CSGO Esports

Vitality Return to Five As Nivera Steps Down

Team Vitality has announced this Friday the end of its six-man roster project, with the team returning to a fully French line-up as Nabil ‘Nivera’ Benrlitom steps down from active play for the foreseeable future.

This decision follows Valve’s stance on the subject of six-man rosters, with the company pronouncing itself on the topic as a part of the January update to 2021 RMR, affirming that while teams would be allowed to have a substitute player separate from their coach, fielding them at a Valve sponsored event would incur on a penalty.

This highly experimental project kicked in October of last year, when Nivera was signed from a crumbling Team Heretics roster, subbing in for Richard ‘shox’ Papillon and Kévin ‘misuta’ Rabier according to the map that was played.

The six-man roster of Vitality came to fruition during BLAST Premier Fall and IEM Beijing-Haidian, where the squad managed to raise the trophy and showcase the versatility and extended stamina of a team boasting an additional player.

However, Vitality wouldn’t carry on this consistency to the new year, with Dan ‘Apex’ Madesclaire stepping down from the active lineup in February just to return one week later.

Despite removing Nivera, Team Vitality has included in its statement that his return could be possible if Valve shifts its stance on extended rosters, as the organisation believes that “a six-man roster is the best way to help the CS:GO competitive scene grow even bigger”.

Nivera was involved in the first official mid-match substitution in CS:GO (Credit: BLAST)

While Vitality is the first sixth-man roster to officially fold under these changes, other top teams such as Astralis seem to be going in the same direction, as their backup player Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Andersen has only played four maps in the last four months.

The now fully French squad will make its debut without Nivera at ESL Pro League, facing FaZe Clan this Saturday for the opening match of their group.

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