Fans React As Fnatic Makes The Decision To Bench Golden
On July 5, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) audience was shaken by some upsetting news - prominent in-game leader (IGL) and rifler Maikil "Golden" Kunda Selim had been removed from Fnatic's active roster.
Golden had been placed on the team's inactive roster indefinitely due to his waning competitive performance.
In their press release reporting the event, Fnatic cited that Golden was open to pursuing other options for the time being. Andreas Samuelsson, the team's CS:GO Head Coach, had this to say about the matter:
“It saddens me to announce that we are moving Maikil from the active CS:GO roster. Maikil is certainly the friendliest and best teammate in the scene, but the recent results have not lived up to the standards we expect from the team. That's why we're looking to turn the page and begin our rebuilding process with new in-game leadership. You can expect more news from the Fnatic camp in the near future to bring us back where we belong.”
Golden has been with Fnatic since 2016, starting as a part of Fnatic Academy and moving up to the main roster shortly after.
During his time with the team, Golden helped Fnatic win WESG 2017 and IEM Katowice 2018, ESL Pro League Season 11, and DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019, along with many other tournaments.
Golden briefly left Fnatic in 2018 to pursue other ventures. He ended up joining Cloud9, where he was active until 2019 when he rejoined Fnatic. For the next year, Golden would continue his active role on the Fnatic team, until earlier this week, when he was benched.
Plenty of players in the CS:GO community are upset to hear about this roster change, as some had been following Golden since the beginning.
Both Golden and Fnatic released their statements on Twitter, which attracted a lot of attention in the CS:GO community.
Many fans and players thanked Golden for his leadership, wishing him the best in his future career. Golden had garnered a lot of respect in the CS:GO community.
His IGL position and expertise made him a recognisable figurehead in the esports industry. For this reason, many fans were upset that Golden's time with Fnatic had been cut so short, taking to Twitter to voice their grievances with the organisation.
Others were not so sure that this would be the end of Golden's career with Fnatic. Also, some players thought that Golden would be back within six months or less.
Some believed it was a publicity stunt, whereas others believed that the player would be back in the organisation's good graces in less than a year.
There was also quite a bit of speculation from fans of Fnatic. Many believed that Golden was being benched to make room for Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, a prominent figure in the CS:GO community.
Flusha was benched for poor performance as well, despite being recognised as one of the most consistent and prolific CS:GO players in the industry. Flusha left Fnatic to pursue other opportunities with the esports team gorillazzz in 2021.
His friends and mentors at Fnatic wished him well, but many fans didn't think flusha's departure was permanent.
Since he left, players have been speculating that flusha would make an eventual return. These rumours were only heightened this week when Golden was benched as well.
Rumours and theories aside, many people in the CS:GO community were disappointed about the benching of Golden. Many had been following him since he started climbing the ranks toward the Fnatic roster in 2016, which made it hard to say goodbye to the player.
While many were uncertain that flusha would return to replace Golden, most players did wonder who would be replacing him in the future.
While neither Fnatic nor Golden have provided any answers, fans are anxiously awaiting the change in the roster. Many are excited to see where Golden will go in his professional CS:GO career, while others are looking forward to watching the Fnatic roster expand.
This move could be a signal of change in the CS:GO community, which is gearing up for the return of in-person and LAN events. After over a year of online play, it seems that organisations have been cleaning their rosters, anxiously anticipating the arrival of physical tournaments.
Whatever the reason for his departure, many fans agree that he will be missed on the Fnatic roster. As of the writing of this article, there have been no new additions to the team since Golden's departure. The team is six players strong, with Golden being the only player on the inactive roster.
Until either party moves forward with a decision, Golden will remain on the inactive roster for the time being.
The future seems to be ahead of the prolific player now, with many organisations interested in his abilities. Players will continue to anxiously await any news of a transfer or reinstatement, as it could have consequences for the CS:GO community. CS:GO fans might not know where the player is headed next, but his optimism has led them to believe that better things are just around the corner.