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Published: September 26, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The Brazilian team announced it’s getting rifler Jhonatan “⁠JOTA⁠” Willian out of the starting lineup
  • He has been with Imperial since the beginning of this year, scoring a rating of 1.12
  • Imperial has found a substitute for JOTA in the eyes of Lucas “⁠LUCAS1⁠” Teles

After Imperial had a few failures in the past couple of months, they have decided to restructure, starting with the removal of 25-year-old rifler JOTA.

Imperial Bench Jota

Imperial has been sailing through somewhat turbulent waters in recent weeks. The team is still recovering from the loss of captain Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo, who moved to Imperial’s fellow countrymen in FURIA during the festival transfer window.

The Brazilian team also didn’t do well at the ESL Pro League in Malta. After Fnatic sent Imperial to the Last Chance stage in the tournament, the Brazilians managed to stay alive for some time by defeating 9z, but were eventually unsuccessful in recovering. This led to Imperial quickly exiting the tournament at the 24th place, bringing home a measly price of $8 000, and them scoring three losses to fnatic, Apeks, and 5yclone, and just one victory over 9z.

Following that, the organization had to rethink its overall strategy and roster composition. Because of this, Imperial decided to remove their rifler Jhonatan “⁠JOTA⁠” Willian from the starting lineup, putting the player up for transfer, and placing a substitute in his place, with which the organization will play in the upcoming BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Americas.

“We inform you that the player JOTA will be moved to the bench,” Imperial announced in a recent Twitter post. “We appreciate all his dedication and effort in competitions and training. Together we write an important part of our history,” this part suggesting that the team does not plan on bringing the 25-year-old player back into the main lineup.

JOTA has spent most of 2023 so far in Imperial’s roster, having signed with the team after he transferred from MIBR early in the year. So far, he has averaged a 1.12 rating, although he dropped down to 1.06 at his last two events after the summer break, which likely also played a part in his benching.

For the upcoming Americas’ BLAST Premier Fall Showdown, Imperial have found a substitute for JOTA in the face of Lucas “⁠LUCAS1⁠” Teles, who will reunite with his twin brother, Henrique “⁠HEN1⁠” Teles. Interestingly, the former Teles has a lower rating than JOTA, scoring a 0.96. However, he is going to play in just the BLAST event, suggesting that Imperial simply had no time to look for somebody else right now.

Imperial will start their run through the single-elimination bracket on October 4 against TheMongolz.

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