Riot Squad have announced the organisation and its CS:GO team have decided to part ways earlier this Thursday, February 13, following a streak of underwhelming results.
Riot Squad explained their decision behind the temporary exodus from the CS:GO scene in a TwitLonger post, where the North American organisation talked about their goals and ambitions for the future.
"We’ve maintained an organizational goal of making it to Pro League this season, however between the changes within ESL and our inability to qualify through MDL finals, we’ve decided to take a break and regroup on the sidelines," read the announcement.
Despite releasing the team, Riot Squad promised they will be looking to make a return to the competitive scene as soon as they get a grip of their plans for the future and gain the confidence they need to start achieving their goals.
Riot Squad entered the CS:GO scene back in June 2019, when they signed the Bad News Bear squad, which consisted of Peter "ptr" Gurney, Mitch "mitch" Semago, Josh "shinobi" Abastado, Austin "crashies" Roberts and Jeff "RZU" Ngo. Joining the squad was also Michael "dapr" Gulino, who arrived from Lazarus Esports.
The new CS:GO roster made their first appearance at ESEA Season 31: Premier Division - North America, where they finished fifth-eighth. In weeks that followed, Riot Squad also claimed a top-four finish at Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Chicago: North American Qualifier and took a swing at WINNERS League - Season 2: North America Invite Division, where they fell flat in the quarter-finals against Lazarus Esports (0-2), thus finished the event at the fifth-eighth place. Shortly after that underwhelming run, dapr decided to leave the team.
In August Riot Squad signed Pujan "FNS" Mehta and Jonathan "Jonji" Carey, who helped their new squad win Mythic Cup #4 and qualify for MSI Gaming Arena 2019. Unfortunately, Riot Squad failed to deliver at MSI MGA 2019, where they finished at the last place, following two narrow losses to ex-Epsilon and ViCi.
In the months that followed, Riot Squad produce a a few more mediocre results, including three fifth-eighth place finished at ESC S8 - NA Series 3, Series 4 and Series 5. In November prt and co. won the online part of ESEA S32: Premier Division - NA when they bested INTZ, but were unable to repeat that success in the offline grand finals, where they lost 2-3, meaning they missed out on pocketing a direct invite for ESL Pro League.
A day later, Riot Squad claimed a silver medal at ESEA S32: Global Challenge, where they lost to forZe in the grand finals. Unfortunately, their success was soured by structural changes to ESL Pro League, which removed Relegation for EPL S11, meaning Riot Squad were set to enter another season without MDL.
Shortly after, FNS announced his departure from the team, followed by the departure of Riot Squad's head coach Brandon "weber" Weber less than a week later. FNS was later replaced by Michael "Grim" Wince, who previously played for Triumph.
After a chaotic couple of months, Riot Squad decided to release its roster, which decided to stick together and will compete under the name Bad News Bears - a tag they used before and will continue to use as they prepare for the upcoming FLASHPOINT NA Closed Qualifiers.
Bad News Bears CS:GO squad:
Peter "ptr" Gurney
Mitch "mitch" Semago
Jonathan "Jonji" Carey
Austin "crashies" Roberts
Michael "Grim" Wince
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.