback to its Roots
After a hiatus, the GODSENT organization has made its comeback to the world of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with a brand new all-Swedish roster. This marks their return to a fully Swedish lineup after their last all-Swede team was disbanded in 2018.
The current roster comprises of a talented group of players, including three standout performers from NiP’s academy:
- Erik “ztr” Gustafsson (IGL)
- William “draken” Sundin (AWPer)
- Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzales Zamora (Rifler)
- Joel Holmlund (AWPer)
- Alfred “RuStY” Karlsson (Rifler)
This lineup will be coached by the experienced Maikil “Golden” Selim, former in-game leader of Fnatic. To kick things off, they will enter smaller tournaments and aim to secure their spot in larger events by winning through the qualifier rounds. Currently, GODSENT does not have a direct invitation to the ESL Pro League or BLAST Premier.
Boombl4’s Possible Return to Pro Scene
The possibility of Boombl4, former in-game leader of Natus Vincere, returning to the competitive CS:GO scene can’t be ignored. The Russian has been without a team since his departure from Natus Vincere in May 2022. Despite Natus Vincere’s claim that his removal was due to “reputational risks”, Kirill has been a free agent since Jan. 1, 2023, after his contract with the organization expired.
There are now rumors that Boombl4 may join forces with free agents NickelBack and Forester for a new roster at 1WIN. If they join, they would play alongside Denis “deko” Zhukov and Aleksandr “TRAVIS” Timkiv. The only question remains, who will step up as in-game leader between Boombl4 and NickelBack, both former captains. Nevertheless, with these two experienced CS:GO players, 1WIN is shaping up to be a formidable force.