Sources: Liquid considering removing NAF
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
The struggles in New York and Malmö for the number one team in the world are seemingly more than just jet lag. Sources close to Rush B Media have stated that Liquid are considering removing Keith "NAF" Markovic from the active lineup. Sources said that personal issues have been brewing for some time in the Liquid camp and a change is now inevitable. One source has suggested that Cloud9 star Timothy "autimatic" Ta is the likely replacement, however, it is unclear if negotiations have already begun with the organization or the player at this moment. Where NAF will end up is still unclear. One source stated that Cloud9 may be looking for a straight swap of NAF and autimatic, but that Evil Geniuses is also a possible destination for NAF. NAF joined Liquid from Renegades in February of 2018 and has won a total of 11 tournaments in his time with Liquid. He also helped the North American side win Season 2 of the Intel Grand Slam this year by winning IEM Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas, ESL Pro League Finals and ESL One: Cologne. Liquid never really looked like their dominant selves after the player break leading into the Major. Liquid finished Top 8 at the Major in Berlin bowing out to eventual champions Astralis 2-0. They lost 2-1 again to Astralis in NY last week and bowed out in the group stage of DreamHack Masters Malmö. The recent results and apparently some personal issues between teammates were enough to force a rare change for a team ranked the best in the world. If the swap between Liquid and Cloud9 comes to fruition, Cloud9 will be getting a versatile player in NAF who has shown the ability to both pick up the secondary AWP to go along with his stellar rifle play. Liquid would essentially be getting a like-for-like replacement in autimatic who, for a time, primarily AWPed for Cloud9 and will be able to slot directly into NAF’s roles on Liquid. Additionally, it will be a reunion for Major winners autimatic and Jake “Stewie2K” Yip from their time together in Cloud9. If NAF were to choose a different route than Cloud9 it would be a big blow to Damian “daps” Steele who just took the helm of the latest Cloud9 roster in July. Should autimatic replace NAF, the new Liquid lineup would consist of:
Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken
Timothy "autimatic" Ta
Jake “Stewie2K” Yip Update: General Manger of Liquid, Steve Perino, posted on Twitter that Liquid has no plans to change the roster currently.