The CIS team replaced a player less than two months after they won IEM Rio Major.
Outsiders, the neutral competitive name of Virtus Pro, made the headlines this month after the organization removed the IEM Rio Major champion David n0rb3r7 Danielyan from the active lineup and signed the 18-year-old rifler Alexander KaiR0N- Anashkin to take his place.
The roster change came less than two months after n0rb3r7 helped Outsiders win the $1.25 million Major in Brazil and left everyone wondering why the team replaced a player so soon after winning the Valve-sponsored tournament. Some fans even accused Outsiders of being cruel to n0rb3r7.
According to Outsiders’ captain Jame, the CIS squad signed KaiR0N- because he fits the system better than n0rb3r7 and there was no “dirt” in the process.
“In fact, everything is clear in the announcement,” Jame said on his Telegram. “There’s not much to add. We needed a YEKINDAR type of player for our system to open up fully. This decision is shared with everyone [players and org]. Everything was open and without dirt. We are playing the next tournaments with KaiR0N-, and we will see [how it goes].”
After YEKINDAR left Outsiders in May 2022 following the PGL Antwerp Major to play for Team Liquid, the CIS team struggled in some matches because the Latvian entry-fragger was constantly opening space for the rest of the team thanks to his aggressiveness and game sense. Jame seemingly wants KaiR0N- to be a space opener as well.
Jame has a lot of praise for KaiR0N- despite him being so young and inexperienced at the highest level of CS:GO. The Outsiders captain told HLTV that KaiR0N- can become a top 20 player in the world one day. The Russian youngster averaged a 1.13 rating in 2022, according to HLTV.
Even though n0rb3r7 has been moved to the bench, this might not mean the end of his tenure with Outsiders. The supportive rifler will remain contracted with the VP organization and will add depth to the roster, according to VP’s CEO Nikolai Petrossian.
“The roster gets the flexibility it needs, the ability for rotation, and remains robust, which is unattainable with a stand-in model,” Petrossian said in a press release on Jan. 8.
KaiR0N- will debut with Outsiders at IEM Katowice, one of ESL’s flagship CS:GO events, which will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12.