Former pro100 player Mareks "YEKINDAR" Galinskis will take over for Timur "buster" Tulepov, who will temporarily leave Virtus-pro's active CS:GO roster to take a short break, as announced by the Russian esports organisation.
Virtus.pro announced YEKINDAR's arrival with a Twitter post this Friday, alongside the signing of former Counter-Strike 1.6 veteran Aleksei "Flatra" Zlobich, who will take over as secondary coach and Maxim “MaAd’ Goncharov, who joined the organisation as an analytical psychologist.
YEKINDAR began his CS:GO career in November 2017, when he teamed up with Elements Pro Gaming. Throughout the seven months, the Latvian pro helped EPG to several solid placements in some lesser CS:GO tournaments, however, got benched and moved to transfer list in June alongside his former teammate Kristaps "krii" Bricis.
Four months later, in October, the same year, YEKINDAR got picked up by pro100, where he replaced Rassim "Jyo" Valijev, who left for Nemiga. During his 20-month spell on pro100, YEKINDAR established himself as one of the hottest CIS CS:GO talents with his phenomenal performances even in some of the biggest CS:GO tournaments.
The 20-year-old ended 2019 with the team-high 1.39 rating and played a pivotal role in pro100's success at DreamHack Delhi Invitational 2019 and Qi Banja Luka 2019, where the Ukrainian team hoisted the titles. YEKINDAR maintained his form through the early months of 2020, averaging 1.16 rating across all competitions, including pro100's third-place finish at WESG 2019 Russia: Closed Qualifier, a silver medal from FACEIT Pro League - Europe: March 2020 and the gold medal from FACEIT Pro League - Europe: April 2020.
The roster shuffle with the addition of YEKINDAR, however, does not come as a shock to anyone, since Virtus.pro coach Dastan "dastan" Akbayev has already hinted back in February VP are contemplating roster chances due to the team's lack of success. Since VP acquired their new roster from AVANGAR in December, they finished last in four LAN events out of five attended. At first, it was said that the roster changes were not going to happen before ESL One Rio Major, however, the Major ended up postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The addition of YEKINDAR will surely bolster Virtus.pro's roster, however, the team will suffer a 20% penalty of their Regional Major Rankings, which will move them down from first to third place in the CIS standings. Before the transfer, VP held onto 1900 points and are now left with only 1520, which sits them behind Hard Legion Esports (1640) and Team Spirit (1600), but still ahead of Winstrike (1500) and Natus Vincere (1430).
As of now, it has yet to be revealed what will happen when buster returns from his break and who will he replace. Some speculations suggest buster could replace Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev, who is supposedly the next player on the chopping block. The Uzbekistani CS:GO pro has been averaging only 0.96 rating across the last three months. Another player who is likely to get kicked and replaced sometime soon is Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev, who has been averaging the team-lowest 0.91 ratings across the last three months.Both players were formerly members of AVANGAR, where SANJI averaged 0.97, while AdreN managed a poor 0.95 rating
Virtus.pro CS:GO team is now:
Dzhami "Jame" Ali
Alexey "qikert" Golubev
Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev
Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev
Mareks "YEKINDAR" Galinskis
Dastan "dastan" Akbayev - coach
Aleksey "Flatra" Zlobich - coach
Timur "buster" Tulepov - inactive