OG's in-game leader Nemanja “nexa” Isaković has temporarily stepped down from the team's lineup for "personal reasons," a decision that was announced just one day before the BLAST.tv Paris Major Europe RMR closed qualifier.
OG replaces nexa with niko ahead of BLAST.tv Paris Major qualifier
It's a troubling sign for OG's hopes of qualifying for the BLAST.tv Paris Major, as they'll now need to compete without the help of their in-game leader. In his place, OG will be fielding Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen, who left the team after his contract expired at the start of this year. However, it is not clear who will be taking over nexa's duties as the team's captain.
OG announced nexa's temporary departure in a statement posted to Twitter, in which the organisation stated that he would be stepping down due to "personal reasons."
"The team remains determined to qualify for the BLAST Major Paris and is currently gathering for a week-long bootcamp in Warsaw," said OG. The team did not go into any further details regarding nexa's decision to step down.
It leaves OG in a difficult position, with none of the current roster having had previous experience in leading a CS:GO team competing at the Major level. Additionally, fans have doubts that niko has had enough time to prepare for the qualifier, given that he has been rarely seen since OG benched him back in May 2022.
OG has pulled off some impressive performances under nexa's leadership this year too. Despite only ranking in 9th-12 place, OG had some impressive wins at this year's IEM Katowice - defeating the likes of Sprout, Fnatic and MOUZ.
With nexa out of the picture for now, OG's lineup consists of Shahar "flameZ" Shushan, Adam "NEOFRAG" Zouhar, Maciej "F1KU" Miklas, Abdulkhalik "degster" Gasanov, Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen and coach Casper "ruggah" Due.
Time will tell if OG will still be able to qualify for the BLAST.tv Paris Major, due to take place from May 8-21. If you can't that long, then don't worry - ESL Pro League Season 17 is about to kick off on February 22. You can see the full match schedule for that right here - and remember to sign up to claim your free 100% bonus to get the most out of live betting on Counter-Strike esports!