NEKIZ returns to paiN starting lineup as PKL steps back
The 28-year-old has benched himself while he undergoes physiotherapy for a spine problem.
Vinicios "PKL" Coelho has stepped down from paiN and will remain on the team's bench for the foreseeable future, the Brazilian organization has announced. Gabriel "NEKIZ" Schenato, who was benched from the team in July 2022, has returned to the active roster to take PKL's place.
In an announcement video, PKL pointed towards personal, family, physiological, and psychological problems as reasons for why he was taking a step back. He stated that he would talk to a psychologist as well as undergo physiotherapy in order to address a spine problem during his absence.
PKL was paiN's joint-longest standing member alongside Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt. His departure from the active lineup leaves a substantial hole as the team must now make up for the loss of their in-game leader, with those duties now going to biguzera instead.
NEKIZ returns from a three-month period sitting on the sidelines to fill the gap on the roster. He was benched from paiN in July last year upon the arrival of Felipe "skullz" Medeiros and Romeu "zevy" Rocco, but still had the chance to compete briefly with O PLANO at the IEM Road to Rio Americas RMR before returning to the bench at the end of October.
paiN will play their first match with the adjusted lineup against Limitless on Wednesday in CCT North America Series 3, and have a packed calendar ahead of them as they will compete in qualifiers for IEM Brazil, the BLAST.tv Paris Major, and will also head to Malta for ESL Pro League Season 17 later in February.
paiN's roster is now:
Rodrigo "biguzera" Bittencourt
Wesley "hardzao" Lopes
Felipe "skullz" Medeiros
Romeu "zevy" Rocco
Gabriel "NEKIZ" Schenato
Henrique "rikz" Waku (coach)
Vinicios "PKL" Coelho (inactive)