A little over two weeks after making the first roster change in team history, OG has announced it has benched CSGO star Issa “ISSAA” Murad. The roster, which previously went untouched for nearly fourteen months, made its first roster change at the end of last month after Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt was benched in favor of Danish entry fragger Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen.
OG, an esports organization best known for its two-time winning Dota 2 team, first entered the CS:GO scene in December 2019. Fielding an international roster with no shortage of talent, OG emerged as a dominant force in the CS:GO competitive scene during the course of last year. As the newly formed gained momentum, the results started stacking up, culminating in a number of top-three finishes with the most notable one coming at Flashpoint Season 2 during which OG finished as the runners-up.
After peaking at 6th place on HLTV’s World rankings on a couple of different occasions, the team evidently plateaued before a couple of early exits at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021 and IEM Katowice saw the team drop to 17th place.
The Rebuilding Phase
Although the team was one of the biggest surprises of last year, chinks started to appear in OG’s armor early on in 2021. NBK’s performance during the last three months was underwhelming to say the least, as the French entry found himself out fragged even by his IGL Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen.
ISSAA’s performance on the other hand was more successful, but still not up to par with his past showings. Known as a player who excels in LAN environments, the Jordanian failed to justify the star player role he was given in OG’s squad. The final nail in the coffin for ISSAA was OG’s early group exit at ESL Pro League Season 13, during which the team finished in 4th place. It should be noted that playing from home did have a huge impact on his performance.
OG revealed that the decision to part ways was mutual, and one that will almost certainly benefit both the team and ISSAA.
“Unfortunately, the team has gone through hardship for the past few weeks and this mutual decision happened after our early exit of the ESL Pro League Season 13. We would like to thank ISSAA for his unmatched commitment to the team, despite playing under such challenging circumstances from home. We will actively be working with him to make sure the Beast from the East finds his new perfect home as soon as possible to see him back on the server in no time.”, the organization stated.
“There are very few players with the extraordinary ability of making everyone around them happy, and ISSAA is one of them. Always optimistic, always positive… Fantastic teammate and even better person. Farewell friend, and I’m sure we will get to see you again!”, professional Dota 2 player and OG Co-founder Johan “N0tail” Sundstein further added
Be as it may, OG will be entering a rebuild process in the coming month. Rumors suggest that current stand-in niko will be given a permanent spot on the roster, but it still remains unknown who will replace ISSAA in the team’s starting lineup.
With OG’s next event scheduled for mid-April, the team has plenty enough time to finalize its roster until the BLAST Premier: Spring Showdown 2021.