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Liquid pick daps and YEKINDAR ahead of IEM Cologne. Can this move help the team improve?

22.06.2022, 17:19

Team Liquid decided to make changes in the CS:GO roster after unsatisfactory results in the first half of the season. Player shox and coach adreN left the team. Former OpTic, NRG, and Cloud9 player daps took the coaching slot, while YEKINDAR will stand-in for the team at the upcoming IEM Cologne 2022.

Team LiquidNetherlands
1Lose streak
67%30 d. winrate

These changes look very promising and can help the North American team secure a spot in the top 10 teams in the world.


Damian “daps” Steele is a well-known player in the world. He played under multiple tags in North America: Gen.G, OpTiC, Cloud9, and NRG. Daps played eight months in VALORANT, but in 2021 he decided to return to CS:GO. Firstly he joined Evil Geniuses as a coach, then moved to a player role in the Orgless team this January.

Frankly, Liquid had a problem with a coach a long time ago. Firstly was moses, who worked as a talent at tournaments before Liquid. After that, they returned adreN to the team. Even then, it was strange that the players decided to return Erik to the team. And now they picked daps. Damian was a player of Team Liquid at the beginning of 2015, but after that, he always played in rival teams. Now daps reunite with NAF, nitr0, and EliGE. It looks like a breath of fresh air.

Over the years, daps competed with nitr0 for being the best captain in the region, and now they will work together. At least it looks exciting, and I want to watch the developments in Team Liquid.


The signing of Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis as a stand-in for the upcoming IEM Cologne 2022 became the team’s second change. The Latvian players have worked well in, then earned a chance in a team like Team Liquid. I think he deserved it.

Team Liquid has long needed such a player as YEKINDAR: young, experienced, with a new mindset and promising. Mareks has already shown what he can do. Since the end of Liquid’s era in 2020, all new players could not give what was required of them. I’m talking about Grim, FalleN, and shox. They are all not bad players, they just didn’t fit the team, and that’s all. The exception is only oSee, who is doing well now and has excellent potential.

For 100%, YEKINDAR is better than shox now. It’s about age, motivation, style, mentality, and in-game form. Galinskis looks like a very pleasant and good teammate who will quickly adapt to the team’s style.

Potential of the team

At this stage, these replacements already look like a good team improvement. The team’s results should improve, and Team Liquid can start fighting the best teams in the world as equals. But nothing is perfect in this world. The next potential replacement in the team may be nitr0 removal. Yeah, he was only picked up six months ago, and it’s pretty hard to find an experienced player in the world. But his performance is not excellent, and we’ll have to take a bold step sooner or later.

nitr0’s question is still open

Overall, Liquid made two good moves last week. They picked a good coach who doesn’t work with them yet and chose one of the best free-agent players in the world right now.

All will show the team’s game at IEM Cologne 2022. If the team enters the playoffs, this can be considered a success. If not, I think players and coach will continue to find optimal ways of development for the second half of the season.

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