Just under two weeks away from the IEM Katowice 2019 major, smooya leaves BIG for nex to return. The news comes shortly after XANTARES joining BIG to replace nex while he recovers from wrist injuries. Now, nex will play in the BIG CS:GO roster for the major in place of smooya. BIG broke the news in a Twitter post.

Smooya Leaves BIG CS:GO Roster

Smooya’s sudden departure from BIG might come as a surprise for some, especially with the major right around the corner.

While many sudden roster changes happen due to personal differences or bad performance, it appears it was a personal decision for smooya. In a BIG Press Release, he stated:

This may come as a surprise to most people simply because of how happy I’ve been over the last eight months (despite my lack of individual performance). But, I had a long think about not wanting to hold this team back, I think they already have an insane system that just needs a little bit more work and they will become a standout top five team in the world but sadly I don’t think I’ll ever fit into this system simply because of playstyles.

Smooya developed something of a cult following during his tenure with BIG. Their performances at ESL One Cologne 2018 and the FACEIT London Major brought the team to new heights, with many fans chanting the AWPer’s name.

XANTARES Joins, nex Returns

It comes shortly after another big roster change for BIG. XANTARES joined BIG at the end of the December. With one of the top-rated players now on the roster, the team now has significantly more firepower.

Smooya went on to clarify that there was no bad blood between him and the rest of the team.

There is no bad blood between anybody in the team I just think personally they would be better with another player to do my role as I’ve never really had the MAIN AWP role since being here. Continuing, I’ve never been a weak link in a team and I don’t want to be, when I say that some people may get confused by saying ‘but dude you were so successful and was only improving’ as well as that is true! I had different visions of the environment that would be here for me at BIG in-game. This whole experience was a very positive one overall, I learned more outside of the game than I ever would elsewhere simply because of how cool everyone here at BIG is.

With smooya out, it seems tabseN will pick up the AWP role while nex will return as a rifler.

The IEM Katowice 2019 Major starts on February 13th, but BIG will first appear in the New Legends stage on February 20th. You can see the IEM Katowice CS:GO Major Teams and Schedule here.