Spongey has been inactive since departing Triumph in early September
Former Triumph member Gabe "Spongey" Greiner was seen playing in place of Sean "naes" Fontaine for Kinship during ESEA's Autumn Cash Cup 3, and Dust2.us have learned that the team are eyeing making the change more than a one-off.
naes and Troy "ara" Pollock both averaged a team-worst 0.88 rating in ESEA MDL Season 35, and according to Christopher "Swahn" Swahn the choice of who would be the odd man out ultimately came down to preservation of the team's gameplan heading into Relegation. The MDL veteran told us the following:
Spongey was willing to play with us, and I mean he just came from qualifying to Pro League, so we need to make room for him. It had to be either ara or naes, and despite a terrible season, I think it makes sense to keep the same IGL and system [...] Problem is that we don't know if naes will play Relegation with us. We felt like it was better to tell him, however we weren't open enough about the whole situation, so he's pretty frustrated with it all to say the least.
According to Swahn, Spongey's interest in the project is contingent upon Kinship maintaining their spot in MDL following the ESEA MDL Season 35 Relegation event, which is why naes's participation is so crucial. If Kinship were to be relegated the planned roster shuffle has the potential to "all fall apart". For his part, Spongey confirmed he "might" join the team if they reach MDL, but is "not really sure."
Dust2.us also reached out to naes, who confirmed that he felt the situation would have been better handled as a team discussion rather than a series of separate individual discussions coordinated by a "certain individual". At this time he has not confirmed whether or not he will play with Kinship in ESEA MDL Season 35 Relegation. If he were to opt not to participate, the team would be forced to utilize Alex "Alexdb" Benavides, who is the only extra person on their roster, but has not seen action since Season 31 of Open.
If the change were to come to fruition, Kinship would be:
- Connor "chop" Sullivan
- Troy "ara" Pollock
- Brennan "grape" Greer
- Christopher "Swahn" Swahn
- Gabe "Spongey" Greiner
Kinship have a little under a month to try and secure naes' help for ESEA MDL Season 35 Relegation, which will take place December 7-9th.
Update: Brennan "grape" Greer got back to Dust2.us following the initial publication of the article taking on the majority of the blame for the situation due to his "lack of experience dealing with situations like this." He also added the following:
I've known naes for a long time, and he deserved the respect of knowing because when we told him, I could 100% see how betrayed he felt. I just wish I talked to him before we came to the final decision.
Overall, I have no one to blame but myself for not talking to naes about this, and any decision he makes regarding about MDL Relegation, I can completely understand where he is coming from.