NIP roster and other notable changes unveiled in official RMR lineups
We can assure you that this is not an April Fool's joke.
With just over a week to go before action kicks off in Romania, the registered lineups for the PGL Antwerp Regional Major Ranking tournaments have officially been revealed by the tournament organizer, documenting each team's five players, coach, and substitute. These lineups are locked for the duration of the RMR events, and only the coach or substitute may be changed before the Major when it comes to teams who manage to qualify.
While there are no big surprises in the rosters, a few details of note in the list caught our attention that you might find interesting, such as the confirmed lineups of Astralis and NIP and other teams' notable substitutes and coach changes.
The only two teams with question marks around their primary five were the aforementioned Astralis and NIP, who had both made changes and needed to retain a three-man core from their PGL Stockholm lineups. The Danish side took the expected path, registering Philip "Lucky" Ewald as an active player to retain the core, while Asger "Farlig" Jensen is listed as a substitute. Additionally, Martin "trace" Heldt returns in the coach slot as a result of Alexander "ave" Holdt's Valve ban.
Martin "trace" Heldt (coach)
Asger "Farlig" Jensen (substitute)
Technically, this allows Astralis to play at the RMR with just two of the players who earned a spot there by placing in the top 16 at PGL Major Stockholm, as they're expected to swap Farlig in for Lucky ahead of the start of the tournament and play out the tournament with the newest addition.
On the Swedish side of things, after bringing in Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin and making mysterious comments about the future of their lineup, it was revealed that NIP submitted new addition Brollan as a replacement for Love "phzy" Smidebrant in the active roster. Nicolai "device" Reedtz, who has been out of action since late last year, is listed as the team's substitute, which could be viewed as an indication that the Danish AWPer's return in time for the Romanian event is a possibility.
Daniel "djL" Narancic (coach)
Nicolai "device" Reedtz (substitute)
Aside from ave, there are multiple other coaches who still hold bans from Valve tournaments due to their involvement in the coaching bug scandal, and as such they have been temporarily replaced. Marcos "tacitus" Castilho returns to take Nicholas "guerri" Nogueira's place in FURIA, while Dignitas have analyst Mikael "sheddaN" Mellström stepping in for Faruk "pita" Pita in, and Director of Esports Operations Eddie Han fills in for Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström in FaZe, with the European squad opting to not use analyst Viacheslav "innersh1ne" Britvin this time.
Manager for paiN, Sérgio "rato feliz" Lima, steps in to coach the Brazilian squad as head coach Bruno "ellllll" Ono is permanently barred from Valve events and assistant coach Henrique "rikz" Waku remains banned for the duration of PGL Antwerp. Renato "nak" Nakano returns to coach MIBR, while Julio "jun" Junior is set to stand behind TeamOne despite new coach Vitor "eleito" Estíval seemingly being free to participate in Valve events.
The substitute side is equally interesting, with the headline name being Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen appearing as the substitute for Vitality. Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye also returns as a sub for Heroic, while Haris "H4RR3" Hadzic has signed up with Dignitas. Former player and now assistant coach Magnus "fr0slev" Frøslev appears as the sub for Copenhagen Flames, while current fnatic Rising member Francisco "kst" Fragoso has been registered with SAW.
Some other notable substitutes include Dorian "xertioN" Berman with MOUZ, Rassim "Jyo" Valijev with Entropiq, and Guy "anarkez" Trachtman with AVE. Interestingly, Case are the only team to not register either a coach or substitute.
Below you can find the full list of 51 out of the 52 teams who will be in action in Bucharest, Romania later this month, competing for spots at the PGL Major Antwerp. Lynn Vision's replacement in the Asian RMR has yet to be revealed after the Chinese side announced their withdrawal from the tournament due to visa issues.