nitr0 steps down from Liquid
Liquid IGL and longtime player Nick "nitr0" Cannella has announced that he will be stepping back from Liquid, marking the end of almost seven cumulative years with the squad. nitr0's decision comes just days after the conclusion of the BLAST.tv Paris Major, where nitr0 and company missed out on a deep playoffs run after falling to Apeks in the quarterfinals.
In his announcement, nitr0 cited wanting to spend time with family as an important factor in his decision. nitr0 just recently missed a portion of Liquid's European bootcamp ahead of the BLAST.tv Paris Major in order to be with his family as he and his wife anticipated the birth of their second child.
nitr0's decision marks the end of one of North America's most tenured and storied careers, with nitr0 having been one of the faces of Liquid since the team's entry into CS:GO in 2015. nitr0 helmed Liquid during the team's most successful period, leading the way for the team to make history with a record-breaking 68-day Intel Grand Slam run after notching four consecutive top title wins in a row. nitr0 also helped Liquid achieve a number of playoff finishes at Majors, including two semifinal appearances as well as a grand final at ESL One Cologne 2016.
nitr0 previously took a step back from Liquid beginning in the summer of 2020, opting to pursue a year-long stint in VALORANT with 100 Thieves. Following a lackluster 2021 for Liquid, nitr0 made his return to Counter-Strike amidst a rebuild that also saw the addition of young AWPer Josh "oSee" Ohm, as well as Latvian superstar Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis not long afterward.
Liquid will now be on the hunt for a fifth member to fill the vacancy left behind by nitr0. The North Americans may not necessarily have to be strictly looking out for a new in-game leader, as it was revealed at the Paris Major that nitr0 and YEKINDAR had been splitting leading responsibilities. If YEKINDAR opts to take on calling full-time, it would provide Liquid more flexibility in their options for a fifth player.
Before his departure, nitr0 will be playing out the upcoming IEM Dallas event with Liquid, having his final appearance be on home soil. Liquid's opening matchup will be a historic one, as the team are set to face off against Astralis, historically one of the fiercest rivalries in CS:GO history.
Following IEM Dallas, Liquid's roster will be:
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski
Keith "NAF" Markovic
Josh "oSee" Ohm
Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis
Damian "daps" Steele
nitr0's final run with Liquid kicks off in a matter of days, with Liquid's game versus Astralis scheduled for 03:45PM on May 29th.