Oceania’s first expatriate Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad have found a new home in Europe, three months on from their departure from Los Angeles-based 100 Thieves.
EXTREMUM, a Russian owned and backed organisation, have acquired the lineup of Aaron ‘AZR’ Ward, Jay ‘Liazz’ Tregillgas & Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai, with former coach Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunovic set to link back up with the squad for the third time.
The final position is to be filled by long-time rival of the Renegades and 100 Thieves core in Indonesian Hansel ‘BnTeT’ Ferdinand, who was listed as a free agent following Gen.G Esports’ withdrawal from CS:GO in mid-December.
The former TYLOO and Gen.G rifler is a fine addition to the lineup who will look to fill the void left by departed Justin ‘jks’ Savage, who has since flourished at new European neighbour Complexity Gaming.
The announcement put months of speculation to rest, however it had been reported as early as November that EXTREMUM, among others, had expressed interest in securing the StarLadder Berlin Major semi-finalists.
The CIS-based organisation are not new to CS:GO but have struggled to find success thus far, with a smattering of top four finishes at lower-tier events in the CIS region. This move marks a renewed interest in the esport for the organisation, while the region switch for the ex-100T core is all but necessary following the ‘demise’ of CS:GO competition in North America.
With COVID rife in the United States and a bleak offline competition calendar, North American organisations forewent moving rosters to Europe and instead opted to withdraw from the esport altogether, with some citing rising costs without meaningful return.
As such, a move to Europe for ‘the boys’ was always on the cards. However, a caveat of the move comes in the form of the loss of their Regional Major Ranking points, which Valve plans to use to determine invites to the next CS:GO Major.
But now with sufficient backing from EXTREMUM, and with the next major beyond the horizon at this stage, their return to form is in their own hands in a region now full to the brim with worthy opponents.
Despite the dissolution of the 100 Thieves in October 2020, the team finished the year strongly with back-to-back final appearances at ESL Pro League North America and IEM New York, both coming with losses to in-form Brazilian squad FURIA.
EXTREMUM CS:GO 2021
Aaron ‘AZR’ Ward (C)
Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai
Jay ‘Liazz’ Tregillgas
Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad
Hansel ‘BnTeT’ Ferdinand
Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunovic (Coach)
Nestor 'LETN1' Tanic (Analyst/Manager)