Riot Squad Esports, a North American CS:GO team have announced this Thursday, they are parting ways with their In-Game-Leader Pujan "FNS" Mehta following a streak of lacklustre results on the international stage.
The announcement of the departure of FNS surfaced on Thursday, on Riot Squad official Twitter account, where they thanked their now-former IGL for his contributions to the team he has been a part of for the past few months and wished him the best of luck going forward.
FNS joined Riot Squad at the start of August 2019, having previously played for eUnited, Cloud9, compLexity Gaming and CLG. Alongside his arrival, Riot Squad also welcomed Jonathan "Jonji" Carey as replacements for Josh "shinobi" Abastado and Jeff "RZU" Ngo who at the time left the team later created a new team Rap Game.
With the arrival of two new members, Riot Squad team fielded a quintet of Peter "ptr" Gurney, Mitch "mitch" Semago, Austin "crashies" Roberts, Jonji and FNS, which saw immediate success.
A couple of days after acquiring the duo, Riot Squad won Mythic Cup #4 and dominated the North American MSI Gaming Arena 2019 qualifiers, which earned them a ticket for the main event. At the start of September, RS finished third-fifth at ECS S8 - NA Challenger Cup and finished at an impressive fourth place at MSI Gaming Arena, after suffering a pair of narrow 14-16 losses to ex-Epsilon and ViCi Gaming.
In the months that followed, Riot Squad battled through a plethora of online qualifiers and tournaments, earning a handful of solid results, most notable being the fourth-place at WESG 2019 NA, gold at ESEA S32: Premier Division - North America and a second-place at ESEA Season 32: Global Challenge where they fell short against forZe, ending the year with a painful scar.
In early 2020, Riot Squad finished last at both IEM Katowice NA qualifiers and DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020 NA Open Qualifiers but managed to find their stride earlier last weekend, when they put up a show at DreamHack Open Anaheim 2020 Closed Qualifiers, however, ultimately fell short against Gen.G Esports in Round 4, thus letting the ticket for DH Anaheim slip in between their fingers.
The streak of lacklustre performances ultimately led to FNS' decision to leave the team in a bid to look for new challenges elsewhere.
"As of now, I'll be playing FPL and looking at my options as they come," said FNS.
With his departure, FNS has ended his six-month-long stint at Riot Squad and will now look for a new home, which will mark his eighth team in his five-year-long career as a CS:GO pro player. Since arriving at Riot Squad, FNS has averaged 1.01 rating, won 64.2% of maps played and finished 50.5% of the maps he played with an average rating of over 1.00.
Since the departure of FNS, Riot Squad has already played a fixture against INTZ in the WINNERS League Season 3 semi-finals, where they fielded Erick "Xeppaa" Bach as a stand-in, but failed to see much success. Riot Squad lost on both Mirage (14-16) and Inferno (11-16), to crash out of the tournament at a third-fourth place, which was an underwhelming result considering Riot Squad previously looked like one of the main favourites to go the distance and hoist the trophy.
Their stand-in player Xeppaa failed to deliver as he averaged 0.71 rating on Mirage and 0.90 on Inferno. He ended the series with an average rating of 0.80, which was second-worst throughout the series, only beating ptr, who has a disastrous performance, averaging 0.66 rating across the series.
Riot Squad CS:GO squad for 2020:
Peter "ptr" Gurney
Austin "crashies" Roberts
Mitch "mitch" Semago
Jonathan "Jonji" Carey
Brandon "weber" Weber - coach
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.