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Published: April 18, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Sprout has been changing IGLs a lot since Ismail “?refrezh?” Ali stepped down from his position
  • The team has not been performing well these past couple of months
  • AZR stated that there were already issues as soon as he took the IGL position

Sprout will once again have to start looking for a new in-game leader for their CS:GO squad as the organization released Australian rifler Aaron “?AZR?” Ward.

AZR Leaves Sprout

Aaron “?AZR?” Ward is no longer Spraout’s in-game leader, the organization announced yesterday. Both parties go on their separate ways with the Australian CS:GO player spending less than two months on the roster. This departure marks yet another chapter in Sprout’s recent troubles and search for a suitable in-game leader after Ismail “?refrezh?” Ali stepped down from his position a couple of months ago. 

Sprout first tried Mikkel “?Maze?” Sparvath in place of Rasmus “?Zyphon?” Nordfoss, then chose to return Zyphon to the main roster and bench refrezh instead. This all happened so quickly that the organization’s coach Danny “?BERRY?” Krüger had to represent them at CCT the Central Europe Malta Finals.

Unfortunately for Sprout, AZR did not seem to fix their situation. The 30-year-old player led the team to a lackluster 6-10 match record in his time as IGL. The team was not able to show anything particularly great during the same time, as they failed to qualify for ESL Challenger Melbourne, IEM Dallas, and BLAST Spring Showdown. Sprout’s most recent setback was their failure to make it through the BLAST Paris Major Europe RMR A, with the news of AZR’s departure coming just a week after that.

What Happens Now?

Sprout will now once again start looking for a new IGL. They stated they will trial new IGLs both in officials and practice games, acknowledging that players might be changing each week. “In the fast-paced world of esports making the right call for player and roster changes can be challenging,” said the organization’s CS:GO manager Daniel Paulus. “With little to no time, one will never know for sure if a decision is fitting until further.”

AZR explained in a TwitLonger that there were differentiating views between him and Sprout on how the IGL position should be practiced. “It was clear early on that it just wasn’t a good fit with roles clashing and not having the same vision for the IGL to take and create space for the team as I believe this way is the best for me to call.”

Despite his departure from the team, AZR explained that this was the best outcome for both parties when taking into account the many factors that led to this. He wished his former teammates the best of luck and said he is looking forward to what the future will bring. “I will continue to grind and work on my game and not let as much time pass between being active. CS2 is also waiting right around the corner and I’m excited to grind that out,” AZR concluded.

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