Official: ALEX leaves Vitality
In a separate statement, the in-game leader shared that the team was away from home for 36 weeks last year, which they were hoping to bring down to 22 weeks for 2020. However, with the introduction of BLAST Premier and the ESL Pro Tour, in both of which Vitality are partnered teams, meant that their wish would not come true.
As a result, ALEX has left Vitality effective immediately despite offering the team to stay until they find a suitable replacement, with his future in the scene currently being unclear. According to the aforementioned report, the Frenchmen have in LDLC's Ali "hAdji" Haïnouss their top candidate for ALEX's replacement.
The 24-year-old had been part of the organization for over a year after replacing their original in-game leader, Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer, at the end of 2018. He helped the French side burst onto the top-tier scene in the first half of 2019, when they won cs_summit 4 and ECS Season 7 Finals and placed second at ESL One Cologne, and pick up another runner-up finish and a title at DreamHack Masters Malmö and EPICENTER in the latter half.
The huge blow in the loss of the in-game leader comes at a time when Vitality had already started off the year on the wrong foot with two consecutive bottom-half exits at BLAST Premier and at IEM Katowice. Their next appearance will be in ESL Pro League Season 11, which is set to start on March 16 with the first two groups, while the last two will kick off on March 26, although the distribution hasn't been announced yet.
"Last year we travelled 36 weeks of the year and by July I was struggling to keep up with the intense travelling schedule, coming into this year we wanted to cut that down to 22 weeks (an extra 2.5 months at home)," ALEX said in a Twitlonger statement.
"However the accelerated professionalization of the CS:GO scene, through ESL pro tour & Blast Premier arrivals, changed the ecosystem and we could no longer get down to anywhere near the amount of weeks discussed earlier. That being said, the only logical course of action for me after the year that had just passed was to withdraw myself from the team before becoming too tired to put the necessary work in."
Rémy "XTQZZZ" Quoniam (coach)