YEKINDAR Takes Over As In-Game Leader For Team Liquid

06 Oct 2023
Tit Krajnik 06 Oct 2023
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  • Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis will take over the reins at Team Liquid for BLAST Showdown
  • Damian "daps" Steele will come in as an IGL for Counter-Strike 2
  • Daps was initially planned to lead the team, but didn't have enough time to implement his systems
Team Liquid fans
Team Liquid (Getty Images)
Team Liquid announced that Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis will take over as in-game leader for the team during BLAST Premier: Fall American Showdown 2023 but will get replaced by Damian "daps" Steele for Counter-Strike 2 tournaments. The decision comes after Team Liquid realised daps didn't have enough time to implement his systems ahead of the event.

Team Liquid started their BLAST Premier: Fall American Showdown 2023 campaign with a 2-1 win against Forsaken, despite playing with daps as a stan-in for Aleks "Rainwalker" Petrov, who was let go from the team ahead of the tournament. YEKINDAR talked about Rainwalker, praising him as an excellent player, but also explained that the Bulgarian didn't fit in with the team mainly due to his inexperience in Tier 1 tournaments and not having enough voices in the team.

The leadership issues in Team Liquid started in the summer when the team parted ways with Nick "nitr0" Cannella, leaving the team with no secondary player to take the initiative and lead the squad.

To fix the issue, Team Liquid added coach daps to the active roster and initially wanted to make daps the primary in-game leader, leaving YEKINDAR to serve as a secondary caller. However, due to the lack of time, daps wasn't able to implement his systems, forcing Team Liquid to promote YEKINDAR as the primary IGL and downgrade daps as a secondary caller.

This is, however, only temporary. YEKINDAR is expected to lead the team only through BLAST Premier: Fall American Showdown 2023 and then again switch places with daps, who will take over the reins in Counter-Strike 2 tournaments.

YEKINDAR further commented on the situation.

"After we bombed out of ESL Pro League, we didn't have time to change the system as daps would want to have it if he were IGLing. Especially since CS2 came out, it's a weird mixture. Do you try to systemise CS:GO for this event, or do you try to start calling for CS2?"

"We came to the conclusion that I'm still going to be IGLing, but at the same time, daps is going to be chipping in and picking up some of the responsibilities, and later on, when CS2 comes out, then he would completely take over."

Playing with daps as an in-game leader is one of the solution Team Liquid have available. However, there is a possibility that Liquid could sign Casper "cadiaN" Møller, who recently left Heroic and could become the next Team Liquid Counter-Strike in-game leader.