Breaking down their roster situation.
The competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team operating under the name MAD Lions have recently confirmed some major roster changes. After finishing in first at Flashpoint Season 1 last year along with multiple top three placements, MAD Lions began to peak.
They climbed their way to the top across multiple events and even made some roster changes during the process. Before 2020, MAD Lions was a team known for performing at a basic level. They never produced any meaningful wins and were often shoved out of the spotlight by many of their opponents.
That quickly changed after taking home $600,000 last year without breaking a sweat. MAD Lions showed a great performance last year, and it was definitely mentioned within the media until everyone knew about the team. With plans to keep their crowns and stay at the top of their game, MAD Lions have had to make some tough decisions regarding their players.
RELEASING THEIR POWER LINEUP
Polish rifler Pawel "innocent" Mocek was the first to go back in January of this year after joining the team near the end of 2020. Even though innocent wasn’t responsible for Flashpoint Season 1, he was still recognised as a great asset to the team.
His skills within the B-Tier scene were praised with respect which led to his ultimate trial run with MAD Lions. Before joining the team, he spent his previous career with Illuminar Gaming and other Polish orgs.
Within a span of ten years, he has earned multiple A and B-Tier titles while often falling short during his attendance at S-Tier events. Innocent signed with MAD Lions after coming off of a huge win which could have led to an extra amount of pressure from the team.
His three month run with MAD Lions was subpar at best, but it’s always hard to keep up with the high level of gameplay expected from fans and opponents. Innocent could only do so much for the team until his final departure led to a stand-in position for Anonymo.
Next in line was Thomas "TMB" Bundsbaek, who was responsible for replacing the likes of star AWPer Frederik "acoR" Gyldstrand, who was acquired by mousesports. TMB joined forces with MAD Lions after being acquired from AGF Esport.
A Danish amateur team that mostly competes in C-Tier events. TMB joined MAD Lions near the end of January of this year after showing a great amount of potential within online events. At the age of 16, TMB began his competitive debut alongside smaller pickup teams.
He made his big break with the CPH Flames after earning $50,000 from season 2 of the United Masters League. After being let go from the team, TMB moved back to play under AGF Esport.
His stay with the team only resulted in a minor victory along with a top-four finish at the DreamHack Open back in November of 2020. Now he has a great chance to decide if he’s ready to compete with the best or commit to the amateur scene.
HEROIC SWOOPS IN FOR TWO GREAT TRADES
After letting go of their head coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu, MAD Lions traded two promising players to Heroic. The legendary Danish org that won five events last year and successfully put Team Vitality in their place during two tournaments.
Ismail "refrezh" Ali and Rasmus "sjuush" Beck joined near the end of February and are currently in the midst of settling in with their new team. Sjuush was one of the players which were responsible for taking home the grand-prize from Flashpoint Season 1.
The support player has earned nearly $200,000 within a period of only three years, and it shows in his gameplay. After that event, both MAD Lions and sjuush began falling off and lacked their original competitive spirit.
Refrezh, on the other hand, only spent four months with MAD Lions during their downfall. The DreamHack champion was used to winning, which is what resulted in his exit to another team. After removing a majority of their roster, MAD Lions was officially left with a total of three players.
LETTING GO OF THEIR FINAL PLAYERS
Once MAD Lions finalised most of their roster, they ended up removing two more slots. Both Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen and Fredrik "roeJ" Jorgensen were benched on March 1st after multiple tough losses.
HooXi originally competed in C-Tier events with the CPH Flames and x6tence. His transition to MAD Lions only fluctuated during S-Tier events against extremely talented teams. HooXi being an IGL, was responsible for a ton of communication which ultimately led to his spot on the bench.
Roej, on the other hand, joined MAD Lions back in 2019 as a lead rifler. He’s participated in multiple A-Tier events, including his time with Tricked Esport. Roej went pro in his early twenties and quickly caught up to his opponents.
He’s earned just under $200,000 and has provided a mature and professional presence within MAD Lions. RoeJ was eventually pushed out of the mix after MAD Lions wanted to pursue an international lineup. Despite starting a late competitive career, roeJ still has a lot to achieve and is clearly a talented player.
Images via MAD Lions