zakk's contract expires, open to offers
One of the hottest teams in South America is set to begin their new year without a coach as Rafael "zakk" Fernandes announced that his contract with the organization had expired.
In a timely report from Dust2 Brasil, they were able to confirm that zakk's contract expired on December 31st and that he has not agreed to a renewal at this time. However, the 31-year-old Brazilian coach had not ruled out the possibility of returning to 9z.
zakk has quickly risen to be one of the best coaches in the South American scene given his tremendous effort with the 9z organization since joining at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. At the time the organization was languishing at 181st in the world, however, under zakk's tutelage, they rose to a 19th in the world in August and have settled in the 20s as of the last few months.
In a follow-up tweet, zakk notes that he was still in negotiations with some teams, one of them being 9z, but he would not confirm anything at this time.
Given FalleN's recent comments and fnx looking to move on from the coaching role, Imperial is likely to be one of the candidates after the Brazilian.
Highlights from zakk's time with 9z include a victory in FiReLeague 2021 and impressive performances in the PGL Major Antwerp 2022, despite being banned at the last minute, IEM Rio 2022, as well as a series of local titles.