The first planned mid-match substitution in what is believed to be the history of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive play occurred today with the French team Vitality switching out to make full usage of their six-man roster in a match against Complexity, the first the European team has had with Justin Savage on the roster taking the place of Owen Schlatter.
It was presumed that we would see this earlier with Astralis, as the organization at one point had seven men on the active roster as both Gla1ve and Xyp9x stepped away as they were suffering from intensive burnout that was hinted at late in 2019, before the pandemic started throwing esports into a bit of a befuddling mess with region locks and online play.
Once Astralis came back to full strength, however, Es3tag seemed to be readily dropped in what appeared to be a planned maneuver while Bubzkji opted to stay within the roster with the hope and intent of playing in the future.
The Belgian on Vitality, Nabil ‘Nivera’ Benrlitom, was substituted in for Frenchman Kévin ‘misutaa’ Rabier for the second map that occurred on Dust2, after Kévin had a fantastic first map on Nuke that saw him trailing only Richard ‘shox’ Papillon who had a pristine first-map showing in the best of three, which led Vitality to win the first map in a close (16-14).
IT'S HAPPENING! 👀👀
— BLAST Premier (@BLASTPremier) October 29, 2020
Eyes were on Nabil ‘Nivera’ Benrlitom as it was a curious event indeed stepping into the second map, whether or not the player would be able to prove the worth of subs to the world of Counter-Strike single-handedly.
Nabil then managed to outpace the entire Vitality team in terms of kills, assists, and deaths; it wasn’t enough to usurp Complexity from Vitality’s own map choice as Complexity won the map at (12-16).
It was arguably a very strong showing from Nabil, who then switched out yet again with Kévin for the third and final map of Vertigo.
Kévin didn’t appear particularly out of sorts from the sub, and ‘misutaa’ trailed behind only ‘ZywOo’ and ‘shox’ for a fantastic finale that went the full 30 rounds, with Vitality inching out Complexity (16-14) for a (2-1) win in the Bo3.
Some critics of the substitution have added a few accurate statements, however: this likely isn’t the fix to outlandish schedules of matches that have players playing for 12 hours straight, as it won’t offer enough of a respite for the majority of the team.
It’s theorized that Valve won’t likely allow the substitutions inside of Majors, whenever we’ll be blessed enough to get those back, regardless of how well they currently fare. For absolutes, however, we will need to wait and see.