HellRaisers have announced the departure of Igor "crush" Shevchenko and Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow, while unveiling the rest of the CS:GO team has been benched.
In a shock announcement, which surfaced earlier this Thursday, HellRaisers unveiled two of their key members in ANGE1 and crush have decided to leave the team, ushering HellRaisers to bench the remaining three members in Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas, Vadim "Flarich" Karetin and Ivan "AiyvaN" Semenets, effectively meaning the Ukrainian esports organisation is left without an active CS:GO roster.
The announcement comes after a series of disappointing performances from HellRaisers, who failed to make any serious impact in the CS:GO competitive scene and were unsuccessful in reaching even the top-30 in the global CS:GO rankings. As of April 2020, HellRaisers are ranked 51st in the world, which is miles from their peak ranking of seventh back in 2017.
Since HellRaisers announced their revamped lineup in September 2019, the Ukrainian CS:GO team appeared in several CS:GO tournaments, with varying degrees of success.
After the players' break, HellRaisers took a swing at DreamHack Open Sevilla 2019: European Open Qualifier, where they finished top-four, which was a solid result, but they failed to deliver at the DreamHack Open Sevilla 2019: European Qualifier, where ANGE1 and co. finished fifth-eighth after suffering a 0-2 loss to Illuminar Gaming in the quarter-finals.
The same month, HellRaisers also appeared at ESL Pro League Season 10 - Europe and EPICENTER 2019: CIS Open Qualifier, but again failed to see much success, as they finished 11th-12th and fourth respectively. To close out the year, HellRaisers made it to the finals of DreamHack Delhi Invitational 2019, which was a promising sign. Their enthusiasm, however, soon disappeared, as HellRaisers finished last at DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020: European Open Qualifier after suffering a 14-16 defeat against hREDS.
In February, HellRaisers took a swing at Flashpoint Season 1: European Qualifier, but without much success, as they failed to make it past round one and finished last at a 25th-32nd place. Things did not change in March either when HellRaisers attended SECTOR: MOSTBET Season 2 and ESEA Season 33: Premier Division - Europe, finishing both events at the fifth-sixth place.
With his departure, ANGE1 ended his six-year association with HellRaisers, a team he joined back in March 2014 as one of the inaugural members alongside Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev, Mikhail "Dosia" Stoliarov, Yegor "markeloff" Markelov and Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov. Throughout his journey with HellRaisers, ANGE1 led the Ukrainian CS:GO squad to eight Majors and several tournament titles, including Acer Predator Masters Season 1, Adrenaline Cyber League 2016, Europe Minor Championship - Columbus 2016, Copenhagen Games 2016 and Bets.net Masters.
Shortly after HellRaisers announced his departure, the 30-year-old Ukrainian CS:GO pro made a Twitter post, explaining his situation while adding that he is open for offers and ready to "step out of his comfort zone," as he looks to kick-start his career.
"Every story has an end," said ANGE1.
"Today I am breaking up with the tag to which I have devoted almost 10 years of life and which certainly means a lot to me.
I am sad to part with HellRaisers, but on the other hand I clearly understand that going out of my comfort zone will only benefit me as a player and captain."
This is the second time HellRaisers have decided to bench their entire CS:GO roster, following a streak of poor results. The first time this has happened was back in September 2019, following HellRaisers' poor performance at StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, when the Ukrainian organisation also released Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz.
In an official statement on HellRaisers' official website, their CEO Alex "Magician" Slabukhin talked about the team situation.
“Our current CS:GO roster was formed half a year ago, and there’s been a lot since then. Unfortunately, we weren’t always able to give you the best result, even though we did try our best to achieve that. As I said before, we aren’t going to leave CS:GO and will soon make a video explaining the current roster situation and our plans.
Today we’re saying goodbye to the legend, Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow. First and foremost, we want to thank him for his incredible contribution to the organization. It was the roster led by ANGE1 with which HR started its path in esports. We’ve made some great memories together which we’ll definitely look back on with a smile in the future. And on my own behalf I want to thank you for the opportunity to have worked with you all these years. Press “F”.
"Reforming our CS:GO team was a necessary measure, and we’ll announce a new roster very soon. I know that despite our recent results, there are still those who support and believe in us, and we do appreciate you guys being with us no matter what!“
It remains to be seen when the new HellRaisers' CS:GO lineup will be revealed and although it was initially said nukkye will be a part of the new roster, the Lithuanian CS:GO pro unveiled in a Twitlonger post that he will not join HellRaisers' rebuilt team, since he is not prepared to learn Russian.
"I am still under contract with HellRaisers , no I will not be part of the NEW roster rebuild since they are sticking with CIS," said nukkye.
"Personally I feel not ready for playing in a russian speaking team due to lack of time to learn the language(I will still continue learning until I learn it fully), the last 6 months for me been a emotional roller coasters ride , relearning a language I haven't used in a long time , switching roles,playing with new teammates working on my personal problems and trying to fix them as much as I could.."