Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom has officially parted ways with Team Vitality on Saturday, September 25. The 20-year-old Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports pro has decided to transition to Valorant.
Nivera Leaves Team Vitality
The 20-year-old has decided to leave Vitality’s CS:GO team on Saturday and announced his transition to Valorant. With that, Nivera joined a long list of players who have decided to move to Riot Games’ first-person shooter title. Still, he stands out as one of the youngest to do so.
Nivera’s decision comes off as a shock given his young age, namely because transitioning to Valorant has been mostly reserved for ageing CS:GO pros, who wanted to keep their esports careers alive for a while longer. However, most of the CS community would consider the news as something that has been a long time coming.
I'm so excited & proud to announce that I'm joining one of the most iconic team @LiquidValorant & I'll play alongside my brother🔥
This is a huge chance and I'm going to give it all!
— Nivera (@Nivera__) September 25, 2021
The Belgian esports pro has found himself benched from Vitality CS:GO roster in March. Vitality made the decision to cut Nivera after Valve started to penalize teams for fielding extended lineups and using substitutes during Regional Major Rankings tournaments.
Since getting benched, Nivera has been reportedly looking for a way to transition to Valorant. He has been trialling with several esports organizations but needed over six months to find a home.
As revealed by the ex-Vitality player, he will continue his esports career with Team Liquid’s Valorant roster.
Reunited With His Brother
Seeing Nivera join Team Liquid’s Valorant team makes a lot of sense. Although he could have joined many different organizations, Nivera ended up in Liquid, where he will team up with his brother and former CS:GO pro, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom.
Brothers become teammates.
— Team Liquid Valorant (@LiquidValorant) September 25, 2021
At Liquid, Nivera will also link up with another former CS:GO pro, Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen, and British duo in Travis “L1NK” Mendoza and Dom “soulcas” Sulcas. Liquid acquired the Belgian to replace James “Kryptix” Affleck, who has been cut from the team following Liquid’s poor streak of performances.
Although widely regarded as one of the top European Valorant teams, Liquid haven’t achieved their goals in the 2021 season. They started the season strong and placed well at several European tournaments but couldn’t deliver when it mattered.
A streak of disappointing results at the start of the year led Liquid to make roster changes in March, finding their stride shortly afterwards. In April, Liquid placed second at VCT 2021: Europe Stage 2 Challengers 2 and won the VCT 2021: EMEA Stage 2 Challengers Finals.
In May, Liquid also placed well at VCT 2021: Stage 2 Masters – Reykjavík (4th); however, that was their last notable accomplishment. Ultimately, Liquid fell short of qualifying for the Berlin Masters, crashing out of the EMEA Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs in fifth-sixth place.
Due to their lack of success, it makes sense for Liquid to make some changes to their roster. However, it remains to be seen whether Nivera is the man to save the team from their slump.
Nivera Set to Make Debut in October
With the addition of Nivera, Liquid now have just over two weeks to get ready for their next competitive endeavour, the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: EMEA Last Chance Qualifier. Team Liquid will enter the tournament as one of eight EMEA teams that have yet to qualify for VALORANT Champions 2021.
Joining Liquid in the qualifiers are G2 Esports, SuperMassive Blaze, Oxygen Esports, Futbolist, Guild Esports, One Breath Gaming, and Anubis Gaming.
The qualifiers will offer the eight teams one last chance to book a ticket for the season-culminating tournament, slated for December 2-12. The competition will feature 16 of the best Valorant teams globally, who will vie for the title of world champions.
Nivera will make his debut on Monday, October 11, when Team Liquid take on One Breath Gaming in the opening round of the double-elimination bracket.
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