Report: Extra Salt in talks to sign NA roster helmed by daps and RUSH
Dust2.us has learned from multiple sources close to the situation that Extra Salt are in discussions to sign a new squad headlined by Damian "daps" Steele and William "RUSH" Wierzba. The news comes after Dust2.us' report that Paytyn "junior" Johnson would be joining Extra Salt's current South African-American roster as a replacement for Josh "oSee" Ohm.
Since the release of the report on junior, there have been a number of developments in the scene, with Luís "MIRAA" Mira of Dexerto reporting on December 20th that talks between Complexity and Copenhagen Flames to acquire the latter organization's Danish roster had stalled and that Complexity were considering signing a North American team. This report was followed up by one from Danish "Nohte" Allana of HLTV on December 21st stating that Complexity are interested in acquiring Extra Salt's lineup alongside the recently benched Michael "Grim" Wince as part of a plan to return to the North American region.
Dust2.us understands that this deal is close to being completed, opening the door for Extra Salt to sign daps and RUSH's squad.
As previously mentioned the first piece of this new lineup is legendary IGL daps, who will be returning to the server after brief stints in VALORANT and as Evil Geniuses' head coach in the back half of 2021. daps recently released a statement reflecting on his time as Evil Geniuses' coach while announcing that his contract expires on January 14th. daps is one of North America's most experienced IGLs, having played on many of NA's top lineups including Liquid, OpTic, NRG, Cloud9, and Gen.G.
The second piece of the puzzle is an equally esteemed player in the form of RUSH, who is most known for winning the ELEAGUE Boston Major 2018 with Cloud9. More recently, he was a member of Complexity's juggernaut roster before it broke apart and he was released into free agency. He is also a former teammate of daps, with the duo having played together back in 2015-2016 with Conquest/OpTic.
Michael "Swisher" Schmid has been plying his trade in North America for the past two years with Yeah and Bad News Bears, winning a number of domestic online events with the latter team along with Fragadelphia 15. Swisher ended 2021 with a 1.04 rating over 247 maps.
Gage "Infinite" Green is currently a member of Party Astronauts, a team that has been in constant contention with Bad News Bears and Extra Salt to be North America's best domestic team. Outside of a brief period in VALORANT with NRG, Infinite has been grinding in the North American scene for close to five years, getting his initial start with CLG Academy before moving on to play with a number of notable domestic NA squads including Spacestation, Lazarus, and Chaos. Infinite finished 2021 with a 1.09 rating over 210 maps.
The final player in this prospective Extra Salt squad is Marshall "Minus" Sedowicz who is the least experienced member of the new lineup, having only played his second season of Premier/ESL Challenger League during Season 39. He however has been touted as an upcoming AWPer in the scene and is set to end the year with a 1.11 rating over 45 maps. He previously confirmed to Dust2.us that he was in talks to join Bad News Bears before committing to a new undisclosed project.
The last part of the team is Hunter "Lucid" Tucker as coach. While he is relatively new to the scene he was previously FunPlus Phoenix's analyst before the Chinese organization elected to move away from CS:GO. Prior to that, Lucid coached Third Impact during ESEA Premier Season 36.
If talks are successful, Extra Salt's new lineup will be:
- Damian "daps" Steele
- William "RUSH" Wierzba
- Michael "Swisher" Schmid
- Gage "Infinite" Green
- Marshall "Minus" Sedowicz
- Hunter "Lucid" Tucker (Coach)
Despite the core lineup pending a transfer to Complexity, the currently benched Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek and leftover player Edgar "MarKE" Maldonado would likely remain contracted to Extra Salt pending their release or acquisition by another team.
Dust2.us reached out to the prospective lineup and Extra Salt for comment, with both parties declining to comment or failing to respond prior to the publication of this report.