Closing out the first month of the new year, many teams have made post-holiday roster moves in an attempt to improve themselves for the foreseeable future. Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken became the most notable North American player ever to make the transition to playing in Europe with his recent transfer to FaZe Clan. The ex-100 Thieves core reassembled under Extremum and added Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand to the mix in an attempt to improve upon their past achievements. As a result of all the recent shakeups, several familiar names are left inactive or without a contract entirely as February begins. Here's a look at who is available:
Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen
Bubzkji isn't technically benched as Astralis' sixth man, but his potential is being wasted sitting around and playing the odd map or two here and there. No matter how much money he makes and how good the situation may appear, he deserves a full time role.
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist
Flusha is a savvy veteran who wants to be what professional Counter-Strike needs more than ever right now: an in-game leader. His options should expand now that he has publicly mentioned that his potential project with suNny and autimatic is unlikely to happen.
Miikka "suNny" Kemppi
suNny was widely considered one of the top riflers in the world back when he joined mousesports in 2017. His form gradually fell off and has yet to recover to what it once was, but his experience and potential would be an asset to many international teams. In the right setting, I would expect his effectiveness to increase once again.
Timothy "autimatic" Ta
Autimatic is one of the most versatile players to ever play in North America, playing just about every role in the game on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, I don't see many potential landing spots for him, regardless of region. I would expect him to choose Valorant over playing for another organization not named Team Liquid or Evil Geniuses, meaning options are limited. Unless he gets an offer from either of those teams or a top international team, I don't know what else exists as an option.
Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye
Kjaerbye was once the one of the most promising talents in Denmark and has had a streaky career as a rifler throughout his time as a professional. He was unfortunately brought into FaZe Clan at an awkward point in which NiKo was planning his exit. Playing roles he wasn't exactly comfortable in didn't help his case, either. Nonetheless, he is still worth a look due to his experience and well known potential. The only worry I have is how heavy his buyout might be.
Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen
If Snappi received several offers as an in-game leader, then there is no reason MSL can't be of value to a couple different organizations right now. I'm told his buyout is reasonable, and he could provide a foundation for an international team that needs talent developed.
Henrique "HEN1" Teles
I'm listing HEN1 here because he deserves a place on this list, but it is well known he intends to play alongside his brother LUCAS1 and kNgV-. So while he is available, it isn't like any team could pick him up and him alone.
Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe
As I mentioned above, kNgV- can't be recruited on his own, but he deserves a place here because him and HEN1 are still very impactful players inside the server. The prospective five man squad will have a tough time getting an organization with four out of five players requiring a buyout at this point in time.
Özgür "woxic" Eker
Woxic is just about the best player in this entire article, but unfortunately having him on your team comes with a unique situation that make it difficult to operate as a cohesive unit. I think the best place for him is back on a scrappy international team, like his time with HellRaisers. I can't expect much more without figuring out a way to keep the same issues that led to his benching on Mousesports and Cloud9 are alleviated.
Owen "oBo" Schlatter
oBo is a unique case of a player that is young, has a ton of potential, yet has a good amount of experience now after his time with Complexity. If he applies himself, I think he can be one of North Americas best players or even one of the better players in the world. I would expect European teams to approach him with caution, despite him saying he would still play there without issues. My assumption is that he ends up somewhere in North America and ends up back with a top organization at the end of the year.
Fernando "fer" Alvarenga
I find it odd that Fer still hasn't found a new home since going inactive with MIBR at the beginning of December last year. I know he has had a few PR hiccups here and there, but surely there is a team that could use his experience and firepower. Hard to say what could happen with him, but I'd be surprised if he remained team-less for too much longer.
Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas
EspiranTo was easily the best player on c0ntact Gaming and is still a great talent at only nineteen years old. Given that he doesn't have a buyout, I don't see how he remains a free agent all that much longer.
Otto "ottoNd" Sihvo
OttoNd is someone I always expect to return to a full Finnish roster at some point, but there are only so many of those remaining. While he isn't the best player or AWPer available, I think you could use him in an international roster as a solidarity piece.