Acend Halo part ways with Shaady in shock roster change

With only one regional tournament defeat on their record, Europe's best Halo team is making moves.

Rostermania is in full swing with the return of Halo Infinite‘s HCS Pro Series, and an unlikely addition to the chaos comes in the form of European powerhouse Acend.

Despite a nearly flawless record in their regional tournament appearances and a top-eight placing at the last international Major in Kansas City, Acend have released Shaady.

The announcement comes following a lackluster return to online competition for the previously infallible team. After not losing a single series in Europe since the roster’s inception, they were handed their first loss by Online Warriors in week one of the HCS Pro Series’ second split. They may have had designs to bounce back and make a losers bracket run to the grand finals, but a second meeting with Online Warriors in the losers bracket finals went the same way and Acend had to settle for a third-place finish.

Related: Respectfuls new team upset EU powerhouse Acend, exact revenge on NAVIs Halo roster

Top three in the first week back of competition isn’t usually the end of the world. But Acend is a hungry roster with hopes and drive to make a significant impact internationally where North America has traditionally dominated Europe’s best talent in the past.

It would be fair to assume one bad tournament placing could have been enough to force a change, but the Ascend’s players released a joint statement explaining that Shaady’s removal goes far deeper than one poor placing.

“First, the most important thing to say is that we didn’t drop Shaady because of the latest tournament, we’ve been winning for 19 months and he is and always will be a part of it as much as we are,” Sica, Lqgend, Snipedrone, and Kronos said. “To be honest, the chemistry on the team hasnt been working since Raleigh. There are some things that happened in this LAN and onwards and many of us thought about leaving the team or making changes at that point.”

While the revelation that Acend suffered heavily from inner team turmoil will be a surprise to everyone, it was intentionally kept secret by the players.

“We kept all of this private, nothing from us that could lead anyone to think that our team was having issues and everyone kept thinking that Acend’s Halo fairytale won’t be over anytime soon,” the players said.

Their continued dominance in Europe despite these difficulties had originally motivated Acend to try and stick together and make the roster work despite the impact their poor chemistry was having on everyone. But they had apparently reached a breaking point and knew that either a change was needed or many on the roster might lose all drive to compete.

“It became impossible to see eye to eye with this team some felt frustrated, some felt mentally broken and victory couldn’t even heal us anymore,” the player said. “This is why we’ve decided to make a change, to learn what it is to strive for victory once again, to get our passion back and to give a meaning to everything. We hope that this will make sense.”

No additional changes were announced beyond Shaady’s removal from the team, leaving many questions about a replacement. In what would be a poetic conclusion to his action-packed week, many believe that Respectful may be the player in question.

Respectful was recently dropped from Natus Vincere before he proceeded to beat both NAVI and Acend with his new team, Online Warriors. He had standout performances in each series played to take home second place overall, and might be getting looked at as an ideal catch on the market.

The HCS Pro Series continues next week, and fans will be keeping their eyes peeled to see what lineup of players Acend sign up with to get their crown back.

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