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Published: October 5, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The Bulgarian will not be part of the team’s starting lineup for the event
  • However, he is still on the team’s inactive roster
  • Coach Damian “⁠daps⁠” Steele will play in Rainwaker’s place

In an attempt to better their score, Liquid has benched 22-year-old Aleks “⁠Rainwaker⁠” Petrov, who will not take an active part in the currently ongoing BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Americas.

Rainwaker Moved to Inactive Roster

BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Americas is drawing near and teams are busy preparing themselves for the tournament. Some organizations are making drastic changes to their rosters ahead of the event, and Liquid is one of them, as it announced it is benching Aleks “⁠Rainwaker⁠” Petrov.

The removal of the 22-year-old Bulgarian player from the active roster comes as somewhat of a surprise, but it seems the signs of this were already there. Russian leaker Alexey “OverDrive” Birukov stated on VK on October 1 that Rainwaker would not be attending the tournament.

This started rumors which were confirmed in a tweet a few days later by the organization itself. According to Liquid’s statement on Twitter, the reason for this benching so close before the start of the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Americas, which started yesterday, is that the team’s results are disappointing and they need to make drastic changes.

Rainwaker remains on Liquid’s team, with the organization thanking him for his hard work and understanding of their decision. In the meantime, coach Damian “⁠daps⁠” Steele will be stepping in to replace the Bulgarian player. Daps is also taking over in-game leadership duties from Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis.

Rainwaker joined the North American organization in June after many rumors suggested the player would transfer from 500. During his time with Liquid, the 22-year-old has played just 34 maps for the team, during which time he averaged a 0.96 rating, which reflects the struggles that the organization has had in the past few months.

Despite the organization hoping that its new European roster would bring them victory, Liquid missed out on a spot at the IEM Cologne main event and were eliminated in the first round of Gamers8 by ENCE. Unfortunately, for Liquid, their luck did not change after that, as the team suffered losses from and Eternal Fire at the ESL Pro League S18, exiting it early in the tournament’s group stage.

Ultimately, Liquid’s failures prompted the organization to make the current changes. They are not the only team to come to this conclusion after recent tournaments. Brazilian team Imperial also benched Jhonatan “⁠JOTA⁠” Willian ahead of the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Americas, the reasons being quite similar to those of Liquid.

Right now it’s unknown if daps will be a permanent feature of Liquid’s main lineup or if the org is on the lookout for a new fifth. They will enter the tournament with the following roster:

  • Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic
  • Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm
  • Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis
  • Robert “⁠Patsi⁠” Isyanov
  • Damian “⁠daps⁠” Steele
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