BladE Leaves Movistar Riders

15 Dec 2023
tit-krajnik
Tit Krajnik 15 Dec 2023
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  • Coach Galder “bladE” Barcena parted ways with Movistar Riders
  • BladE leaves The Spanish Counter-Strike team after nearly five years
  • The news comes 10 days after the departure of Antonio "Martinez" Martinez
bladE
Galder “bladE” Barcen (credit: via movistarriders.gg)
On Thursday, December 14, Movistar Riders announced the team is parting ways with a long-time coach, Galder “bladE” Barcena. The 36-year-old was at the helm of the team since January 2019, but decided to enter free agency after a five-year partnership.

Since joining Movistar Riders, bladE has helped the team become the first Spanish Counter-Strike squad to win an international Counter-Strike event – the ESL Challenger Valencia 2023, and he later helped Movistar add another international title at ESL Challenger Melbourne 2023.


Under bladE, Movistar Riders also became the first Spanish CS team to qualify for a Major when they reached PGL Major Stockholm 2021. Yet the team’s biggest accomplishment happened in July 2022, when Movistar made the semifinals of Intel Extreme Masters XVII – Cologne. At the time, the Spanish team peaked at no.5 in the global CS rankings.

Despite Movistar Riders’ success over the years, the Spanish squad haven’t accomplished much in 2023. They won just two tournaments - ESL Challenger at DreamHack Melbourne 2023 and RTP Arena Cup 2023 – but they weren’t as successful in bigger events.

Since their title run at RTP Arena Cup 2023 in September, Movistar Riders haven’t placed higher than top eight across five tournaments. That includes an early exit from ESL Challenger League Season 46: Europe at the start of December.

More Changes For Movistar Riders


BladE’s departure from Movistar Riders comes just ten days after the Spanish Counter-Strike team parted ways with Antonio "Martinez" Martinez, who left for 9z Team. A month prior, Movistar also released Alejandro "ALEX" Masanet, who signed for Ninjas in Pyjamas as a replacement for Hampus “hampus” Poser.

With the recent changes, Movistar Riders are left with just four active players in Alejandro “mopoz” Fernandez, David “dav1g” Franado, Tiago “JUST” Moura, and Adam “adamS” Marian. Now, on top of having to find a new AWPer, the Spanish side also needs to sign a new in-game leader and a new coach.