Imperial add JOTA; bid farewell to fer
The 31-year-old departs the Brazilian roster after spending the last ten months playing alongside Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.
Imperial have announced the departure of Fernando "fer" Alvarenga from their lineup, parting ways with the player ahead of the 2023 tournament season. Former MIBR member Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian has been added to take his place, confirming a report of the move that first emerged in December.
fer had been a part of Imperial since early 2022, when he joined the roster alongside FalleN and Lincoln "fnx" Lau in what was dubbed the "last dance" of the two-time Major-winning core of Luminosity and SK.
The aggressive rifler was the team's highest-rated player as he helped them qualify for both PGL Major Antwerp and the IEM Rio Major, reaching the Legends Stage of the former and getting to represent Brazil in the latter, despite suffering an exit in the Challengers Stage.
Rumors of fer's impending departure from the lineup first emerged in December, when he spoke on the possibility of retiring from the game following the Major in Brazil. A report of the team exploring the addition of JOTA was released soon after, indicating that fer would likely depart the team, but not confirming what his decision would be for the future.
The 31-year-old Brazilian veteran would leave a strong legacy behind him if he is indeed retiring, having won two Major titles at MLG Major Columbus 2016 and IEM Cologne 2016, and boasting a plethora of top-tier tournament victories on top of that. He is also a two-time top 20 player in the world, placing 15th and 3rd in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and has a storied career in CS:GO dating back to its release.
Thus, JOTA has big shoes to fill as he arrives on the team to replace fer ahead of the start of the season. While the former MIBR rifler boasts a 1.18 rating across 2022, his numbers drop to a distinctly average 1.06 in offline play when facing more difficult opposition — a level which he will have to increase if he hopes to match fer's output and impact in the coming year.
Following the change, Imperial's roster is:
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo
Ricardo "boltz" Prass
Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes
Vinicius "VINI" Figueiredo
Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian
Lincoln "fnx" Lau (coach)