With barely days to spare for the BLAST Premier Spring Groups, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ has suddenly released their 26-year-old AWPer and support rifler from their CS:GO roster. Simon ‘twist’ Eliasson made the announcement on Tuesday via his Twitter account.
twist’s tweet mentions he is “uncertain where the future holds” but was “eager to get back to [the competition]!”
NiP had taken Erik “ztr” Gustafsson as a stand-in for the BLAST Premier qualifiers. ztr belongs to the Swedish org’s academy team – Young Ninjas; with his help, the team managed to qualify for the Spring Groups of the BLAST Premier. It’s yet to be confirmed whether ztr will be the permanent replacement for twist.
NiP’s COO, Jonas Gunderson, posted a follow-up tweet thanking twist and wishing him the best for the future. “We’ve decided to release @twist from his contract so he can find a new home, given all the hard work he’s done here,” Jonas said, “he’s got my highest recommendations in work ethic and being part of a team, and I’m sure any team who picks up will not be disappointed! Best of luck, Simon!”
After spending close to a year in Fnatic, twist was signed by NiP in 2019. Although he was signed as an AWPer, 2020 saw him become a support rifler. After poor showings at the BLAST Premier Fall 2020, IEM Beijing, DreamHack Open, ESL Pro League Season 12, and at the ESL One Cologne 2020, twist was put on the inactive roster on February 2, 2021, before being finally released.
How well ztr will hold his own, only time will tell. Him and the rest of NiP will be competing in the upcoming IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins on February 16, and the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2021 a few days later.